A Family Affair (musical)
|A Family Affair|
Original Cast Recording
A Family Affair is a musical with a book by James Goldman and William Goldman, lyrics by James Goldman and John Kander, and music by Kander. This was Kander's first show, and his only one written without Fred Ebb.
Production history 
Originally planned as a project for Gertrude Berg to be directed by Jerome Robbins, it opened in Philadelphia directed instead by Word Baker, who recently had staged The Fantasticks off-Broadway. With everything from the script to the score to the set in disarray, theatre producer Hal Prince was brought in to replace Baker and repair the damage. Poor box office prevented the out-of-town tryout from being extended and Prince, making his directorial debut, brought the show to New York City knowing it was better but still in need of serious work.
The Broadway production opened on January 27, 1962 at the Billy Rose Theatre, where it ran for 65 performances and five previews. The cast included neurotic comic Shelley Berman as Alfie, Eileen Heckart as Tillie, Rita Gardner as Sally, and Larry Kert as Gerry, with Morris Carnovsky, Cathryn Damon, Bibi Osterwald, and Linda Lavin in supporting roles.
In Chicago, Gerry Siegal and Sally Nathan, a young suburban Chicago couple, decide to marry. The bride's Uncle Alfie (her guardian) wants an intimate wedding and wages a war of words with the groom's entire family. The groom's brassy Jewish mother Tillie commandeers the planning, steering it towards a large country club wedding (despite her husband's scolding her for taking over). Caterers, dressmakers, band leaders, rabbis, florists, photographers and a bossy wedding planner are pushed to the limit by the madcap preparations. The bride and groom, who have retained their sanity, realize that their families have almost destroyed the wedding. They announce their intention to have a quiet family affair.
Song list 
- Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum, published by St. Martin's Press (1991), pages 141-42 (ISBN 0-312-06428-4)
- Information and links from the MTI website with links to an extensive synopsis and other information
- Internet Broadway Database listing
- A Family Affair plot summary & character descriptions
- Profile at guidetomusicaltheatre.com