The Screening Room: Bonnie Franklin Rocks Applause, 45 Years Ago Today

News   The Screening Room: Bonnie Franklin Rocks Applause, 45 Years Ago Today
 
Forty-five years ago today Applause, the musical adaptation of the backstage film classic All About Eve, opened on Broadway.

With music by Charles Strouse, midway in his career between Bye Bye Birdie and Annie, lyrics by Lee Adams and a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Applause ran 896 performances and won four 1970 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Leading Actress in a Musical for its star, Lauren Bacall.

However, the show made a star of Bonnie Franklin (Tony nominee for Best Featured Actress in a Musical), who played "Bonnie," a character portrayed as the ultimate gypsy. The show prefigured A Chorus Line in several ways, and included several future ACL originals, including Renee Baughman, Nicholas Dante and Sammy Williams in the chorus line.

See if you can spot them in this clip of the title song, from that year's Tony Awards broadcast. And see how many other shows you can recognize in the mashup that is part of their floor show.

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