The National Home of Plain and Fancy
Book by Joseph Stein & Will Glickman
Music by Albert Hague
Lyrics by Arnold B. Horwitt
Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
A New Yorker and his sophisticated girlfriend drive to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania to sell a piece of property. On their journey theyfind themselves immersed in the unique culture of the Amish community, whose clothes, habits and peculiar dialect have remained the same for centuries.
Now a majestic Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres is the National Home of Plain and Fancy. The theatre celebrated its 25th anniversary of producing annual productions of the musical in 2011. Over 300,000 patrons have seen the delightful show in over 3,000 performances. The roster of actors who have made Amish Acres their home, include Broadway and international tour lead actors, show composers, directors, and New York casting directors. Plain and Fancy remains the stalwart as it has been surrounded by repertory Broadway musicals each season. Over 100 Broadway musicals have been produced at Amish Acres. The producing theatre has its own scenic shop, costume shop, rehearsal space and on campus housing.
Barbara Cook made her Broadway debut as Hilda Miller, going on to become Marian, the Librarian, in The Music Man. Bea Arthur was the understudy for Ruth. The car used in Act I, Scene I was a Ford Thunderbird. The brassiere worn in the hilarious scene by Hilda Miller was by Exquisite Form. Ruth Miller's dresswas by Oleg Cassini. Luggage was by Mark Cross. Fanny was playing at the Majestic with Ezio Pinza, The Pajama Game at the St. James with John Raitt, Silk Stockings at the Imperial with Don Ameche. Victor Borge was at the Golden in Comedy in Music and The Desperate Hours was at the Barrymore with Karl Malden and Paul Newman. The Playbill included the following warning, "In the event of an air raid alarm remain in your seats and obey the instructions of the management. Herbert R. O'Brien, Director of Civil Defense." The ad for Cadillac said, "At a conservative estimate, fifty per cent of all the motorists in America would rather own a Cadillac than any other automobile." Steak dinner complete with four courses at the Holland House Tavern, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, was advertised for $2.95. The original cast album was available from Capitol Records in both Long Play and Extended Play.
The Original Broadway Cast
Once upon a time, a simple, unpretentious and tuneful musical comedy could arrive on Broadway, delight audiences for a year, make money, then depart for the road, summer stock, and the community theatre circuits, making way for the next new musical. Plain and Fancy is a choice example of the kind of expert, enjoyable, professional show that was standard fare on Broadway in the 1950s. More...
Will Glickman (1910 - 1983) was an American playwright who frequently collaborated with Joseph Stein. Glickman made his Broadway debut in 1948 with sketches he and Stein wrote for the revue Lend an Ear. The two went on to collaborate on Mrs. Gibbons' Boys, Alive and Kicking, Mr. Wonderful, The Body Beautiful, and Plain and Fancy, which proved to be their biggest success, garnering a Tony nomination for Best Musical.
Glickman's television credits include adaptations of The Desert Song and The Chocolate Soldier. He also wrote scripts for The DuPont Show of the Month and The United States Steel Hour, and collaborated with Fred Saidy and Neil Simon, among others, on Satins and Spurs, an original musical for Betty Hutton, which was broadcast by NBC in September 1954. The Will Glickman Award, administered by the Will Glickman Foundation and Theatre Bay Area, has been bestowed since 1984. The annual award, presented to the author of the best play to make its world premiere in the San Francisco Bay Area, comes with a $4,000 check. Past winners include Denis Johnson and Tony Kushner. Rajiv Joseph's The North Pool was the 2011 recipient. Source: Wikipedia.org
Albert Hague (October 13, 1920 – November 12, 2001) was a German-born songwriter, composer, and actor. Hague was born as Albert Marcuse to a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany. His father, Harry Marcuse, was a psychiatrist and a musical prodigy, and his mother, Mimi (née Heller), a chess champion. His family considered their Jewish heritage a liability and raised him as a Lutheran. Hague came to America in 1939 on scholarship to the University of Cincinnati. After graduating in 1942, he served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.
Hague's Broadway Musicals include Plain and Fancy (1955), Redhead (1959), and The Fig Leaves Are Falling (1969, with lyrics by Allan Sherman). Famous songs he wrote include "Young and Foolish", "Look Who's in Love" and "Did I Ever Really Live?" He was the composer for the TV musical cartoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the musical version. He also was an actor, most notably on the TV series Fame, where he played Benjamin Shorofsky, the music teacher. It was a part he originated in the film of the same name. Albert Hague also played a small role in the movie Space Jam, as the psychiatrist that the Professional Basketball players go to when they lose their "skill". His wife, Renee Orin, a singer, with whom he often collaborated, died, aged 73, in 2000 from lymphoma. They had been married since 1951. They had two children. Albert Hague died at age 81 from cancer at a hospital in Marina del Rey, California in 2001. He is survived by his two children. Source: Wikipedia.org
Arnold B. Horwitt Author, lyricist ("Young and Foolish"), and screenwriter, educated at New York University (Bachelor of Arts) and at the Columbia School of Journalism (Master of Science). He wrote the Broadway stage scores for "Plain and Fancy", "The Girls Against the Boys", "Are You With It?", and "Make Mine Manhattan". While serving in the military during World War Two, he wrote soldier shows. In addition, he wrote sketches for "Call Me Mister" and "Inside USA". Joining ASCAP in 1946, his other popular-song compositions include "Saturday Night in Central Park", "Here I Go Again", "I Fell in Love With You", "Gentleman Friend", "This Is My Beloved", "This Is All Very New to Me", "Plenty of Pennsylvania", "Old Fashioned Girl", "Follow Your Heart", "Lolita", and "I Gotta Have You". Source: imdb.com
Joseph Stein (May 30, 1912 – October 24, 2010) was an American playwright best known for writing the books for such musicals as Fiddler on the Roof and Zorba. Born in New York City to Jewish parents, Charles and Emma (Rosenblum) Stein, who had emigrated from Poland, Stein grew up in the Bronx. He graduated in 1935 from CCNY, with a B.S. degree, then earned a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University in 1937. He began his career as a psychiatric social worker from 1939 until 1945, while writing comedy on the side. A chance encounter with Zero Mostel led him to start writing for radio personalities, including Henry Morgan, Hildegarde, Tallulah Bankhead, Phil Silvers, and Jackie Gleason. He later started working in television for Sid Caesar when he joined the writing team of Your Show of Shows that included Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Larry Gelbart.
Stein made his Broadway debut contributing sketches written with Will Glickman to the 1948 revue Lend an Ear. His first book musical came about when Richard Kollmar, husband of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, asked him to write a musical about Pennsylvania that would promote the state as Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! had its namesake. Stein and his writing partner Will Glickman were drawn to the Amish community of Lancaster County. They purchased a 50-cent tourist book filled with Pennsylvania Dutch slang and returned to New York to write Plain and Fancy, which opened on Broadway on January 27, 1955 and ran for 461 performances. It was an "old-fashioned, low-pressure alternative set among the Pennsylvania Dutch. It was pleasant and certainly suitable for the family trade." The musical has been playing at The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana annually since 1986, and surpassed 3,000 performances as of 2010. Richard Pletcher, founder and producer, dedicated The Round Barn Theatre stage to Stein in 1997 during its production of The Baker's Wife. The theatre has produced eight of Stein's musicals since then.
His greatest success came from writing the book for the 1964 musical play Fiddler on the Roof, for which he won three major awards, including two Tonys. He later wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation. Stein's additional Broadway credits include Alive and Kicking, Mr. Wonderful, The Body Beautiful, Juno, Take Me Along, Irene, Carmelina, The Baker's Wife, Rags, Enter Laughing and its musical adaptation, So Long, 174th Street. He also wrote the plays Mrs. Gibbons' Boys and Before the Dawn. He co-wrote, with Carl Reiner, the screenplay for the film adaptation of Enter Laughing. The Baker's Wife, written with Stephen Schwartz, was directed by Trevor Nunn in London in 1989 where it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Musical of the Year. Stein wrote the book for the musical All About Us, with a score by Kander and Ebb, based on The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder.
It premiered at the Westport Country Playhouse in April 2007.
The York Theatre featured Stein's Take Me Along, Carmelina, and Plain and Fancy as its 2006 "Musicals in Mufti" staged concert series. Stein revised Carmelina reducing it to a cast of seven from its original Broadway version for the York reading. Its 2007 series featured four additional Stein musicals, Zorba, Enter Laughing: The Musical (renamed from So Long, 174th Street), The Body Beautiful, and The Baker's Wife. The readings are presented in concert format in mufti, in street clothes without scenery or props. Under Artistic Director James Morgan, the York Theatre went on to produce a critically acclaimed fully staged off-Broadway production of Enter Laughing: The Musical from September 3, 2008 through October 12, starring Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker. It was nominated for a 2009 Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding revival. A Broadway transfer has been announced.
Victoria Clark starred in the City Center Encores! Production of Marc Blitzstein and Joseph Stein’s Juno. Directed by Garry Hynes, with guest music direction by Eric Stern and musical staging by Warren Carlyle, Juno played for five performances, from March 27 – 30, 2008 at New York City Center and was the first presentation since the original Broadway staging in 1959 to use the original orchestration by Blitzstein, Hershey Kay and Robert Russell Bennett. Juno, with music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein and book by Joseph Stein is based on the 1924 play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey. It originally opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater on March 9, 1959, starring Shirley Booth and Melvyn Douglas and played a total of sixteen performances. Songs include "I Wish It So", "We’re Alive", and "One Kind Word".
In January 2008, Joseph Stein was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He was honored by The Dramatists Guild of America with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and by the York Theatre with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre in 2007. Joseph Stein was awarded the prestigious York Theatre Company's Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre in 2007 Other organizations to honor Mr. Stein include Writers and Artists for Peace in the Middle East, which gave him a Distinguished Achievement Award; the Walnut Street Theatre, which gave him the Edwin Forrest Award for outstanding contributions to the theatre in 2001; the Alumni Association of City College, which awarded him the Townshend Harris Medal in 2004; and Encompass New Opera Theatre, which honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. Source: Wikipedia.org