VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Dear World, Starring Angela Lansbury, 1969
By Brynn Cox
On this date in 1969, Dear World opened on Broadway following 45 troubled previews.
The musical, based on the play The Madwoman of Chaillot, marked Jerry Herman's followup to the hit musical Mame and was originally scheduled to open in December of 1968.
The production became media fodder as it repeatedly delayed scheduled openings. Two directors joined and exited the roster, production costs rose from $600,000 to $720,000, and top tickets soared to $12.50. Producer Alexander Cohen announced that the critics would be invited "when the show's potential has been realized."
The show eventually debuted to chilly notices. In his New York Times review, Clive Barnes lauded Angela Lansbury's performance despite the musical's weak material. "It is a memory worth treasuring in an evening that seems destined to be forgotten," he wrote. Lansbury won her second Tony Award for the performance.
This week, the musical made its UK premiere in a production led by Tony winner Betty Buckley.
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