February 6 marks the 52nd anniversary of Dear World, the musical by Jerry Herman, Jerome Lawrence, and Robert E. Lee, which opened at Broadway's Mark Hellinger Theatre (currently home to the Times Square Church) in 1969. The production starred Angela Lansbury, whose performance as Countess Aurelia earned her the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical—her second, after her 1966 win for Mame.
Dear World, an adaptation of Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot, tells the story of a countess (Lansbury) who schemes with her associates to stop businessmen from drilling for oil under the streets of their Parisian neighborhood. The production ran for 45 previews and 132 performances. It went go on to be revised by its creators and has since been revived numerous times, including a 2017 Off-Broadway staging by York Theatre Company, which featured Tyne Daly as Countess Aurelia.
Look Back Dear World on Starring Angela Lansbury on Broadway
In addition to Lansbury, the original Broadway production starred Milo O'Shea as The Sewerman, Jane Connell as Gabrielle, Carmen Mathews as Constance, Kurt Peterson as Julian, Pamela Hall as Nina, Will Larsen as the Chariman of the Board, and Ted Agress as the Juggler, alongside Nicole Barth, Bruce Becker, Toney Brealond, Jane Coleman, Michael Davis, Jack Davison, Jacque Dean, Richard Dodd, Clifford Fearl, Miguel Godreau, John Grigas, Marian Haraldson, Tony Juliano, Charles Karel, Gene Kelton, Zale Kessler, Carolyn Kirsch, Urylee Leonardos, Joe Masiell, James Maher, Ty McConnell, Larry Merritt, Ruth Ramsey, Orrin Reiley, Patsy Sabline, Connie Simmons, John Taliaferro, Margot Travers, Gene Varrone, Charles Welch, and Mary Zahn. Rounding out the company were M'el Dowd, Camila Ashland, Barbara Blair, John Grigas, and Merrill Leighton as standbys.
Directed and choreographed by Joe Layton, Dear World featured scenic design by Oliver Smith, costume design by Freddy Wittop, lighting design by Jean Rosenthal, and sound design by Robert Liftin with stage management by Robert L. Borod and Sal Pernice. For the complete cast and creative team, visit Dear World on the Playbill Vault.