|Music||Jimmy Van Heusen|
|Book||Roger O. Hirson |
|Basis||Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse|
Walking Happy is a musical with music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn and book by Roger O. Hirson and Ketti Frings. The story is based on the 1916 play Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse. The musical was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The production opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 26, 1966 and ran for 161 performances. Directed by Cy Feuer with choreography by Danny Daniels, the cast included George Rose as Henry Hobson, Norman Wisdom as Will Mossop, Louise Troy as Maggie Hobson, and Ed Bakey as George Beenstock. Conductor Herbert Grossman served as Music Director.
In Lancashire, England in 1880 the men of the town gather in the local pub, with much drinking. The widower Henry Hobson, owner of a boot shop, has three daughters, and he wishes them to marry. The local leader of the temperance league, George Beenstock, has two sons. The two younger Hobson daughters flirt with the Beenstock sons, while Hobson tells his eldest daughter Maggie that her time has passed. Maggie decides to make a match with Will, a skilled shoemaker, even though Will is engaged to another. Will and Maggie establish their own boot shop. Meanwhile, Hobson's drinking continues, his young daughters try to take Maggie's place at his shop, and Will and Maggie marry. Hobson and Beenstock settle on a dowry for the young ladies. Hobson realizes that he needs Maggie and Will, and they become partners.
Walter Kerr reviewed the musical for the New York Times. He wrote that the musical was "easygoing, unpretentious, minor-league...a light, slight, occasionally charming pastime." The "principal asset" is Norman Wisdom, a "zany original".
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1967||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Composer and Lyricist||Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Norman Wisdom||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Louise Troy||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Gordon Dilworth||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Danny Daniels||Nominated|
- Cast album database castalbumdb.com
- Kerr, Walter. Review, "New York Times", November 28, 1966, p. 47