Butterflies Are Free (play)
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|Butterflies Are Free|
|Written by||Leonard Gershe|
|Date premiered||21 October 1969|
|Place premiered||Booth Theatre|
|Setting||Don Baker's apartment, at East 11th Street, New York|
Butterflies Are Free is a play by Leonard Gershe.
Loosely based on the life of attorney Harold Krents, the plot revolves around a Manhattan blind man whose controlling mother disapproves of his relationship with a free-spirited hippie. The title was inspired by a passage in Charles Dickens' Bleak House: "I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies."
After twelve previews, the Broadway production, directed by Milton Katselas, opened on October 21, 1969 at the Booth Theatre, where it ran for 1128 performances. The original cast consisted of Keir Dullea, Blythe Danner, Eileen Heckart, and Paul Michael Glaser. Replacements during the run included Gloria Swanson, Pamela Bellwood, and David Huffman. Stephen Schwartz composed the title song.
Broadway awards and nominations
- Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play (Danner, winner; Heckart, nominee)
- Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play (nominee)
- Theatre World Award (Dullea's replacement Kipp Osborne, winner)
- Clarence Derwent Award for female supporting performances on Broadway (Pamela Bellwood)