The Playbill Vault Remembers Tony Award Winner Betty Comden

News   The Playbill Vault Remembers Tony Award Winner Betty Comden
Betty Comden, the legendary lyricist-librettist who — with her longtime writing partner Adolph Green — created such iconic musicals as Bells Are Ringing and On the Town, died Nov. 23, 2006, at the age of 89. The Playbill Vault highlights some of her many contributions to American theatre.

Comden and Green's first Broadway musical was 1944's On the Town, about three sailors on leave in New York City during World War II. They wrote the book and lyrics and also performed in the show, with Comden as Claire DeLoone and Green as Ozzie.

On the Town enjoyed a 462-performance run and has since been revived twice on Broadway. The first Broadway revival opened Oct. 31, 1971, at the Imperial Theatre and featured Phyllis Newman, Bernadette Peters and Donna McKechnie.

Read the 1971 On the Town Playbill here.

The second Broadway revival opened at the Gershwin Theatre Nov. 22, 1998, with Lea DeLaria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Mary Testa.

Read the 1998 On the Town Playbill here.

Featuring lyrics by Comden and Green, Wonderful Town, a musical adaptation of the play My Sister Eileen, made its Broadway premiere Feb. 25, 1953, at the Winter Garden Theatre. Rosalind Russell and Edie Adams starred as Ruth and Eileen Sherwood, two sisters who travel from Ohio to New York in search of romance and fortune. The show won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for Russell.

Read the 1953 Wonderful Town Playbill here.

In 2003 Wonderful Town was revived on Broadway with Donna Murphy and Jennifer Westfeldt in the lead roles.

Read the 2003 opening-night Wonderful Town Playbill here.

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