Thursday, September 12, 2019

#TBT: Playbill: Me and My Girl: May 1987

During the 1986-1987 season, my favorite new musical wasn't everyone else's favorite new musical. Actually, my favorite new musical wasn't really a new musical at all. While everyone was weeping and wailing over Les Miserables, I was crying tears over joy over the British import of a 50 year old musical, Me and My Girl. Truth be told, the show was a huge hit, critical darling, and award-winner (13 Tony nods, 3 wins - including Best Actor (Robert Lindsay) and Best Actress (Maryann Plunkett). It was also featured one of my favorite character actresses, Jane Connell. The show was old-fashioned in all the best ways - it was funny, glamorous, tuneful and full of big production numbers. It knew it was old school, and played it huge! The scenery was also amazing - I recall a town car made out of suitcases, and a rolling backdrop that played behind it as it "drove" through the English countryside. There was also a full-scale mansion, complete with dancing suits of armor and portraits that came to life (way before Harry Potter!). Then there was the signature song and dance number, "The Lambeth Walk." Once you heard it, it took weeks to get it out of your head.

After more than three years, and long after the original cast left, Me and My Girl closed, but never lost its charm and finesse. It was the first full-scale show to play the Marquis Theatre, and to this day, it still holds the record for the longest running show to play there.

May 1987

Me and My Girl
Marquis Theatre
11 previews, 1,420 performances
May 1987 Cast: Robert Lindsay, Maryann Plunkett, Jane Connell, George S. Irving, and Jane Summerhayes
Book by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber. Book revised by Stephen Fry and Mike Ockrent. Music by Noel Gay. Lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber.

It was a good time for variety on Broadway, new Neil Simon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, genuine classics like The Mikado, Blithe Spirit and Pygmalion, and a huge number of big name actors! There were TV stars galore - Hal Linden, Mary Tyler Moore, Peter Marshall, Linda Lavin; stage and screen stars from here and London - Peter O'Toole, Amanda Plummer, John Mills, Lynn Redgrave. And that month, you could have seen Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader live on stage.


Robert Lindsay and George S. Irving

Jane Connell and George S. Irving

Jane Summerhayes and Robert Lindsay

The Company at the 1987 Tony Awards


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...