Greenwillow

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Greenwillow
Greenwillow.jpg
Original Recording
Music Frank Loesser
Lyrics Frank Loesser
Book Lesser Samuels
Frank Loesser
Basis Novel by B.J. Chute
Productions 1960 Broadway

Greenwillow is a musical with a book by Lesser Samuels and Frank Loesser and music and lyrics by Loesser. The musical is set in the magical town of Greenwillow. It ran on Broadway in 1960.

Overview[edit]

Based on the novel by B. J. Chute, the musical is a fantasy, set in the magical town of Greenwillow. In Greenwillow, the eldest in each generation of Briggs men must obey the "call to wander", while the women they leave behind care for the home and rear their children in the hope that some day their husbands will return. Gideon loves his girlfriend, Dorrie, and would like nothing better than to settle down with her, and finds in the town's newest inhabitant, the Reverend Birdsong, an ally who will try to help him make his dream come true.[1]

Production[edit]

The musical had a pre-Broadway try-out at the Shubert Theatre in Philadelphia. The musical opened on Broadway on March 8, 1960, at the Alvin Theatre, and closed on May 28, 1960, after 97 performances. The show was hampered by lukewarm reviews. According to Thomas Riis (the Joseph Negler Professor of Music and director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado at Boulder), The New York Times "was pleased" but it was the only paper to give a positive review.[2]

The director was George Roy Hill and choreographer was Joe Layton, scenery by Peter Larkin and costumes by Alvin Colt. The cast included Anthony Perkins as Gideon Briggs, Cecil Kellaway, Pert Kelton, Ellen McCown as Dorrie Whitbred, William Chapman, Marian Mercer and Tommy Norden.[3][4]

This musical was being rehearsed in New York while Anthony Perkins was simultaneously filming the Alfred Hitchcock classic shocker Psycho (1960) in Los Angeles. He had a stand-in for the shower scene in that film.[5] Stephen Rebello noted that the shower scene did not "require the services of Anthony Perkins", so Hitchcock allowed him to attend reheasals in New York.[6]

The musical was presented by the York Theatre Company (New York City) in its "Musicals-in-Mufti" series in 2004. Peter Filichia said that the score was "grand" and noted that, in reviewing the original production, Brooks Atkinson in The New York Times wrote that 'Loesser has provided a warm and varied score that captures the simple mood'".[7]

Song list[edit]

Source: Internet Broadway database;[8] AllMusic [9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The musical received 1960 Tony Award nominations:[4][10]

  • Best Actor in a Musical (Perkins)
  • Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Pert Kelton)
  • Best Scenic Design (Musical) (Peter Larkin)
  • Best Costume Design (Alvin Colt)
  • Best Choreography (Joe Layton)
  • Best Conductor and Musical Director (Abba Bogin)
  • Best Stage Technician (James Orr)

Cecil Kellaway won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[4]

Recordings[edit]

Bing Crosby recorded "The Music of Home" on January 28, 1960[11] and it was issued on a 45rpm disc by RCA Victor.[12]

Barbra Streisand recorded "Never Will I Marry" for The Third Album in 1964,[13] and sang it live in her early club act.

Nancy Wilson recorded "Never Will I Marry" on Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley (1962).[14]

Judy Garland performed "Never Will I Marry" frequently in the 1960s, including for her aborted 1962 album "Judy Takes Broadway" and on "The Judy Garland Show".

Caterina Valente performed the song in 1963 for her album "Valente In Swingtime" (2005).[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greenwillow mtishows.com, accessed November 20, 2016
  2. ^ Riis, Thomas Laurence. Greenwillow to Senor Discretion Himself, Frank Loesser, Yale University Press, 2008, ISBN 0300110510, p. 212
  3. ^ Dietz, Dan.Greenwillow "The Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals" (2014) (books.google.com), Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 144223072X, p.12
  4. ^ a b c " Greenwillow on Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed July 12, 2014
  5. ^ Hadleigh, Boze. "Broadway Babylon", Broadway Babylon: Glamour, Glitz, and Gossip on the Great White Way, Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony, 2013, ISBN 0307830136, p. 78
  6. ^ Rebello, Stephen. Psycho Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Open Road Media, 2010, ISBN 145320122X (no page #)
  7. ^ Filichia, Peter. "Greater Loesser" theatermania.com, October 17, 2004
  8. ^ " 'Greenwillow' Songs" ibdb.com, accessed November 20, 2016
  9. ^ " 'Greenwillow' Cast Al;bum" allmusic.com, accessed November 20, 2016
  10. ^ " 'Greenwillow' Awards" ibdb.com, accessed November 21, 2016
  11. ^ Baker, Richard. "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  12. ^ "45cat.com". 45cat.com. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ Barbra Archives: Records/The Third Album
  14. ^ Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley allmusic.com, accessed November 20, 2016
  15. ^ Valente In Swingtime/Love allmusic.com, accessed November 20, 2016

External links[edit]