Let My People Come

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Let My People Come
A Sexual Musical
Letmypeoplecomead.jpg
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Music Earl Wilson, Jr.
Lyrics Earl Wilson, Jr.
Productions 1974 Off-Broadway
1974 London
1976 Broadway

Let My People Come is the title of an explicit musical written by Earl Wilson, Jr. about love, sex and relationships, which ran from January 8, 1974 to July 5, 1976 in New York City, at The Village Gate in Greenwich Village. Subtitled "A Sexual Musical," the show began previews on Broadway on July 7, 1976 at the Morosco Theatre and closed on October 2, 1976 after 108 performances without officially opening.[1]

Its music and lyrics were by Earl Wilson, Jr. The show featured songs with titles like "I'm Gay," "Come in My Mouth," "Give It to Me", and "The Cunnilingus Champion of Company C." One of the songs, "Take Me Home With You", became a popular recording in gay bars.[citation needed] There was nudity on stage during the production, and at the final curtain call. The show became extremely popular because of the positive message about sexual freedom and enjoyed a wide international fan base which continues to this day.

The show was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1974 for Best Original Cast Album.

Productions[edit]

Let My People Come was originally produced and directed by Phil Oesterman.[2] The show was choreographed by Ian Naylor, musical direction and vocal arrangements Billy Cunningham, scenery, lighting, and production stage manager Duane F. Mazey, scenery and costumes supervised by Douglas W. Schmidt, lighting supervised by John Gleason, stage manager Robert Walter, and press by Saul Richman. The Broadway opening night cast starred Brandy Alexander, Dwight Baxter, Lorraine Davidson, Joelle Erasme, Yvette Freeman, Paul Gillespie, Tulane Howard II, Bob Jockers, Empress Kilpatrick, Dianne Legro, Allan Lozito, Bryan Miller, Bryen Neves, Don Scotti, Dean Tait, Lori Wagner, and Charles Whiteside.

It enjoyed long runs in Philadelphia at Grendel's Lair Cabaret Theatre for 10 years and in Toronto for 8 years at the Basin Street Cabaret Theater Other companies included: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Madrid, London, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney, New Zealand, Maseru [Lesotho]. Let My People Come became the longest running musical in both Philadelphia and Canada, where it had two National tours.

Off-Broadway[edit]

The show opened Off-Broadway on January 8, 1974 at The Village Gate and closed on July 5, 1976.[3] The cast included Ray Colbert, Tobie Columbus, Denise Connolley, Diana Darzin, Lorraine Davidson, Marty Duffy, Joe Jones, Ian Naylor, Larry Paulette, Peachena.[3] Other replacement cast included: Robin Charin, Steven Cole, Carl Reese, Judy Gibson, Jo Ann Lehman, Edwina Lewis, Jim Rich, Tuesday Summers, James Bryan, Hy Conrad, Scott Farrell, Wesley Ferguson, Yvette Freeman, Bob Jockers, Empress Kilpatrick, Terri White.[citation needed] The Music Director was Billy Cunningham, director was Phil Oesterman (credited as producer) and the choreographer was Ian Naylor.

  • A Second New York City production opened in 1985, produced by Bernard Jay.[4] Cast: Myrona Delaney, Music Director: Mark Leeibowitz, Director/ Choreographer: Otto Maximillian.
  • A Third New York City production opened in 2013 at The Underground, produced and directed by John Forslund.[5][6] The cast included Mariel Blatt, Brian Craft, Haley Selmon, James Hansen, Christie Dabreau, Susanna Merrick, Amina Camille, Diego Rios, Daniel Stevens, Gavin Roherer, John Ryan Del Bosque, Molly McGivern. The music director was Mark T. Evans and choreographer was Christie Dabrea. This production featured re-imagined numbers from the original production, as well as new numbers written for this revival.

Broadway[edit]

The show opened on Broadway in previews at the Morosco Theater on July 7, 1976.[7][8]

Wilson sought a close order but was denied. He took his name off the production. According to The New York Times, "Earl Wilson Jr. has asked to have his name removed from any credits for the Broadway production of 'Let My People Come.' “I feel that the show has become vulgar,” he said."[9]

The Producer/Director was Phil Oesterman, Music Director was Billy Cunningham and choreography was by Charles Augins. The scenic and lighting design was by Duane F. Mazey, Set and Costumes Supervised by Douglas W. Schmidt and Lighting Supervised by John Gleason.[10] The original cast was Brandy Alexander, Dwight Baxter, Lorraine Davidson, Joellle Erasme, Yvette Freeman, Paul Gillespie, Tulane Howard II, Bob Jockers, Empress Kilpatrick, Dianne Legro, Allan Lozito, Bryan Miller, Bryen Neves, Don cotti, Dean Tait, Lori Wagner, and Charles Whiteside.

This production did not officially open, and closed on October 2, 1976.[10]

London[edit]

  • FIRST LONDON PRODUCTION: 1974, Producer: Harold Fielding

[4 years]

Original Cast: Gil Bersford, Johnny Worthy, Helen Chappelle, Christine Ellerbeck, Susanna Hunt, Janet Shaw, Tommie Thompson, Catherine Tonoh, Steve Amber, Michael Blaise, Michael Cowie, Bill Van Dijk, David Mellor, Miguel Oliver

Producer/Director: Phil Oesterman Choreography: Ian Naylor Musical Director: Billy Cunningham Set Designer: Bob Ringwood Lighting Designer: Howard Eldridge Music Director: Michael Reed

Special number written by Earl Wilson added to London Production honoring drag queen Dany La Rue

SECOND LONDON PRODUCTION: 1990, Produced by Bernard Jay at the Boulevard Theater, Soho, London.

Director: Johnny Worthy Musical Director: Christopher Littlewood Lighting Design by: Stephen Holroyd

Original Cast: Amanda Burdette, Mike Evans, Liz Hannibal, Deborah Hardy, Adrian Jecke;;s, Marinka Lienke, John Osbaldeston, Andrew Wiltshireå

International[edit]

MASERU, LESOTHO, SOUTH AFRICA: THE HOLIDAY INN, Produced by BERNARD JAY, 1983

Original Cast: Paul Christofordis, Sean ColemN, Edward Crader Jr, April J. Greene, Tiana Jo Schlitten, Tanya Moberly, Denis Walsh, Pat D’antono

Music Director: Mark Lebowitz Producer: Bernard Jay Director/Original Cast:

PHILADELPHIA 1974 [8 years] Phil Roy producer, Otto Maximilian Director/choreographer [10 years, GRENDEL’S LAIRE CABARET

Produced by: Philip Roger Roy Original Philadelphia Director and Choreographer: Otto Maximilian Second Year director: Don Kersey Additional Director: Sam Rulon National Music Director: Ken Ford

Musical directors: Billy Cunningham {Original New York], Dan Glosser

Original Cast: Melinda Christy, Dan Carson, Gloria Goodman, John Grimley, Judi Mark, Thom Pieczara, Miriam Procter, Julie Ridge

TORONtTO, CANADA, Basin Street Cabaret Phil Roy producer, Otto Maximilian Director/choreographer [8 years]

Original Cast: John Alexander, Nancy Cosline, Nick Dimartino, Paul James, Audrei-Kairen, Charly D. Miller, Ellen Munger.

Producer: Phil Roy Director/Choreography: Otto Maximilian Music Director: Ken Ford

FIRST CANADIAN NATIONAL TOUR: Date ? [Cities: Vancouver, etc.] Phil Roy producer, Otto Maximilian Director/choreographer

Original Cast: John Alexander, Nancy Cosline, Nick Dimartino, Paul James, Audrei-Kairen, Charly D. Miller, Ellen Munger,

SECOND CANADIAN NATIONAL TOUR: Date ? [Cities: Vancouver, etc.] Phil Roy producer, Otto Maximilian Director/choreographer

[no current information]

MONTREAL, CANADA: Produced by The Derek Matthew Corporation Producer: Yank Barry. Otto Maximilian Director/choreographer

Producer: Yank Barry Director/Choreography: Otto Maximilian

Original Cast: Brent Batton, William Bear’James Carroll Ann Casey, Ann Deblinger, Jim Donovon, Wendy Spitel Gini Stoudt, Rene Stewart

Lighting by: Lumber Sound by: Solotech Costumes by: David Barry & Linda Stauderman

PARIS, FRANCE: La Taverne de l’Olympia [ title in French: Leve-toi et Viens; Directed by PHILE OESTERMAN

Mise en scene: Phil Oesterman Adaption franchise : Jacques Lanzmann Assiste: Richard Caron Directeur musical: Eddy Schaff Choreographie: Doug Rogers Eclairages: Howard Eldridge Chef d’orchestre: Eddy Schaff

Comedians [cast]: Ghislaine Allief, Kathy Amaze, Gil Beresford, Nanette Corey, Marc de Jonge, Hary Khoriaty, Frabck Lenoir, Sheswee Powell, Clair Severac, Dean Tait, Velocity, Michel Voletti

ACT I; Foutre Miroir Fais Viber Ton Corps Donne Le Noi Donner Vie Petites Annonces Cours de Fellation J’en Suis Linda, Georgina, Marilyn et Moi Je Crois A Mon Corps quand Il Me Parle

Act II:

Le Show Business Que Vous Ignorez Emmenez-moi Chez Vous Tous En Choeur Et Elle M’amima Connase Viens Dans Ma Bouche L’as du Cubbilingus Toujours Encore Leve Toi et Viens

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND: Date? Billy Cunningham, Ian Naylor

Producer/Director:Phil Oesterman Music Director: Billy Cunningham Director/Choreography: Ian Naylor

WASHINGTON, D.C., The West End Theater Date?

Producer/Director: Phil Oesterman

Set & lighting by: Duane F. maze Musical Direction & Vocal Arrangements: Woman Bergen Music Conducted by: Them Wagner

Cast: Brandy Alexander, Ava Christian Canne, Elaine Casewell Joelle Erasme, Jeff Moreland, Rod Neves, Kevin Rogers, Don Scotti, Simone, Mng Toy, Juba Vallery, Dennis Walsh, Charles Whiteside

Band: Denny Calvarese, Robert Rayel, Mary Ann Ybarra

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Palladium Theatre

Original Cast: Robin Charin, Ray Colbert, Auristale Frias, Nancy Froelich, Bob Jockers, Joe Jones, Empress Kilpatrick, Brad Kohihase, Edwina Lewis, Larry Pulette, John Ponyman, Christine Reubens, Claudia Talbott, John-David Yarbrough

Band: Piano-Billy Cunningham, Bass-Al Scotti-Guitar: Randy Langioe, Oran-Michael Reno, Drums- Paul Von Wageningen

Staff:

Sound and Lighting Equipment: Holtzmueller Theatrical Supply Wardrobe Coordinator: Neal Haynes

Producer: Sherkenbach Productions Music Director: Billy Cunningham Director/Choreography: Ian Naylor

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: WHISKEY A GO GO

[no current information]

Producer: Phil Oesterman Music Director: Billy Cunningham Director/Choreography: Ian Naylor

SECOND CHICAGO PRODUCTION

Producer: Brian Posner Music Director: Choreography:

SEATTLE, ThE PALACE

Producer: Roger Forbes Directed and Choreographed by: Otto Maximilian Costumes: American Artistic Costume

Cast: Annlynn, Susie Arendt, Larry Block, Donna Black, Vikkilynn HArkey Chad Henry, Brad L. Henry, Jasdarnel, Dan Johnson, April Morrison, Beth Sherdell, Walt Taylor, Gil Whiteside

NEW ORLEANS

Producer:Marty Marlow Music Director: Billy Cunningham Director/Choreography: Ian Naylor

MIAMI

Producer: Phil Roy

Cat: LaTonya Welch, Carlos W. Anderson, Laura Roth, Dori James, Paul James, Jim Doyle, Jodie Letizia

FT. LAUDERDALE, ANDREW’S LIVING ART STUIO

Original Cast:Ashley Hyde, L’Oreal Michelle, Raibelis Paulino, Caleb Santos, Sklenny Senat

Produced and Directed by Robert D. Nation Vocal Director: Kristen Lewis Choreographed by Paul Sutherland

In April, 2010 Let My People Come – The Party had a two-week run at the Ritz Bar in New York City, produced by Wilson, Marilyn Lester and Robert Blume.

In November, 2011 the production returned to Chicago at the Stage 773 Theater to good crowds and favorable reviews (http://www.stage773.com/Show?id=40).

Another production ran in August and September, 2014, at the Andrews Living Arts Studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, produced and directed by Robert D. Nation, before moving on to Key West.

Lawsuit[edit]

"The Cunnilingus Champion of Company C" was the subject of a lawsuit filed by MCA Music against Wilson, and which was decided in favor of the plaintiffs in 1976. The court found that the song, which openly borrows the melody from "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by Don Raye and Hughie Prince, "could not be construed as a burlesque of plaintiff's work per se", but was merely a "commentary on an era" and therefore was not protected by fair use. As a result, the defendants were found liable for copyright infringement.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ " Let My People Come Broadway" ibdb.com
  2. ^ Sisaro B "Philip Oesterman obituary" The New York Times, August 4, 2002
  3. ^ a b "Off-Broadway" lortel.org, retrieved October 12, 2017
  4. ^ "Bernard Jay 1976 to 1989 (in the USA)" bernardjay.co.za
  5. ^ Wollman, Elizabeth L. "A ‘Sexual Musical,’ Now Middle-Aged" The New York Times, December 27, 2012
  6. ^ Healy, Patrick. "‘Let My People Come’ to Bare Itself in New York Again" The New York Times, December 12, 2012
  7. ^ "'Let My People Come' To Go to Broadway" The New York Times, June 26, 1976
  8. ^ " 'Let My People’ Postponed" The New York Times, July 26, 1976
  9. ^ "Wilson Objects To New ‘People’ " The New York Times. July 1976
  10. ^ a b "Broadway" ibdb.com, retrieved October 12, 2017
  11. ^ "Music Copyright Infringement Resource: MCA Music v. Earl Wilson 425 F. Supp. 443 (S.D.N.Y. 1976)". 

External links[edit]