Look to the Lilies

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Look to the Lilies
LookToTheLilies.JPG
Original Playbill
Music Jule Styne
Lyrics Sammy Cahn
Book Leonard Spigelgass
Basis Novel by William Edmund Barrett
Lilies of the Field
Productions 1970 Broadway

Look to the Lilies was a short-lived Broadway musical with a book by Leonard Spigelgass, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and music by Jule Styne.

Based on both the novel and film versions of Lilies of the Field, it tells the story of a group of German nuns, headed by a determined, dauntless Mother Superior, who manage to get an African American itinerant handyman/jack-of-all-trades named Homer Smith to build a chapel for the New Mexico community in which they live, despite not having money to pay him.

Background[edit]

Styne composed his score with Ethel Merman in mind, but director Joshua Logan cast Shirley Booth instead. Sammy Davis, Jr.'s salary demands put him out of the running, and the role of Homer went to Al Freeman, Jr., whom Logan later described as "difficult" and "antagonistic."[citation needed]

Production[edit]

The musical premiered on Broadway on March 29, 1970 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it ran for 25 performances and 31 previews. The musical was the past 70 years old Booth's last, but she garnered unanimous critical raves from the critics. Raymond Bordner[who?] wrote: "Miss Booth is simply marvelous all the way, and it is a real treat to see her again on Broadway". Richard Watts, in the New York Post, mentioned "Miss Booth's warm and gracious appeal."[1] They also praised designer Jo Mielziner's use of desert tones, projections, scrims, and lighting to create the atmosphere and mood of the desert Southwest, but found little else of merit in the show.[citation needed]

Song list[edit]

Act I
  • Gott is Gut
  • First Class Number One Bum
  • Himmlisher Vater
  • Follow the Lamb
  • Don't Talk About God
  • When I Was Young
  • Meet My Seester
  • One Little Brick at a Time
  • To Do a Little Good
  • There Comes a Time
  • Why Can't He See
  • I'd Sure Like to Give It a Shot
Act II
  • Them and They
  • Does It Really Matter
  • Look to the Lilies
  • I Admire You Very Much Mr. Schmidt
  • Some Kind of Man
  • Chant
  • Casamagordo, New Mexico
  • Follow the Lamb (Reprise)
  • One Little Brick at a Time (Reprise)
  • I, Yes Me, That's Who

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bordner, Raymond. "Shirley Booth Back", The Day, March 31, 1970

References[edit]

Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum, published by St. Martin's Press (1991), pages 29–31 (ISBN 0-312-06428-4)

External links[edit]