My Favorite Year (musical)

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My Favorite Year
MyFavoriteYear1.JPG
Original Production Poster
Music Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics Lynn Ahrens
Book Joseph Dougherty
Basis 1982 film My Favorite Year
Productions 1992 Broadway

My Favorite Year is a musical with a book by Joseph Dougherty, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. It is based on the film of the same name.

Production history[edit]

The musical opened on Broadway at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater on December 10, 1992 and closed on January 10, 1993 after 36 performances and 45 previews. The cast included Evan Pappas, Tim Curry, Tom Mardirosian, Katie Finneran, Andrea Martin (in her Broadway debut), Josh Mostel, and Lainie Kazan, who reprised the role of Benjy's mother she had played in the film. The show was directed by Ron Lagomarsino and choreographed by Thommie Walsh, with scenic design by Thomas Lynch, costume design by Patricia Zipprodt, and lighting design by Jules Fisher, with associate lighting designer Peggy Eisenhauer.

The creative team constantly reworked the troubled production during previews.[1]

My Favorite Year received mixed-to-negative reviews. The New York Times's Frank Rich called the musical "a missed opportunity, a bustling but too frequently flat musical that suffers from another vogue of the 1950s, an identity crisis,"[2] and disapproved of the melodramatic turn taken in the show's second act, while Time magazine condemned it as a "barren Broadway musical."[3]

An original cast recording was released on the RCA Victor label.

In March 2007, The Chicago Sun-Times revealed that Flaherty and Ahrens were "reworking the show with an eye on a new Broadway production."[4] Flaherty said that, "In hindsight, I think our decision to paint the musical in somewhat darker colors was a mistake." Among the revisions made to the show are two new songs, which were incorporated into a March 2007 repertory production of the show at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, Chicago.[5]

Musicals Tonight! in New York presented a staged concert in April 2003.[6]

Cast[7][edit]

Plot[edit]

In the 1950s Benjy Stone (a Mel Brooks-type), is a sketch writer for a live television variety show starring King Kaiser (a Sid Caesar-type). Signed for a guest appearance is Alan Swann (an Errol Flynn-type), a one-time movie idol whose career was disrupted by his addiction to alcohol and loose women. The task of keeping him sober and celibate until airtime falls to Benjy, who soon finds himself involved in a sequence of shenanigans unlike any he ever experienced before.

Various characters, including Benjy's pushy mother Belle Steinberg Carroca and Alan Swann's estranged daughter Tess, complicate Benjy's task. The other writers, Sy, Alice and Herb, add to the chaos.

Differences from the Original Movie[edit]

  • In the movie, there is a subplot surrounding King Kaiser angering a corrupt union boss. Neither this man, nor the sketch that angered him, is included in the plot of the musical.
  • In the movie, Swann agrees to finally meet his daughter, Tess, in person during the epilogue. In the musical, they meet in a scene where she is leaving a clam bake, which Swann was invited to by her. They also reunite in the final song.
  • In the movie, Swann revealed he'd been keeping tabs on his daughter for a while without ever meeting her face to face. In the musical, Swann revealed he hadn't seen Tess in three years.
  • In the movie, the Musketeer sketch is very minor to the plotline. In the musical, the Musketeer sketch is central to the plotline, for it is the sketch Benjy wrote for Swann. There are even four songs dedicated to the Musketeer sketch.
  • In the movie, it is revealed King's real first name is Stan. In the musical, King is Kaiser's real first name.
  • In the movie, Swann enters the women's bathroom. In the musical, the only man to enter the women's bathroom is Benjy.

Songs[edit]

The album, My Favorite Year Original Cast Recording was released in 1993 with Andrea Martin, Lainie Kazan and Tim Curry on RCA Victor.

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ My Favorite Year listing with production notes, song list and commentary wetellthestory.com, retrieved February 28, 2010
  2. ^ Rich, Frank (1992-12-11). "Review: A Rosy View of a Golden Age". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  3. ^ "A Favorite No More". Time. 1992-12-21. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  4. ^ Weiss, Hedy (2007-03-09). "A new 'Year': Playwrights breathe livelier life into musical". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  5. ^ Olson, John."My Favorite Year Review", talkinbroadway.com, April 3, 2007
  6. ^ My Favorite Year listing musicalstonight.org, retrieved February 28, 2010
  7. ^ Internet Boradway Database listing ibdb.com, retrieved February 28, 2010

External links[edit]