Thursday, January 23, 2020

MUSICAL OF THE MONTH: Applause: The Cast

This week, let's take a look at the people who were in the Musical of the Month - the multiple Tony nominated company of Applause. Among them are once and future TV and movie stars, legends of the Broadway stage, and even an original cast member of Sesame Street!

Musical of the Month:
The Cast

The Principals
There was plenty of star power in the main cast of the show, that is for sure!

Lauren Bacall in Applause

Lauren Bacall (Margo Channing): Wife of both Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards, Jr., Bacall was a Hollywood legend. But she was no stranger to the stage, either. In addition to her Tony-winning turn in Applause, she won another for Woman of the Year - both for Lead Actress in a Musical.

Len Cariou in Sweeney Todd

Len Cariou (Bill Sampson): The future Sweeney Todd made his Broadway musical debut in Applause, for which he was Tony nominated. His decades long career includes the original company of A Little Night Music, and the short-lived Teddy & Alice. For the past ten years, he's been featured on CBS's Blue Bloods.

Bonnie Franklin (left) in One Day at a Time

Bonnie Franklin (Bonnie): Franklin became a household name when she starred in the classic TV series One Day at a Time. Applause was her one and only Broadway role, and it earned her a Theatre World Award and a Tony Award nomination.

Penny Fuller (left)

Penny Fuller (Eve Harrington): She was Tony nominated for her portrayal of bad girl Eve, a role she got when she replaced the original actress out of town. She's been a Broadway baby for decades including a stint as Sally Bowles in the original production of Cabaret, the most recent revival of Sunday in the Park with George, and most recently as the Dowager Empress in Anastasia.

Brandon Maggart (left) in Sesame Street

Brandon Maggart (Buzz Richards): Applause brought him a Tony nod for Featured Actor in a Musical. With dozens of film, television and stage credits, he is definitely a working career actor. Fun fact #1: he was in the original cast of Sesame Street. Fun Fact #2: he is the father of Fiona Apple.

Robert Mandan (right) in Soap

Robert Mandan (Howard Benedict): Though he had five Broadway credits, he was best known for his TV role as Chester Tate in Soap, and later as Jack Tripper's father-in-law in Three's a Crowd.

Lee Roy Reams in 42nd Street
Lee Roy Reams (Duane Fox): After Applause, Reams went on to play Cornelius in the 1978 revival of Hello, Dolly!, a show he would later direct and choreograph (Carol Channing's final Broadway Dolly). He also created the role of Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, and took over roles in such shows as Beauty and the Beast and The Producers.

Ann Williams (left) in Applause

Ann Williams (Karen Richards): Williams only appeared on Broadway twice, first in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963) and in Applause (1970).

The Ensemble:
Notable members of the 30 member ensemble included:

Alan King in The Golden Girls

Alan King (Tony Host): He had 9 Broadway credits, including two stints in the Judy Garland show. He was perhaps even better known for various television and film appearances, including playing Blanche's on-again off-again lover, Mel Bushman on The Golden Girls.

Patti D'Beck

Patti D'Beck (Dancer): Applause marked her Broadway debut. She has gone on to be an associate choreographer for Tommy Tune and his protege, Jeff Calhoun. Credits include Grease!, My One and Only, The Will Rogers Follies, and the Bernadette Peters revival of Annie Get Your Gun.

Renee Baughman (center) in A Chorus Line
Renee Baughman (Dancer): Applause marked her Broadway debut. She originated the role of Kristine ("Sing!") in A Chorus Line.

Nicholas Dante (far right) with the
creative team of A Chorus Line

Nicholas Dante (Dancer): He co-wrote the book for A Chorus Line.

Sammy Williams (right) in
A Chorus Line

Sammy Williams (Dancer): A Tony winner for A Chorus Line, it is said that his role of Paul was based on the life of Nicholas Dante.


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