Broadway '68: Flops Reexamined at NY's La MaMa, Feb. 12-28

News   Broadway '68: Flops Reexamined at NY's La MaMa, Feb. 12-28
 
Tony winner Debbie Gravitte, Tracey Berg, Paul Dobie and Annie Golden are among a cast of Broaday vets who will perform a concert of tunes from Broadway shows that 'failed' during the 1967-68 season.

Tony winner Debbie Gravitte, Tracey Berg, Paul Dobie and Annie Golden are among a cast of Broaday vets who will perform a concert of tunes from Broadway shows that 'failed' during the 1967-68 season.

Broadway '68 is being performed in NY at that legendary bastion of experimental theatre, La MaMa ETC, Feb. 12-28.

The director is Scott Wittman, who conceived and directed Broadway's Patti LuPone in Concert a few seasons back.

The cast also features Bobby Bianca, Beau Gravitte, Ned Hannah, Laura Kenyon, Maggie Moore, Joey Pizzi and George Smyros.

It's interesting to note that most of the shows from the '67-'68 season were completely eclipsed by the success of Hair, which workshopped at La MaMa before going on to the Public Theatre and Broadway (where it opened April 29, 1968). Among the less successful shows that season were Bob Merrill's Henry, Sweet Henry (which ran for 80 performances), Jule Styne and Yip Harburg's Darling of the Day (33 performances), Robert Waldman and Alfred Uhry's Here's Where I Belong (only 1 performance), Paul Nassau and Oscar Brand's The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N (28 performances) and Ernest Gold and Anne Croswell's I'm Solomon (7 performances).

In addition, there was Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1968, which ran for 52 performances, and Edward Thomas and Martin Charnin's Mata Hari, which closed in Washington, D.C., prior to its Broadway opening.

Shows with longer runs during the '67-'68 season included Walter Marks' Golden Rainbow (which ran until Jan. 12, 1969 and had a total of 383 performances), Kander and Ebb's The Happy Time (which ran until Sept. 28, 1968 and had a total of 285 performances) and Elmer Bernstein and Carolyn Leigh's How Now, Dow Jones (220 performances). Even more successful was George M! with music and lyrics by George M. Cohan, which had a run of 427 performances, from April 10, 1968-April 26, 1969.

Which of these shows will be represented at La MaMa?

An official announcement for Broadway '68 states only, "If you want to find out which shows Wittman and company are dipping into, you're gonna hafta come to the show."

La MaMa is at 74A E. 4th St. For tickets, $12, call (212) 475-7710.

-- By Rebecca Paller

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