Breakfast at Tiffany's (musical)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Studio Recording
Music Bob Merrill
Lyrics Bob Merrill
Book Edward Albee
Basis Truman Capote novella and 1961 film of the same name
Productions 1966 Broadway (did not officially open)

Breakfast at Tiffany's was a Broadway musical in 1966 directed by Joseph Anthony and produced by David Merrick that never formally opened after four preview shows.[1] The musical is based on the Truman Capote novella and 1961 film of the same name about a free spirit named Holly Golightly.

Production history[edit]

The musical had a book by illustrious playwright Edward Albee and a score composed by the equally notable Bob Merrill. The cast, directed by Joseph Anthony, included Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Chamberlain, Sally Kellerman, Larry Kert, and Priscilla Lopez. It was designed by Oliver Smith, choreographed by Michael Kidd with assistance from Tony Mordente, and produced by David Merrick.

Mary Tyler Moore and Richard Chamberlain rehearsing during the pre-Broadway run.

Despite the impressive list of collaborators involved in the production, the project never gelled. It underwent constant and massive changes in its script and score during out-of-town tryouts. The original book by Abe Burrows was scrapped completely and Edward Albee, an unlikely choice, was hired to re-write. Burrows was also the director but left when Albee was brought in.[2] On a daily basis, the cast was given new material hours before curtain time. Burrows' departure put a damper on the proceedings, resulting in low morale among cast members, and Moore was convinced Merrick planned to fire her soon after opening night.

It was not uncommon for the show to run nearly four hours.[3]

Its original title, Holly Golightly, was changed when it started previews on December 12, 1966 on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre. Despite a healthy advance sale and much audience anticipation, it closed four nights later without having officially opened. According to Merrick, in an infamous ad he placed in The New York Times, he shut down the production "rather than subject the drama critics and the public to an excruciatingly boring evening."[2][3]

In September 2013, the musical will be produced onstage with its original book intact by Abe Burrows at the Lilian Baylis Studio theatre in London, as a part of their 'Lost Musicals' series. This will mark the first time that the musical has been produced since its original production as well as the first time the musical has been produced anywhere in the United Kingdom.


Just prior to closing, a live recording was made of the musical numbers, excerpts of which eventually were released on LP.

In 2001, a studio recording with Faith Prince, John Schneider, Hal Linden, Patrick Cassidy, and original cast member Kellerman was released on the Original Cast label.[4] This recording includes musical numbers that were seen in both the Boston and Philadelphia pre-Broadway tryouts as well as the numbers that were retained for the New York production.

Musical numbers[edit]


  1. ^ Kenrick, John."Breakfast at Tiffany's Record Review",, retrieved February 20, 2010
  2. ^ a b Suskin, Steven. Second Act Trouble (2006), "Why Holly Went Badly", by Lewis Funke", Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 1-55783-631-0, pp. 51-54
  3. ^ a b Matthews, Robert."Holly come lately - can Anna match Audrey?",The Independent, June 1, 2009
  4. ^ "'Breakfast At Tiffany's' Studio Recording",, retrieved February 20, 2010


  • David Merrick — The Abominable Showman: The Unauthorized Biography by Howard Kissel, published by Applause Books, April 1, 2000

External links[edit]