59 minutes | Apr 27, 2021

And I Was Beautiful

It's time to look "through the bottom of the glass" as hosts Bobby and Kristina discuss 1969's Dear World on episode nine of My Favorite Flop.   ABOUT DEAR WORLD Based on Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot, Dear World tells the story of three mad countesses who deviously scheme to stop businessmen from drilling for oil in the Parisian neighborhood of Chaillot in an attempt to let the forces of idealism, love, and poetry win over those of greed, materialism and science. The musical features a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Dear World was a passion project of composer Jerry Herman who had starred as the mime character in a college production of the play. He had wished to adapt the piece earlier in his career, however, the rights were unavailable as they'd already been given to another team. After the massive success of both Hello, Dolly! and Mame, though, Herman was finally able to obtain the rights and work quickly began to reunite the team and recreate the magic of the latter. The musical had a notably troubled road to Broadway that included three different directors and multiple changes to the script and score. Trouble continued during previews in New York and the show's opening was postponed several times. Finally, after impatient critics told the production they were going to review the show whether it officially opened or not, an opening night was finally scheduled for February 6, 1969, where it received mostly negative reviews and closed after 132 performances. Originally conceived as a chamber musical, Dear World fell victim to a massive production that effectively overwhelmed the simplicity of the original tale. After the Broadway closing, Herman, Lawrence, and Lee rewrote the show for licensing, "putting back the intimacy that had been undermined on Broadway." In the late 1990s, playwright David Thompson revised the material for a possible revival for the Roundabout Theatre Company. While that production never came to fruition, it did lead to a series of future productions and further revisals at The Goodspeed Opera House, Sundance, and The York Theatre Company featuring performances by legendary leading ladies Sally Ann Howes, Maureen McGovern, and Tyne Daly. Dear World finally had its West End premiere at London's Charing Cross Theatre in 2013 starring Betty Buckley, with direction and choreography by Gillian Lynne.   Original Broadway Cast Angela Lansbury as Countess Aurelia Jane Connell as Countess Gabrielle Carmen Mathews as Countess Constance Milo O'Shea as The Sewerman Kurt Peterson as Julian Pamela Hall as Nina William Larsen as The Chairman of the Board Joe Masiell as The Prospector Ted Agress as The Juggler Michael Davis as The Doorman Miguel Godreau as The Deaf-Mute John Taliaferro as The Peddler Gene Varrone as The Waiter Ty McConnell as The Busboy Clifford Fearl, Charles Karel, Zale Kessler, and Charles Welch as Members of the Board Nicole Barth, Bruce Becker, Toney Brealond, Jane Coleman, Jack Davison, Jacque Dean, Richard Dodd, John Grigas, Marian Haraldson, Tony Juliano, Gene Kelton, Carolyn Kirsch, Urylee Leonardos, Larry Merritt, Ruth Ramsey, Orrin Reiley, Patsy Sabline, Connie Simmons, Margot Travers, and Mary Zahn as The People of Paris
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