Obscure Musical Theatre Facts

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-"Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time"
-Broadwayworld International Database
-Internet Broadway Database

You think Neil Simon only writes plays?

He’s actually written the books to FOUR major musicals!

  • Promises, Promises
  • Little Me
  • Sweet Charity
  • They’re Playing Our Song

A fact about “Children of Eden”!

If you have the recording of Children of Eden, chances are you have the 1997 Papermill Playhouse cast recording. The 1991 original London recording is extremely rare, because when they were made there was a manufacturing defect that caused the majority of the CDs made to bronze over time, making them unplayable. Playable copies of this recording are treasured by collectors today.

Even rarer is a concept album version that Stephen Schwartz produced himself, which featured him on the piano. This was made available online for a very short amount of time, and only a handful of people possess copies of it, including Schwartz himself.

Gwen Verdon, often considered to be Broadway’s greatest dancing star of all time, was nicknamed “Boots” because of orthopedic shoes she had to wear to correct rickets.

Dean Jones starred in the original Broadway production of “Company” and was on the original recording, but then quit and was replaced by Larry Kert. When the show went to London (with Kert), CBS decided to just rerelease the original recording with Kert’s voice dubbed over Jones’s instead of making a new recording. If you listen to it with headphones, you can still hear Jones’s voice bleeding through behind Kert’s.

That must sound really creepy.

Marilyn Monroe and Mitzi Gaynor were both offered the role of Lola in the original Broadway production of “Damn Yankees” before it was given to Gwen Verdon.

Bob Fosse collapsed and died on the street in front of the National Theatre in Washington D.C. the very night that the national tour of his 1986 musical revival, Sweet Charity, opened there.

The characters in “A Chorus Line” are based on real life dancers.

In 1974, 24 dancers got together and discussed their lives and careers. The creative team of A Chorus Line taped their conversations, and edited them into a show. 

The first dog to play Sandy in the original Broadway production of “Annie” was saved from a pound and made a Broadway star.

Every succeeding Sandy was also rescued from the pound.

Aw, think of all the dogs they saved! :D

When the character of Billie Smith in Babes in Arms sings “My Funny Valentine”… she’s actually singing to the character named Valentine.

Funny, how this song has become so synomous with Valentine’s Day and all… but no one knows that that’s just the character’s name! Hehehe.

In the original production of “Cats” in London, Judi Dench played Grizabella. She tore her Achilles tendon, and then once she recovered, she returned to rehearsal only to trip while exiting the stage and fall head first into the orchestra seats. She was then replaced by Elaine Paige, who appears in the filmed stage production.

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