LP0313. WILDCAT, Original 1961 Cast, w.Lucille Ball, Edith Shaded Dog black label stereo RCA LSO-1060.
“WILDCAT is a musical with a book by N. Richard Nash, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, and music by Cy Coleman. The original production opened on Broadway in 1960, starring a 48-year-old Lucille Ball in her only Broadway show.
Nash had envisioned the main character of Wildy as a woman in her late twenties, and was forced to rewrite the role when Lucille Ball expressed interest not only in playing it but financing the project as well. Desilu, the company owned by her (soon-to-be ex-)husband Desi Arnaz, ultimately invested $360,000 in the show in exchange for 36% of the net profits, the rights to the original cast recording (ultimately released by RCA Victor), and television rights for musical numbers to be included in a special entitled LUCY GOES TO BROADWAY, a project that eventually was scrapped. Ball also was permitted to choose her leading man. Kirk Douglas's salary demands and heavy film schedule eliminated him from the running, and Gordon MacRae, Jock Mahoney, and Gene Barry were considered before she selected Keith Andes. Michael Kidd, who co-produced with Nash, directed and choreographed, and it was he who got songwriters Coleman and Leigh on board, making their Broadway debut.
The Philadelphia tryout opened on October 29, 1960 to a glowing review from VARIETY, although local critics were less enthusiastic. The scheduled Broadway opening had to be postponed when trucks hauling the sets and costumes to New York City were stranded on the New Jersey Turnpike for several days by a major blizzard. After two previews, the show opened on December 16 at the Alvin Theatre. Hampered by lukewarm reviews and Ball's lingering illness, it ran for only 171 performances.”