52 minutes | Apr 13, 2021

Literary Men

Get ready to spare "half a moment" as hosts Bobby and Kristina discuss 2001's By Jeeves on episode eight of My Favorite Flop.   ABOUT BY JEEVES Based on the beloved series of novels and short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, By Jeeves tells the story Bertie Wooster, a young gentleman about town with a penchant for getting himself into personal difficulties (particularly with women), and his unflappable manservant Jeeves, who is inevitably left to elegantly rescue him. The musical features a book and lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical originally premiered in London in 1975 under the title Jeeves and was conceived by lyricist Tim Rice. Rice, however, did not stay with the project and was eventually replaced by playwright Alan Ayckbourn, who would also provide the musical's book and direction. After a troubled tryout in Bristol, the show finally opened in London's West End, but after receiving poor reviews, it closed after only a month. An original cast album was recorded and released, but it is extremely hard to find due to the fact that composer Andrew Lloyd Webber took the advice of producer Hal Prince to withdraw the album and use his compositions in future works. Music from the original production of Jeeves can be heard in Evita, Song & Dance, Sunset Boulevard, and more. Due to the fact that much of the original material had already been repurposed, the musical had to be completely reconstructed from the ground up for its revival. Now titled By Jeeves (to differentiate the "new" work), the show re-opened on May 1, 1996 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, and was transferred to London due to positive audience response. The American premiere took place at The Goodspeed Opera House the same year and had several regional productions before finally making it to Broadway in October of 2001. The Broadway production, which began performances just a month after the events of 9/11, closed after just 73 performances. A film recording of the musical, featuring Martin Jarvis as Jeeves and John Scherer as Bertie Wooster, was released in October 2001. It was filmed in a studio in Toronto after the pre-Broadway tryout in Pittsburgh.   Original Broadway Cast John Scherer as Bertie Wooster Martin Jarvis as Jeeves Donna Lynne Champlin as Honoria Glossop James Kall as Gussie Fink-Nottle Ian Knauer as Harold "Stinker" Pinker Emily Loesser as Stiffy Byng Heath Lamberts as Sir Watkin Bassett Don Stephenson as Bingo Little Becky Watson as Madeline Bassett Steve Wilson as Cyrus Budge III (Junior)
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