Kwamina (musical)

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Kwamina musical.jpg
Original Broadway Cast Album
Music Richard Adler
Lyrics Richard Adler
Book Robert Alan Aurthur
Premiere October 23, 1961 (1961-10-23): 54th Street Theatre
Productions 1961 Broadway

Kwamina is a musical with the libretto by Robert Alan Aurthur and music and lyrics by Richard Adler.


The musical opened in out of town tryouts in Toronto, where, as noted by Ken Mandelbaum "The reviews were promising",[1] and then ran in Boston. Kwamina premiered on Broadway at the 54th Street Theatre on October 23, 1961 and closed on November 18, 1961 after 32 performances. It starred Sally Ann Howes, Terry Carter, Robert Guillaume, and Brock Peters, and was directed by Robert Lewis and choreographed by Agnes de Mille.[2] Mandelbaum noted that the Broadway reviews were "mixed but mostly negative", but did praise de Mille, her dancers, and the set.[1]


The son of an African tribal chief returns home after attending medical school in London and finds his modern methods conflict with his village's traditions. He also butts heads with the village's white female doctor, but he ultimately falls in love with her.

Original cast album[edit]

The original cast album was recorded for Capitol Records on Monday, November 20, 1961 following the Saturday close two days earlier. A cast album had already been planned based on hopes that the show would be a hit, but Capitol Records, despite the extremely short run of the show, went ahead and made and released the album, and it has since reached a cult status. It has recently been made available for online download on iTunes and Amazon (UK).

Jazz pianist Billy Taylor released The Original Jazz Score of Kwamina in 1961.



  1. ^ a b Mandelbaum, Ken. Kwamina Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops, Macmillan, 1992, ISBN 1466843276, p. 126
  2. ^ " 'Kwamina' Broadway" Playbill, accessed June 6, 2016


  • You Gotta Have Heart by Richard Adler. 1990
  • Sing Out Louise! by Dennis McGovern & Deborah Grace Winer. Schirmer Books, 1993.
  • Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum. St. Martin's Press, 1991
  • Slings and Arrows: Theatre in My Life by Robert Lewis, Stein & Day, 1984. ISBN 0-8128-2965-4

External links[edit]