The Boy Friend

Broadway Production (1954)

Trivia & History

The Broadway version is much different than the London version, expanding the orchestra and making the tone of the proceedings more like an American musical comedy.


Vida Hope and Sandy Wilson were locked out of the theatre during rehearsals at one point because they objected to the "vulgarization" of the show.


The orchestra caused quite a stir. It performed in the style of a 20s jazz band and was called "The Bearcats." They wore straw hats and would stand during their solos in instrumental portions, sometimes receiving applause from the audience.


For the first three weeks of the run, playbills listed no musical director. Starting in the fourth week, Anton Coppola was listed. We think, but we are not positive, that he was musical director on opening night, but for some reason unlisted.


Early in the run, the first number in the second act was listed in the playbill simply as "Sur La Plage," but by mid-January 1955, "On the Beach" was added in parentheses.


The production, unusually for the time, did not play an out-of-town tryout. There were previews in New York, but we have not been able to determine how many previews were played.  Previews for Broadway shows were rarely advertised at this time. They usually were sold as theatre parties. Variety reported one preview was played, but other press reports suggested that a week of previews was played.

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