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Legs Diamond is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and Charles Suppon based on the Warner Brothers film The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960), with a screenplay by Joseph Landon. The music and lyrics are by Peter Allen, who starred as the title character in the Broadway production.

Legs Diamond
Original Cast Album
MusicPeter Allen
LyricsPeter Allen
BookHarvey Fierstein
Charles Suppon
BasisThe Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
by Joseph Landon
Productions1988 Broadway

The Almost Totally Fictitious Musical History of Legs Diamond follows the travails of its title character, a Depression-era mobster who wants to break into show business.

ProductionEdit

The musical opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on December 26, 1988 and closed on February 19, 1989 after 64 performances and 72 previews (far more than the usual 16-24 preview periods). Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman with choreography by Alan Johnson, the scenic design was by David Mitchell, costume design by Willa Kim, and lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Associate). The cast included Peter Allen (Jack Diamond), Julie Wilson (Flo), Randall Edwards (Kiki Roberts), Brenda Braxton (Madge), Joe Silver (Arnold Rothstein), Jim Fyfe (Moran), Christian Kauffmann (Bones), Pat McNamara (Devane), and Raymond Serra (Augie), Jonathan Cerullo (Tango Dancer).

The reviews were unanimously negative, with particular disbelief at Peter Allen's attempts to play so totally against type as a suave lothario. Frank Rich commented that the evening's most compelling drama was watching Allen figure out "what to do with his hands".[1] The failure of the musical was so total that it compelled the Nederlander Organization to finally sell the beloved but flop-prone Mark Hellinger Theatre to the Times Square Church, which still owns it.[2]

On Sunday, December 3, 2017, Legs Diamond celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a reunion concert at Feinstein's/54 Below, many of the original cast members reunited to perform. It was directed and produced by original cast member Jonathan Stuart Cerullo and starred Christine Andreas, Brenda Braxton, Randall Edwards, and Bob Stillman.

Song listEdit

A song cut from the show, "Come Save Me", had previously been recorded by Allen and Niki Gregoroff on Allen's 1985 Carnegie Hall album. It was later included in the Allen bio musical The Boy From Oz.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Original Broadway productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1989 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Julie Wilson Nominated
Best Choreography Alan Johnson Nominated
Best Costume Design Willa Kim Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Costume Design Nominated

DiscographyEdit

The Original Broadway Cast recording was released by RCA Victor (RCA Victor 7983-2-RC), now out of print. The most famous song "When I Get My Name in Lights" was re-done by Allen and his friend Harry Connick, Jr. on Allen's last album Making Every Moment Count. It was also included in the stage musical "The Boy From Oz" where the young Peter Woolnough (later Allen) sang it.[3]

Standard Edition
  1. Peter Allen - "Prelude/When I Get My Name In Lights" (4:56)
  2. Brenda Braxton - Speakeasy" (4:11)
  3. Julie Wilson & Peter Allen - "Applause/Knockers" (5:41)
  4. Randall Edwards - "I Was Made For Champagne" (5:07)
  5. Peter Allen - "Sure Thing Baby" (3:58)
  6. Carol Ann Baxter, Colleen Dunn, Deanna Dys, Gwendolyn Miller & Wendy Waring - "Speakeasy Christmas" (0:44)
  7. Raymond Serra, Christian Kauffmann, Jim Fyfe & Joe Silver - "Charge It To A.R." (2:21)
  8. Peter Allen & Julie Wilson - "Only An Older Woman" (3:39)
  9. Peter Allen & Randall Edwards - "Only Steal From Thieves" (3:28)
  10. Peter Allen - "When I Get My Name In Lights (Reprise)" (1:42)
  11. Peter Allen - "Cut Of The Cards" (2:25)
  12. "Gangland Chase (Instrumental)" (3:40)
  13. Peter Allen & Randall Edwards - "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" (3:37)
  14. Randall Edwards, Julie Wilson & Brenda Braxton - "The Man Nobody Could Love" (4:25)
  15. Julie Wilson - "The Music Went Out Of My Life" (4:40)
  16. Peter Allen - "Say It Isn't So" (4:46)
  17. Legs Diamond Original Broadway Cast - "Say It Isn't So (Reprise)" (1:12)
  18. Peter Allen - "All I Wanted Was The Dream" (2:58)
  19. Peter Allen & Julie Wilson - "Finale" (1:43)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rich, Frank"Review/Theater; 'Legs' Opens After 9-Week Preview"The New York Times, December 27, 1988
  2. ^ "Hellinger Theater Sold to Church"The New York Times, December 7, 1991
  3. ^ "Peter Allen Original Broadcast "Legs Diamond"". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 11 September 2015.

External linksEdit