Find Out Really Why Gone With the Wind, Annie 2, & Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Never Made It to Broadway
After its successful debut, Broadway Bound: The Musicals That Never Came To Broadway is back at Feinstein's/54 Below on October 25 with all-new stories of musicals that met their fate out-of-town. This exciting series offers a behind the scenes look at the musicals that were supposed to come to Broadway but never did…told by the actors, writers, and directors who were there! The event is hosted by The Untold Stories of Broadway author Jennifer Ashley Tepper and Behind The Curtain: Broadway’s Living Legends podcast host Robert W. Schneider.
Below, Robert teases the one-night-only concert event with three stories of big-named musicals that never made it to NYC: Gone with the Wind, Annie 2, and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Gone with the Wind
•Where it ran: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, 1973
•Creators: Score: Harold Rome & Book: Horton Foote
•Starring: Lesley Ann Warren
Why it never came in:
When the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo wanted an inaugural production, they staged a nine-hour adaptation of Gone With The Wind that was so successful they wanted to musicalize it. They hired American creators, called the show Scarlett, paired it down to a sensible four hours, and had a huge hit on their hands.
Their next stop was in London where the show ran a year. On opening night, perhaps as a warning of things to come, “Charlie”, the live horse that was used onstage, got so nervous during the burning of Atlanta, he relieved himself in front of the opening night crowd.
By the time, it got to Los Angeles, audiences and critics, who grew up on the film, felt that no musical could ever capture the charm of the movie, and the show closed on the road.
Annie 2: Miss Hannigan’s Revenge
•Where it ran: Kennedy Center, Washington DC, 1990
•Creators: M: Charles Strouse L: Martin Charnin B: Thomas Meehan
•Starring: Dorothy Loudon
Why it never came in:
At the closing performance of Annie, lyricist Martin Charnin stood onstage and told the audience that the story of Annie was not over and that a sequel to the musical was already in the works.
In 1990, it arrived at the Kennedy Center, called Annie 2: Miss Hannigan’s Revenge. The sequel would focus on the orphanage’s bitter old matron, the Tony Award-winning Dorothy Loudon, and her quest to get rid of Annie once and for all. When Daddy Warbucks is told that he must be married in order to stay as Annie’s legal guardian, he opens up a contest to find the right mother for Annie. His only stipulation is that Annie approves of the woman. Hannigan, disguising herself as a southern belle (Charlotte O’Hara), sweeps in, kidnaps Annie, replaces her with a look-a-like that will approve her, and attempts to win Daddy Warbucks’ love and money.
It is said that the opening night audience bore a strange resemblance to the opening night audience at Springtime for Hitler. They were livid that the once laughable Miss Hannigan could be so vindictive. And why didn’t Warbucks stay with Grace from the original? Also, why were there so many jokes about male hairdressers?
While the writers worked hard at improving the show and improved it they did, it was too late and no backers could be found.
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane: The Musical
•Where it ran: Theatre Under the Stars, 2002
•Creators: M: Lee Pockriss L: Hal Hackady B: Henry Farrell
•Starring: Millicent Martin & Leslie Denniston
Why it never came in:
Since it first hit movie screens, the camp classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, had been rumored to be adapted into a musical property. In the early ‘80s, it was rumored that Angela Lansbury might star in a Hal Prince directed production but nothing ever materialized. Then, in the late ‘90s, another rumor was that Bette Midler wanted to star in a musical version that would come to Broadway.
In 2002, with the original author in tow, the story was finally musicalized. However, they could only use what was in the novel, not what was in the screenplay. Audiences were confused as to why so many of their favorite elements and lines went missing (no “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy”) and why instead of Blanche screaming about a rat on her dinner plate, she instead sang a song called “I Still Have Tomorrow.”
With FX’s “Feud” being such a hit, it might be time for a new team to re-examine Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Don't miss Broadway Bound: The Musicals That Never Came To Broadway at Feinstein's/54 Below on October 25. Get a load of the lineup for each below.
Performers scheduled to appear at the 7pm include:
Performers scheduled to appear at the 9:30pm include:
Kevin David Thomas
Shows featured at the 7:00pm will include:
Richard Adler’s A Mother’s Kisses
Strouse & Charnin’s Annie 2: Miss Hannigan’s Revenge
Legrand & David’s Brainchild
Cy Coleman’s The Great Ostrovsky
Schmidt & Jones’ Grover’s Corners
Jacobson & Robert’s Hot September
Jack Herrick’s Lone Star Love
Maltby & Shire’s Love Match
Strouse & Birkenhead’s Minsky’s
Colby and Urbont’s Mrs. McThing
Hamlisch & Carnelia’s The Nutty Professor
Shows featured at the 9:30pm will include:
Cy Coleman’s 13 Days to Broadway
Comden & Green’s Bonanza Bound
Harold Rome’s Gone With The Wind
Barry Manilow’s Harmony
Maltby & Shire’s How Do You Do, I Love You
Bob Merrill’s The Prince of Grand Street
Leslie Bricusse’s Say Hello to Harvey
Hamlisch & Leigh’s Smile
Dubey & Karr’s We Take The Town
Pockriss & Hackady’s Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
Dempsey & Rowe’s The Witches of Eastwick