Portofino (musical)

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Music Louis Bellson
Will Irwin
Lyrics Richard Ney
Sheldon Harnick
Book Richard Ney
Productions 1958 Broadway

Portofino is a musical with a book by Richard Ney, lyrics by Ney and Sheldon Harnick, and music by Louis Bellson and Will Irwin.

Set in a piazza in the Italian resort town of Portofino, the convoluted plot involves auto-racing duke Nicky; his Texan rival Kitty; his granddaughter Angela, a practicing witch; the local padre; and his look-alike Guido, an emissary from the devil.

Ney, an unsuccessful actor once married to Greer Garson, was also the show's sole producer. When the critics crucified it during its Philadelphia tryout, he democratically left it to the cast to decide if they should continue to New York City. They voted to go.

The Broadway production, directed by Karl Genus and choreographed by Charles Weidman and Ray Harrison, opened on February 21, 1958 at the Adelphi Theatre, where it ran for three performances. The cast included Georges Guétary as Nicky, Helen Gallagher as Kitty, Jan Chaney as Angela, and Robert Strauss as both the padre and Guido.

Gallagher later was quoted as saying the three performances of Portofino were "the longest . . . of my life."



Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum, published by St. Martin's Press (1991), page 28 (ISBN 0-312-06428-4)

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