How closely do the collaborators of the new musical, Marty, adhere to the 1955 Oscar-winning film that inspired it?
Lyricist Lee Adams, the man who wrote "Put On a Happy Face" with composer Charles Strouse, his Marty collaborator, said in Playbill On-Line's Oct. 8-15 Brief Encounter interview that the creative team (including librettist Rupert Holmes) expanded some sequences, but the basic story of the homely butcher in the Bronx stays the same.
"The character of Clara [the girlfriend] was not really sharply defined," Adams said of the film (which itself was an expansion of an earlier TV production in the Golden Age of television). "We have painted her in larger colors and given her a back story — a father and problems of her own, so we fleshed that out."
He explained, "Our show is set in 1956, it could be set today, too. One of our challenges, of course, was to take this intimate story and broaden it into a musical without making it a big, splashy musical."