THEATRE / David Benedict on Theatre

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Don't get excited. Mary Tyler Moore (below) is not about to open a West End show, an evening of cabaret or, indeed, a supermarket. But she did once star in Breakfast at Tiffany's which, as we all know, was written by Edward Albee. Edward Albee?, I hear you cry? Well, Truman Capote wrote the original. Three years later, George Axelrod fashioned it into the movie - with help from the spectacularly good-looking George Peppard, Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy.

Then the producer, David Merrick, decided to turn it into a musical and everyone got completely over-excited. Originally named after the central character, Holly Golightly took the standard route and did try-out runs in Boston and Philadelphia. The response was less than rapturous. Merrick decided to fix things and hired a man with precisely one musical under his belt (the off-Broadway adaptation of Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener), Mr Albee.

He re-wrote the show, but nothing could save it, not even Tyler Moore's co-star, Richard Chamberlain, new-born after quitting Dr Kildare. Bob Merrill wrote the score, but everyone was expecting Moon River and Henry Mancini was nowhere in sight. While the show was still in (extended) previews, Merrick took the unprecedented step of calling a press conference and announcing: 'Rather than subject the critics and the theatre-going public to an excruciatingly boring evening, I have decided to close.' Albee's third Pulitzer - this time for Three Tall Women - will probably lead to major revivals of his neglected works. Fingers crossed for A Delicate Balance or All Over rather than Breakfast at Tiffany's.

(Photograph omitted)

Comments