Mr. Wonderful (musical)

Mr. Wonderful is a musical with a book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman, and music and lyrics by Jerry Bock, Larry Holofcener, and George David Weiss.

Mr. Wonderful
MusicJerry Bock
Larry Holofcener
George David Weiss
LyricsJerry Bock
Larry Holofcener
George David Weiss
BookJoseph Stein
Will Glickman
Productions1956 Broadway

Written specifically to showcase the talents of Sammy Davis Jr., the thin plot, focusing on entertainer Charlie Welch's show business struggles, primarily served as a springboard for an extended version of Davis's Las Vegas nightclub act.

The Broadway production, staged by Jack Donohue, opened on March 22, 1956, at The Broadway Theatre, following a tryout in Philadelphia on February 20, 1956.[1] In addition to Davis, the cast included his father Sammy Sr. and uncle Will (who together with Davis had performed as the Will Mastin Trio), Olga James, Jack Carter, Chita Rivera, Malcolm Lee Beggs, Marilyn Cooper and Patricia Marshall.[2][3]

The Broadway production was panned by critics but surprised everyone, including the producers, to go on to be a commercial success, recouping its $225,000 investment.[1] Davis had initially signed a contract for one year but, with the poor critical reception, made other commitments for the following year and, as he was considered irreplaceable,[1] the play closed on February 23, 1957, after 383 performances.

Song list edit

Act I
Act II
  • "I'm Available" – Rita's Audition
  • "There" – Charlie Welch
  • "Miami" – Lil Campbell and Ensemble
  • "I've Been Too Busy" – Ethel Pearson, Fred Campbell, Lil Campbell and Charlie Welch
  • "Mr. Wonderful" (Reprise) – Ethel Pearson
  • "Sing, You Sinners"
  • "Daddy, Uncle and Me"
  • "Because of You"
  • "That Old Black Magic"
  • "Birth of the Blues"
  • "It's All Right With Me"
  • "Dearest (You're the Nearest to My Heart)"
  • "Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)" (From Show Girl)

Finale: "Mr. Wonderful" – Entire Company

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Jr. Davis Carves 'Turkey' Into B.O. Winner Vs. Critics". Variety. October 24, 1956. p. 1.
  2. ^ Naden, Corinne J. (2011). The Golden Age of American Musical Theatre: 1943-1965. Scarecrow Press. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-0-8108-7734-4.
  3. ^ III, Harris M. Lentz (24 May 2019). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018. McFarland. pp. 251–. ISBN 978-1-4766-7033-1.

External links edit