The Street, 1956

Ethan Mordden

in Coming up Roses

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780195140583
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848867 | DOI:
The Street, 1956

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The problem with The Vamp (1955) was not Carol Channing. In fact, in this era, the problem with star vehicles was never the star. While Channing won unqualified raves, the musical itself was described as “the loudest, fastest, and most boring musical comedy in some time,” by Henry Hewes in the Saturday Review; “really no good at all,” said Wolcott Gibbs in The New Yorker. Even Ethel Merman had a financial failure, though it acted like a hit—Happy Hunting (1956), which ran a year, at first to soldout houses. If we except such obscure and unpardonable misses as Buttrio Square (1952), Carnival in Flanders (1953), Hit the Trail (1954), Shangri-La (1956), Rumple (1957), and especially Portofino (1958), by all accounts the worst musical of the decade, Happy Hunting must have the most terrible libretto perpetrated in this time. Other musicals during the period are discussed.

Keywords: libretto; star vehicles; Carol Channing; The Vamp; Ethel Merman; Happy Hunting

Chapter.  7571 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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