Politics and Broadway shows are hit and miss. Hit: Born Yesterday, 1776. Miss: Ben Franklin in Paris, November. Presidents are featured: Annie, Abe Lincoln In Illinois. Presidents are subjects: Assassins. As we take a moment to honor the leader of our country on this President's Day, let's look at 2 shows about the office that have a lot in common.
The first is Teddy and Alice, a musical about Teddy Roosevelt, his family and his outspoken daughter, Alice. The other is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a musical about the White House - a concept musical about "The President" and the White House Staff.
Aside from a common address, the two shows have other things in common:
- Tried and true theatre stars in the lead: Len Cariou as Teddy Roosevelt (Teddy and Alice); Ken Howard as The President (1600 Penn)
- Brilliant composers of the score: John Phillip Sousa (Teddy and Alice); Leonard Bernstein (1600 Penn)
- Alan Jay Lerner: Creative Consultant (Teddy and Alice) and Book and Lyrics (1600 Penn)
- Beth Fowler: First Lady Edith Roosevelt (Teddy and Alice); Singing Ensemble (1600 Penn)
- Short run on Broadway: 11 previews, 77 performances (Teddy and Alice); 13 previews, 7 performances (1600 Penn)
|Alan Jay Lerner|
On the positive side, Teddy and Alice did feature a few up and comers - Richard H. Blake (Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, Wicked, RENT) - he was a young child in Teddy, Ron Raines (Follies 2011), and future Tony-winner Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains).
I hope, considering the material, the playwright and the (literally) all-star cast, that Broadway's next foray into politics, Gore Vidal's The Best Man, is a HUGE hit!