Saturday, March 29, 2008


Today indeed was interesting for Broadway history. The first thing is that today is the anniversary of Kander and Ebb's Woman Of The Year and the second is a very odd little musical that Charles Strouse and Lee Adams attempted on this date in 1966. It lasted all of one hundred and twenty seven performances. Interesting to note that Linda Lavin played the ingenue and Lesley Ann Warren played Lois Lane. The plot revolves around Superman's efforts to defeat Dr. Abner Sedgwick, a ten-time Nobel Prize-losing scientist who seeks to avenge the scientific world's dismissal of his brilliance by attempting to destroy the world's symbol of good. Additionally, Superman comes into romantic conflict with Max Mencken, a columnist for the Daily Planet newspaper, who resents Lois Lane's attraction to Superman.
The show opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on March 29, 1966. The production received generally positive reviews, but failed to catch on with the theater-going public and closed on July 17, 1966 after 129 performances. The main theme is the peril of moral relativism; as the song "We Need Him" puts it, "when the world's moral standards grow murky / we need him.
Photo stills can be seen in the documentary "Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman," as well as footage from the TV version.On May 14, 2007, the Reprise! program in Los Angeles presented a concert version of the musical with Patrick Cassidy his father's old role as Max Mencken, Cheyenne Jackson Superman, Jean Louisa Kelly as Lois Lane, Richard Kindas Dr. Sedgwick, and composer Charles Strouse in a special appearance as Perry White, at the Ralph Freud Theatre on the campus of UCLA.

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