LP0364. MISS LIBERTY (Irving Berlin), Original 1949 Broadway Cast, w.Eddie Albert, Mary McCarty, Allyn McLerie. Columbia early green label ML 4220, in plain jacket.
“MISS LIBERTY is a 1949 Broadway musical with a book by Robert E. Sherwood and music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. It is based on the sculpting of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. The score includes the song ‘Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor’, a musical setting of Emma Lazarus's sonnet ‘The New Colossus’ (1883), which was placed at the base of the monument in 1903.
During World War II, Robert Sherwood was deeply moved when he saw what the Statue of Liberty meant to American GIs who were being shipped overseas, and he wanted to write a story about this symbol of freedom. While crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary with 15,000 recruits, the playwright had been ‘deeply moved’ and ‘greatly impressed by the emotion that sight of the statue generated among these soldiers’. Upon meeting Irving Berlin in England, he invited him to compose the score, and Berlin suggested Moss Hart become part of the creative team as a co-producer and director. The book and score were completed in May 1949 and a cast of fifty-five began rehearsals. The musical opened in Philadelphia on June 13 and, despite mostly negative reviews, the four-week-long run was a sellout, resulting in a profit of $175,000.
With an advance sale of $500,000, the Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre on July 15, 1949 and closed on April 8, 1950, following 308 performances. Directed by Moss Hart and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the cast included Eddie Albert as Horace Miller, Allyn McLerie as Monique DuPont, Mary McCarty as Maisie Doll, Philip Bourneuf as Joseph Pulitzer, and Charles Dingle as James Gordon Bennett, with Maria Karnilova and Tommy Rall among the supporting players. Oliver Smith designed the sets and costumes.”