|My Favorite Year|
Original Production Poster
|Basis||1982 film My Favorite Year|
The musical opened on Broadway at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater on December 10, 1992 and closed on January 10, 1993 after 36 performances and 45 previews. The cast included Evan Pappas, Tim Curry, Tom Mardirosian, Katie Finneran, Andrea Martin (in her Broadway debut), Josh Mostel, and Lainie Kazan, who reprised the role of Benjy's mother she had played in the film. The show was directed by Ron Lagomarsino and choreographed by Thommie Walsh, with scenic design by Thomas Lynch, costume design by Patricia Zipprodt, and lighting design by Jules Fisher, with associate lighting designer Peggy Eisenhauer.
The creative team constantly reworked the troubled production during previews.
My Favorite Year received mixed-to-negative reviews. The New York Times's Frank Rich called the musical "a missed opportunity, a bustling but too frequently flat musical that suffers from another vogue of the 1950s, an identity crisis," and disapproved of the melodramatic turn taken in the show's second act. Time magazine wrote that is a "barren Broadway musical."
An original cast recording was released on the RCA Victor label.
In March 2007, The Chicago Sun-Times revealed that Flaherty and Ahrens were "reworking the show with an eye on a new Broadway production." Flaherty said that "In hindsight, I think our decision to paint the musical in somewhat darker colors was a mistake." Among the revisions made to the show are two new songs, \incorporated into a March 2007 \production of the show at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, Chicago.
Musicals Tonight! in New York City presented a staged concert in April 2003.
The York Theatre Company Musicals in Mufti in New York City presented a staged concert in December 2014. Lynn Ahrens reminisced about the first time Andrea Martin sang "Professional Showbizness Comedy": "It bombed (but) By the time we got done with our rewrites...she stopped the show."
Source: Internet Broadway Database
- Evan Pappas as Benjy Stone
- Tim Curry as Alan Swann
- Tom Mardirosian as King Kaiser
- Andrea Martin as Alice Miller
- Lannyl Stephens as K.C. Downing
- Lainie Kazan as Belle May Steinberg Carroca
- Josh Mostel as Sy Benson
- Ethan Phillips as Herb Lee
- Paul Stolarsky as Leo Silver
- Thomas Ikeda as Rookie Carroca
- David Lipman as Uncle Morty
- Mary Stout as Aunt Sadie
- Katie Finneran as Tess
In the 1950s, Benjy Stone (a Mel Brooks-type), is a sketch writer for a live television variety show starring King Kaiser (a Sid Caesar-type) ("Twenty Million People"). Signed for a guest appearance is Alan Swann (an Errol Flynn-type), a one-time movie idol whose career was disrupted by his addiction to alcohol and loose women. Benjy writes a sketch for Swann about a Musketeer and a princess being captured ("The Musketeer Sketch"). The task of keeping him sober and celibate until airtime falls to Benjy, who soon finds himself involved in a sequence of shenanigans.
Various characters, including Benjy's pushy mother Belle Steinberg Carroca and Alan Swann's estranged daughter Tess, complicate Benjy's task. The other writers, Sy, Alice and Herb, add to the chaos.
Differences from the original film
- In the film, there is a subplot surrounding King Kaiser angering Karl Rojeck, a corrupt union boss with a comedy sketch depicting Rojek as a stereotypical gangster. Neither the character of Rojeck nor the sketch that angered him is included in the plot of the musical.
- In the film's epilogue, Benjy relates that Swann agreed to visit his daughter Tess in person; in the musical, Tess invites Swann to an award ceremony, and they meet there. They also reunite in the final song.
- In the film, Swann revealed he'd been keeping tabs on his daughter for sometime, without ever meeting her face to face. In the musical, Swann revealed he hadn't seen Tess in three years.
- The Musketeer sketch is minor to the plot in the film; in the musical, it is central to the plot, being that it is the sketch Benjy wrote for Swann. Four of the show's songs are dedicated to it.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1993||Tony Award||Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Tim Curry||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical||Andrea Martin||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Josh Mostel||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Andrea Martin||Won|
|Outstanding Orchestrations||Michael Starobin||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Lainie Kazan||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||Andrea Martin||Won|
- My Favorite Year listing with production notes, song list and commentary wetellthestory.com, retrieved February 28, 2010 Archived March 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Rich, Frank (1992-12-11). "Review: A Rosy View of a Golden Age". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
- "A Favorite No More". Time. 1992-12-21. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
- Weiss, Hedy (2007-03-09). "A new 'Year': Playwrights breathe livelier life into musical". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
- Olson, John."My Favorite Year Review", talkinbroadway.com, April 3, 2007
- My Favorite Year listing Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine musicalstonight.org, retrieved February 28, 2010
- Gordon, David. "Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty Recall Memories of 'My Favorite Year'" theatermania.com, December 5, 2014
- "Internet Broadway Database listing" ibdb.com, retrieved February 28, 2010