Was 1964 Broadway's Greatest Year for Musicals? Dolly, Fiddler, Funny Girl and Other Groundbreakers

By Robert Viagas
15 May 2014

May 26: Another musical, another great star. This time it was future queen of TV comedy Carol Burnett in Fade Out—Fade In, a custom-written show about a movie theatre usherette who lives her dream of becoming a movie star. Despite drawing mixed reviews, this satire on Hollywood (though a much cuddlier one than What Makes Sammy Run?) proved to be box office gold until Burnett began suffering from an illness that was rightly or wrongly suspected to be artificial. Television was calling her, and this show marked Burnett’s farewell to Broadway for three decades. Though she performed many salutes to Broadway on her TV variety show, she did not return until the 1995 comedy Moon Over Buffalo. FO—FI had a score by Jule Styne, Comden and Green that was not among their best, but did include one showstopper, “Call Me Savage.” The supporting cast included Jack Cassidy, Tiger Haynes, Lou Jacobi and future “Gilligan’s Island” starlet Tina Louise.