High Spirits

Original Broadway Production (1964)

Trivia & History

Gower Champion's aid was enlisted to help improve the show during the somewhat troubled (but far from disastrous) pre-Broadway tyrout. Among Champion's contributions was the choreographing of the scene changes so as to eliminate the blackouts between scenes and to give the show a more fluid feel.

The opening had been scheduled for March 31, 1964, but a postponement to April 7 was announced just before New York previews were to start.


When plans for the musical were first announced in April 1960, it was reported in the New York Times that the male lead (Charles Condomine) was "being shaped for Laurence Olivier," and that the production would open on Broadway in the fall of 1961. Also reported was that everyone involved was hoping that Jerome Robbins would direct and choreograph.

In February 1963, Noël Coward wrote in his published diary that he hoped to cast Gwen Verdon (as Elvira), Celeste Holm (as Ruth), Keith Michell (as Charles Condomine), and Kay Thompson (as Madame Arcati), with Bob Fosse directing and choreographing. ”However,” he wrote, ”ideal castings seldom come true.” And none of those did happen.

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