My One and Only (musical)
|My One and Only|
Peter Stone |
Timothy S. Mayer
2002 West End
Written to incorporate classic Gershwin tunes from Funny Face and other popular shows into one evening of entertainment, the plot, set in 1927 America, revolves around Capt. Billy Buck Chandler, a barnstorming aviator, and Edith Herbert, an ex-English Channel swimmer and the star of Prince Nicolai Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadze's International Aquacade. Billy's plan to be the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean is sidetracked by his determination to win Edith's hand, and he takes a crash course in sophistication at Mr. Magix' Tonsorial and Sartorial Emporial to help him achieve his goal. What follows is a series of escapades and misadventures that seems destined to keep the potential lovers apart forever.
Just prior to out of town tryouts in Boston, the original director, Peter Sellars, was fired, with the musical director and arranger, the book writer, Tim Mayer, and set designer, Adrianne Lobel, dismissed soon after. Tommy Tune "nominally took over the direction with his co-director and co-choreographer Thommie Walsh, and Mike Nichols, Tony Walton and...Michael Bennett were brought in to help with the direction, choreography and set design."
My One and Only opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on May 1, 1983 and closed on March 3, 1985 after 767 performances and 37 previews. The musical was directed and choreographed by Thommie Walsh and Tommy Tune. Musical and Vocal Direction was by Jack Lee. The cast included Tune, Twiggy, Bunny Briggs, Roscoe Lee Browne, Denny Dillon, Charles "Honi" Coles, and Nana Visitor. Notable replacements during the run included Sandy Duncan, Don Correia, Jeff Calhoun, and Georgia Engel.
The musical opened in the UK at the Chichester Festival Theatre and then opened in the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre in February 2002, starring Janie Dee as Edythe Herbert and Tim Flavin as Captain Billy Buck Chandler, with direction by Loveday Ingram and choreography by Craig Revel Horwood.
Cabaret singer and Gershwin historian Michael Feinstein served as the musical consultant for the project. An extensive review of the show's creation can be found in his book Nice Work If You Can Get It in a chapter entitled "My One and Only Tommy Tune Fling." He noted in The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs "I kept trying to steer them away from what I perceived to be a mauling of George and Ira's work.... Finally the show's orchestrator told me ...to get out of town. Eventually Ira threw up his hands and said 'Let them do their worst'. In fairness, I have to note that 'My One and Only' was a big hit."
There were several tours, all with Tommy Tune. The first was in 1985 with Sandy Duncan which started at the Kennedy Center in March 1985 and included a six-week engagement in Japan. Lucie Arnaz replaced Duncan in this tour. Stephanie Zimbalist starred in the US national tour in 1987.
The original Broadway cast album was released on the Atlantic label (7 80110-2-1) in 1983, running 55:15. William Ruhlmann wrote: "As heard here, then, the music is basically a Gershwin sampler, as performed largely by Tune (leaning heavily on his Texas accent) and Twiggy (singing in a rather mannered British croon), with added appearances by Charles "Honi" Coles and Roscoe Lee Browne. On-stage, 'My One and Only' is a dance-oriented show, and that can't be re-created on disc. But the singers give lively performances of some well-known Gershwin songs." Produced by Ahmet Ertegun, Wally Harper and Mike Bernaker. Didier C. Deutsch produced the CD reissue in 1989.
Frank Rich reviewed for The New York Times, and noted that "During this production's troubled gestation period, seemingly half of show business pitched in to offer anonymous help - no doubt the half that wasn't toiling on the screenplay of Tootsie. The result of the effort is not the brilliant musical the theater desperately craves, but nonetheless a slick one, brimming with high-hat confidence." He went on to write "The second half of the handsome show at the St. James levitates with some of the most inspired choreography Broadway has seen in several seasons - all set to the celestial music of George Gershwin and danced to kill by a company glittering in Art Deco swank. Until then, My One and Only is a smart and happy, if less than electrifying, spin down memory lane. Yet even at its most innocuous, this show receives a considerable boost from its Gershwin songs: the entire score, stitched together by a pastiche period book, derives from the Broadway trove created by the composer and his brother, Ira, a half-century ago."
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1983||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Book of a Musical||Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Tommy Tune||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Twiggy||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Charles Coles||Won|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical||Denny Dillon||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Thommie Walsh and Tommy Tune||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Rita Ryack||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Twiggy||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Charles Coles||Won|
|Outstanding Choreography||Thommie Walsh and Tommy Tune||Won|
|Outstanding Orchestrations||Michael Gibson||Won|
|Outstanding Costume Design||Rita Ryack||Nominated|
Original London production
|2003||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actor in a Musical||Tim Flavin||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Musical||Janie Dee||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Jenny Galloway||Nominated|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Craig Revel Horwood||Nominated|
- Shewey, Don. "How 'My One And Only' Came To Broadway". The New York Times, May 1, 1983, Section 2, p.1
- listing, West End, 2002 Archived 2008-08-29 at the Wayback Machine., ThisIsTheatre.Com, accessed May 19, 2009
- Loveridge, Lizzie. "A Curtain Up London Review. 'My One and Only'", Curtain Up.Com, based on 26 February 2002 performance, accessed January 5, 2012
- Feinstein, Michael. "Chapter 1", The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs. Simon and Schuster, 2012, ISBN 1451645333, pp. 45-46
- Richards, David. "Sandy Duncan, Up From Cute;Stepping Out in 'My One and Only,' Comfortable With Herself and Her Image". The Washington Post. March 7, 1985. Style, D1
- No author. "'My One And Only' Taps Into Town With Tommy Tune, Lucie Arnaz". Chicago Tribune. November 17, 1985
- O'Connor, Thomas. "Towering Tommy is still 'My One and Only' star". The Orange County Register. October 23, 1987. p32
- Ruhlmann, William. "'My One and Only' Recording" allmusic.com, accessed December 25, 2015
- Carnovale, Norbert. "'My One and Only' (1983)", George Gershwin: A Bio-bibliography, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, ISBN 0313260036, p. 164
- Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'My One And Only,' 'New' Gershwin Show". The New York Times, May 2, 1983, Section C, P. 13