Playbill for the Broadway production
|Music||Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
|Lyrics||Robert B. Sherman
Richard M. Sherman
Over Here! is a musical with a score by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman and book by Will Holt. The original Broadway production was directed by Tom Moore and choreographed by Patricia Birch, with scenic design by Douglas W. Schmidt and costumes by Carrie F. Robbins.
Over Here! was a follow-up to the Sherman brothers' World War II musical Victory Canteen, an off-Broadway production that featured 1940s icon Patty Andrews. The setting is a cross-country train trip in the United States during World War II (hence the name of the play, in contrast to the popular patriotic war anthem entitled Over There). The show begins as a nostalgic look at 1940s America (where fashion, music, big bands and swing dance dominates) but, quickly evolves into a social commentary about the fear of dying in battle, prejudice, and discrimination.
After thirteen previews, the show opened on March 6, 1974 at the Shubert Theatre, where it ran for 341 performances and became the top-grossing production of the 1974 Broadway season. It is largely credited as the Broadway musical which launched many careers.  The opening night cast included Patty and Maxene Andrews (of the Andrews Sisters) and newcomers John Travolta, Treat Williams, Marilu Henner, Samuel E. Wright, and Ann Reinking, all of whom went on to achieve successful careers. Despite still playing to capacity audiences, the show closed on January 4, 1975 under controversial conditions. "The producers blamed Patty and Maxine, claiming they wanted more money and made unreasonable demands, and cancelled the national tour. The Andrews sisters blamed the producers, claiming they had mismanaged the show from the beginning and were now using them as scapegoats." According to an article in The New York Times, the tour was cancelled due to a "salary dispute" between the Andrews sisters and the producers.
Radar online and the Official site reports that Cody Linley would be starring in an all-new production of Over Here! set to launch early in 2010 at the Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills and an official website showed open auditions. In an interview, Linley confirmed that he would play the role of Bill. The production has been postponed indefinitely.
The postponed 2010 production was an "all-new" production with a modified book by original playwright Will Holt, choreographed by Tony Stevens, designed by Royal Court designer Mark Walters with associate designer Christopher Hone and Costume Designer David Toser, featuring Music Supervision by David Barber. Dick Van Dyke had agreed to head an all-star cast; however, he was forced to withdraw days before the start date when his partner Michelle's illness became terminal. Unable to find an immediate replacement for Van Dyke at such short notice, the producers rescheduled the production to premiere in California in 2016, following which a US tour is being planned.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1974||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical||Janie Sell||Won|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Tom Moore||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Patricia Birch||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Carrie F. Robbins||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Set Design||Douglas W. Schmidt||Won|
|Outstanding Costume Design||Carrie F. Robbins||Won|
|Theatre World Award||John Driver||Won|
- Paddock, Terri.Sherman Bros’ Over Here Confirms Delay" whatsonstage.com, 19 December 2006
- Nimmo, Harry. The Andrews Sisters (2004), McFarland, ISBN 0-7864-1731-5, pp 366-371
- Calta, Louis. " Over Here! Tour is Off in Dispute", The New York Times, December 21, 1974, p. 18
- Snider, Mike.Cody Linley: Goodbye ‘Hannah,’ hello Broadway" usaweekend.com, February 4, 2010