Some online sources list a run of 611 performances. That seems almost certainly to be incorrect. At the time of the closing, the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune listed 520, while the Daily News and The Billboard (as it was then known) listed 521.
It’s possible that neither is exactly correct. The production opened on a Wednesday evening. It ran 65 weeks, if you count the first week as a whole week. In the past, it seems that sometimes performance totals listed at the end of a run were simply the number of weeks a show had played times eight, even when a show had not played eight performances during its first week. In this case, 65 weeks times 8 would equal 520, but the production would seem to have played only five performances during its first week. There may have been a couple of previews. We are listing 517 performances, basing that on 64 weeks of eight performances a week, and one week of five performances. It may be impossible at this time to determine exactly how many performances the production played.
Some online sources incorrectly list Ernest McChesney as Gabriel Von Eisenstein, while listing Ralph Herbert as the replacement in the role, but McChesney became ill shortly before opening night. Herbert played opening night and stayed in the show till the end of the run, except for vacations and absences due to illness. He was listed in the role in opening-night reviews, even if the playbill still listed McChesney. McChesney later took over temporarily when Herbert was ill, but that was just for a week or so.
Shelley Winters was originally billed as Shelly Winter in this production, which might lead you to wonder if perhaps this was not the same actress who later became famous as Shelley Winters, but it was. Shortly into the run, she added a second e to her first name as billed, making her Shelley Winter. She stayed in the cast for three-and-half months. If she was ever listed as Shelley Winters, we have not found evidence of it.
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