Thursday, November 01, 2007

Old Broadway

In honor of Robert Goulet, someone has posted an excerpt of the musical The Happy Time, which won him a Tony for best actor in a musical. The Samuel Taylor play it was based on -- which had been filmed in 1952 with Louis Jourdan and Charles Boyer -- was a good choice for musicalization, being adapted from charming bittersweet stories about a family in small-town Quebec. It may have been too small a subject for 1968 Broadway, though (even Fiddler On the Roof, the obvious impetus for doing this material as a musical, has bigger themes and events in it; maybe audiences wanted this show to have a pogrom or two in it). And since it was done by the Hello, Dolly! team of producer David Merrick and director Gower Champion, both of whom specialized in big, loud and gimmicky shows, it was perhaps short on the charm that this subject matter needed.

But with some good songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a cast that included David Wayne as the crotchety grandfather, it must have been an enjoyable evening. Despite Goulet's not-too-convincing French-Canadian accent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"adapted from charming bittersweet stories about a family in small-town Quebec"

Just from a little reading,the family are from Ottawa actually. And are French immigrant Protestants at that!