Look Homeward, Angel (play)
|Look Homeward, Angel|
Jo Van Fleet and Anthony Perkins on Broadway, 1958
|Written by||Ketti Frings|
|Date premiered||November 28, 1957|
|Place premiered||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway|
|Setting||Altamont, North Carolina, in 1916|
Look Homeward, Angel is an acclaimed 1957 stage play by the playwright Ketti Frings. It opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre November 28, 1957, and ran for a total of 564 performances, closing on April 4, 1959.
In 1958, Ketti Frings won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. The production received Tony Award nominations for Best Play; Best Actor in a Play (Hugh Griffith and Anthony Perkins); Best Actress in a Play (Jo Van Fleet); Best Scenic Design (Jo Mielziner); Best Costume Design (Motley); and Best Director (George Roy Hill).
John Drew Barrymore was to co-star with Miriam Hopkins in the tour of Look Homeward, Angel, which was set to open in Wilmington, Delaware, on October 21, 1959, but Barrymore, who was said to be suffering from a skin infection and was underweight, quit the touring company during rehearsals. He was replaced by Jonathan Bolt.
Look Homeward, Angel traces the coming of age of Eugene Gant in the small town of Altamont, North Carolina. Eliza, his mother, is a woman who likes to make "Deals"—in business and with people. With the proverbial iron hand in the velvet glove and almost equal concern, she runs "Dixieland," her seedy boarding house, an alcoholic husband, a daughter and two sons.
Broadway Opening Night Cast
- Hugh Griffith as W.O. Gant
- Anthony Perkins as Eugene Gant
- Jo Van Fleet as Eliza Gant
- Arthur Hill as Ben Gant
- Frances Hyland as Laura James
- Joseph Bernard as Jake Clatt
- Clifford Cothren as Hugh Barton
- Mary Farrell as Mrs. Clatt
- Julia Johnston as Mrs. Snowden
- Victor Kilian as Dr. McGuire
- Elizabeth Lawrence as Florry Mangle
- Dwight Marfield as Mr. Farrell
- Rosemary Murphy as Helen Gant Barton
- Bibi Osterwald as Madame Elizabeth
- Tom Flatley Reynolds as Will Pentland
- Jack Sheehan as Tarkinton
- Leonard Stone as Hugh Barton
- Arthur Storch as Luke Gant
- Florence Sundstrom as Mrs. Marie "Fatty" Pert
- Susan Torrey as Miss Brown
Frings' stage adaptation of Look Homeward, Angel was readapted as a Broadway musical, Angel, which opened at the Minskoff Theatre in New York on May 4, 1978, and closed May 13 after five performances and poor reviews. Frings co-wrote the book with the show's lyricist, Peter Udell, whose lyrics were set to music by Gary Geld. This songwriting team had created the musicals Shenandoah and Purlie and penned the hit song "Sealed With a Kiss."
Angel was directed by Philip Rose and choreographed by Robert Tucker. The production featured costumes by Pearl Somner, lighting design by John Gleason and scenery by Ming Cho Lee.
For her performance in the show, Frances Sternhagen received a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Additionally, Joel Higgins was nominated for a 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.