John Murray Anderson's Almanac

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John Murray Anderson's Almanac
Harry Belafonte Almanac 1954 b.jpg
Harry Belafonte in John Murray Anderson's Almanac on Broadway, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1954
Music Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Cy Coleman
Michael Grace
Joseph McCarthy
Henry Sullivan
John Rox
Bart Howard
Harry Belafonte
Charles Zwar
Lyrics Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Cy Coleman
Michael Grace
Joseph McCarthy
Henry Sullivan
John Rox
Bart Howard
Harry Belafonte
Charles Zwar
Book various
Productions 1953 Broadway

John Murray Anderson's Almanac is a musical revue, featuring the music of the songwriting team of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, as well as other composers. It was conceived by John Murray Anderson.

Productions[edit]

John Murray Anderson's Almanac opened on Broadway on December 10, 1953 at the Imperial Theatre, New York City and closed on June 26, 1954, after 229 performances.The revue was conceived and staged by John Murray Anderson, with sketches directed by Cyril Ritchard, and dances and musical numbers staged by Donald Saddler.The revue starred Harry Belafonte, Hermione Gingold, Polly Bergen, Orson Bean, Tina Louise, Monique van Vooren, and Billy DeWolfe. The songwriting team of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross provided the majority of the songs for the show.[1]

The sketches were written by Jean Kerr, Sumner Lock-Elliot, Arthur Macrae, Herbert Farjeon, Lauri Wylie and Billy K. Wells.

Songs[edit]

Act 1
  • Prologue: Harlequinade – Pierrette Ensemble, Jimmy Albright, Lee Becker, Hank Brunjes, Carleton Carpenter, Ronald Cecill, Dean Crane, Nanci Crompton, Imelda De Martin, Dorothy Dushock, James Jewell, Gerard Leavitt, Celia Lipton, Greb Lober, Ralph McWilliams, Harry Mimmo, Illona Murai, Margot Myers, Gwen Neilson, Gloria Smith
  • Queen for a Day
  • My Cousin Who? – Billy DeWolfe, Jimmy Albright, Ronald Cecill, Dean Crane, Celia Lipton, Ralph McWilliams, Illona Murai, Gwen Neilson, Kenneth Urmston, Toni Wheelis
  • You're So Much a Part of Me – Carleton Carpenter, Elaine Dunn
  • I Dare to Dream – Polly Bergen
  • The Cello – Hermione Gingold
  • Mark Twain – Harry Belafonte, Millard Thomas (Guitarist)
  • The Nightingale and the Rose – Jimmy Albright, Hank Brunjes, Ronald Cecill, James Jewell, Gerard Leavitt, Celia Lipton, Greb Lober, Tina Louise, Ralph McWilliams, Margot Myers, Gwen Neilson, George Reeder, Siri, Gloria Smith, Monique Van Vooren
  • My Love is a Wanderer
  • The Pan Alley (Mammy Songs, Rhythm Songs, Torch Songs, Patriotic Songs)– Lee Becker, Carleton Carpenter, Ronald Cecill, Dean Crane, Imelda De Martin, Dorothy Dushock, Jay Harnick, Larry Kert, Bob Kole, Gerard Leavitt, Greb Lober, Ralph McWilliams, Illona Murai, Margot Myers, George Reeder, Gloria Smith, Kenneth Urmston
  • Hope you Come Back – Polly Bergen, Billy DeWolfe, Hermione Gingold, Nanci Crompton, Elaine Dunn, Kay Medford
Act 2
  • If Every Month Were June – Celia Lipton
  • Which Witch – Hermione Gingold (song by Charles Zwar)[2]
  • La Loge – Polly Bergen, Jay Harnick
  • Acorn in the Meadow – Harry Belafonte
  • When Am I Going to Meet your Mother? – Carleton Carpenter, Elaine Dunn, singer/dancer
  • Dinner for One – Billy DeWolfe, Hermione Gingold
  • Hold 'em Joe – Harry Belafonte, Colleen Hutchins, Illona Murai, George Reeder, Gloria Smith, and Monique Van Vooren (dancers)
  • La Pistachio – Billy DeWolfe, Kay Medford

Critical response[edit]

Brooks Atkinson reviewing for The New York Times called it a "bright and brilliant show", and had special praise for Hermione Gingold, who "gives herself artistic airs that are hilarious", and Harry Belafonte's "Mark Twain" performance, "expository style as a singer and actor makes it the 'Almanac's' high point in theatrical artistry." However, Atkinson wrote that the "Almanac is more distinguished for its humor. Jean Kerr...has written a gruesome jest about horror literature, 'My Cousin Who?'"[3]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stanley Green, The World of Musical Comedy (New York: Da Capo Press, 1984), p. 271
  2. ^ “Obituary—Charles Zwar: Australian Exponent of West End Revue”, The Times [London], 7 Dec. 1989.
  3. ^ Atkinson, Brooks. "John Muray Anderson Brings Hermione Gingold and an 'Almanac' to Town", The New York Times, December 11, 1953, p. 42

External links[edit]