It was a very good year

Inside Track   It was a very good year
Forty years ago today, America landed on the moon.   As the New York Times beautifully summarized, 1969 proved to be a watershed year by many accounts.

It was a year marked by many milestones: Golda Meir became the forth Prime Minister of Israel; the Stonewall Riots broke new ground for the gay rights movement; Woodstock gave us peace and love; the murder of Sharon Tate gave us tragedy; kids were entertained by The Brady Bunch and Sesame Street; New York ruled the sports world with both the Mets and Jets taking home their respective top prizes.

It was also a pretty good year on Broadway—one with a lot of congruencies to this year. A few highlights…

  • A 22 year-old Ft. Worth native, Betty Lynn Buckley hopped off a bus in New York City and right onto a Broadway stage in 1776.  The show went on to win 3 Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical.

  • Katharine Hepburn starred as designer Coco Chanel in the musical, Coco.  It would be her only Broadway musical.

  • The Kander and Ebb musical Zorba was playing on Broadway until August of ’69.

  • The original Broadway production of Hair was at the Biltmore.

  • James Earl Jones took home his first Tony Award for The Great White Hope.

  • Linda Lavin was starring in Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers.  Lavin later won a Tony in the original production of Simon’s Broadway Bound, which will come back to Broadway this fall along side Brighton Beach Memoirs

  • Simon’s Promises, Promises (also on Broadway that year), got one hell of a score courtesy of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  Its Broadway run lasted four years.

  • Two 2009 Tony winners, Angela Lansbury and Jerry Herman, teamed-up for Dear World. At the time, Herman had three shows—Hello, Dolly!, Mame and Dear World—running simultaneously on Broadway.

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