Noël Coward’s Sail Away, starring Tony Award winner Elaine Stritch, opened at the Broadhurst Theatre October 3, 1961. The musical comedy would play one preview and 167 performances before closing February 24, 1962. The production garnered two Tony nominations, including Best Actress in a Musical for Stritch.
With book, music, lyrics, and direction by Coward, Sail Away tells the story of a hostess working on a cruise ship en route to Capri who falls in love with a younger passenger. The show was considerably revamped during out-of-town tryouts, at which time Stritch found her supporting character, the tart Mimi Paragon, made the central role and the original leading lady was let go and her role eliminated.
Coward's score includes the title song, "Something Very Strange," and the show-stopping "Why Do the Wrong People Travel," which Stritch reprised in her solo show Elaine Stritch at Liberty.
The production featured choreography by Joe Layton, scenic design by Oliver Smith, costume design by Oliver Smith and Helen Pons, and lighting design by Peggy Clark. The cast included James Hurst, Margalo Gillmore, Alice Pearce, Patricia Harty, Grover Dale, Charles Braswell, Evelyn Russell, Betty Jane Watson, Paula Bauersmith, and Paul O'Keefe.
Flip through photos of Sail Away below: