Jerome Chodorov, Librettist and Playwright Who Turned My Sister Eileen Into Wonderful Town, Dead at 93

News   Jerome Chodorov, Librettist and Playwright Who Turned My Sister Eileen Into Wonderful Town, Dead at 93
Jerome Chodorov, the playwright whose My Sister Eileen inspired the musical Wonderful Town, died of natural causes Sept. 12 at the age of 93.

Through a press agent, his daughter, Susan Chodorov, confirmed her father's passing. Over a long career, Mr. Chodorov was a director and screenwriter, as well as a playwright and librettist.

With Joseph Fields he penned the comedy My Sister Eileen, based on Ruth McKenney's stories of Ohio sisters moving to Greenwich Village. The partners later wrote the libretto for its stage musical version, Wonderful Town, which is currently enjoying a Broadway revival at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

My Sister Eileen also had a 1942 film version, with screenplay by Fields and Chodorov, that starred Rosalind Russell (who would later star in Wonderful Town). A movie musical, "My Sister Eileen," was produced in 1955 with Betty Garrett, Jack Lemmon, Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall, among others.

Joseph Fields was the man who suggested to Rosalind Russell that she star in a stage musical version of My Sister Eileen. When she agreed, the show was hastily written by the playwriting partners and composer Leonard Bernstein and lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It was Russell's Broadway debut. No film version of Wonderful Town was made, but a TV production of the show starred Russell and begat a second cast album of the work.

Wonderful Town won the 1953 Tony Award for Best Musical. Mr. Chodorov's theatre writing credits include Junior Miss, Anniversary Waltz, The Ponder Heart, Tunnel of Love, The Girl in Pink Tights, The French Touch, I Had a Ball, A Talent for Murder, Anastasia Affaire (with Guy Bolton and songs by Wright and Forrest), A Community of Two, Three Bags Full, the revised book of The Great Waltz, My Sister Eileen, Wonderful Town, sketches for Alive and Kicking and (according to the Internet Broadway Database, a 1938 play called Schoolhouse on the Lot.

His screenplays include "Junior Miss," "Happy Anniversary," "Those Endearing Young Charms," "My Sister Eileen" and "Lousiana Purchase."

The plays and musicals that he directed in New York and Los Angeles include Make a Million, Christine and The Gazebo.

Mr. Chodorov was a native New Yorker.

Today’s Most Popular News: