|re: In 1971 or 1972, he, Prince and Wheeler considered it and decided against it (more in the post)|
|Last Edit: AlanScott 12:07 pm EST 01/11/21|
|Posted by: AlanScott 12:05 pm EST 01/11/21|
|In reply to: re: In 1971 or 1972, he, Prince and Wheeler considered it and decided against it (more in the post) - Michael_Portantiere 11:31 am EST 01/11/21|
|Prince wrote: "I had the pleasure of answering that we were about to open that show in Boston and obviously I was no longer interested."
Prince had produced Anouilh's Poor Bitos on Broadway in 1964, bringing over the two leads and the director (an American) of the fairly successful London production, with the rest of the roles recast with American actors. He loved the play, although he later realized that the production was too literal and he should have directed it himself for Broadway. It received generally favorable reviews here, although Kerr panned it. It closed in two weeks. You'd think that Anouilh might have been somewhat grateful since it was, to put it mildly, risky business to produce Anouilh on Broadway without names with significant drawing power in the cast. And sometimes even then, the plays failed. Rex Harrison's first Broadway show after My Fair Lady was Anouilh's The Fighting Cock, and Roddy McDowall (who won a Tony) was also in the cast. It ran 87 performances.
Poor Bitos was surely among the Anouilh plays least likely to attract Broadway audiences, but Anouilh still turned down Prince. Well, the second time, in 1971, Anouilh's agent said that Prince could have Thieves' Carnival if he wanted. In 1957, Anouilh might well have had no idea who Prince was.
I guess if Anouilh didn't care about money — I'm pretty sure he was well off — and he didn't want L'invitation au château, that was certainly his right, but it seems a bit silly to me.
Interestingly, Glynis Johns played Madame Desmermortes in Ring Round the Moon in Los Angeles — the play's Madame Armfeldt-like character — just around the time Night Music opened in London without here. She was rather too young for the role at the time. There's a whole strange saga there.
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