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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
7b47b-London-stage.jpg
London cast recording
Music Gene de Paul
Al Kasha
Joel Hirschhorn
Lyrics Johnny Mercer
Al Kasha
Joel Hirschhorn
Book Lawrence Kasha
David Landay
Basis 1954 film musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Productions 1982 Broadway
1985 West End
2003 Madrid
2005 Goodspeed Opera House
2006 West End revival
2007 U.S. regional

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a musical with a book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay, music by Gene de Paul, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. It is based on the 1954 Stanley Donen film of the same name which is, itself, an adaption of the short story "The Sobbin' Women," by Stephen Vincent Benét, based on the Ancient Roman legend of The Rape of the Sabine Women.

After a U.S. tour, the musical opened on Broadway in 1982 but quickly flopped. A more successful London production followed, and revised versions have met with success in U.S. regional theatres and in amateur productions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Contents

Synopsis

In Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, a man named Adam comes into town looking to hurriedly find himself a wife. While in town he meets Milly, a waitress at a local restaurant. Milly and Adam rush into marriage and immediately return to Adam's home in the mountains. As soon as they get home, Adam reverts back to his true self, an ill-mannered and inconsiderate slob. Milly quickly learns that it is not only she and Adam that will be living in his home together, his six brothers also live with him: Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon, all of whom also share Adam's love for all things disorderly. It is then when Milly decides to reform the brothers and help them change their ways. She teaches them to dance and then takes them into town to go to a dance. At the dance, the six brothers meet six girls they like and like Adam, now want to get married. The conflict begins when each of the six girls has her own jealous suitor. When they return home from the dance turned fight, Adam reads the brothers a story and they decide to kidnap the girls and bring them back home with them. At the start of Act II, the brothers humorously kidnap the girls and then cause an avalanche to fall and block the suitors way up to their house in the mountains. The girls are really upset by the time they reach the house. An angry Milly scolds the boys and sends them all to live in the barn, and Adam flees up the mountain to live by himself. They live there all through the winter, but by the time spring rolls around, the brothers and the girls are still in love and they move back into the house. Gideon goes up the mountain and attempts to get Adam to return home by delivering him the news that Milly had a baby girl. A changed Adam returns home to find his wife and newborn daughter waiting for him. The snow clears up and the angry suitors make their way up to the house in the mountains to find that the girls are happy and want to marry the brothers. At the end of the show, there is a wedding with seven couples and they all live happily ever after.

Productions

U.S. national tour and Broadway

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had a successful national tour and then opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on July 8, 1982 after fifteen previews. Directed by Lawrence Kasha and choreographed by Jerry Jackson, the cast included Debby Boone as Milly and David-James Carroll as Adam. It closed on July 11 after only five performances. It received a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score.

1985 West End and 2002 UK tour

The musical had a more successful West End production in 1985, starring Roni Page and Steve Devereaux and included Michaela Strachan in the supporting cast. It received a cast recording.

2003 Madrid

A Spanish production premiered at Teatro Nuevo Apolo on August 29, 2003, starring David Castedo as Adam and Xana García as Milly, and directed by Ricard Reguant with choreography by María Giménez.

2005 Goodspeed Opera House

A major revival ran from April 15, 2005 - June 26, 2005 at the Goodspeed Opera House (Connecticut). It starred Jacquelyn Piro Donovan and Burke Moses and was directed by Greg Ganakas with choreography by Patti Colombo. The production earned rave reviews from Variety and the New York Times. Two songs, "Where Were You?" and "I Married Seven Brothers" were added, "Glad That You Were Born" was revised, and the book was heavily rewritten. With a realistic approach, rustic orchestrations and a focus on the Oregon Trail, the show was quite different from its film predecessor. Plans for a 2005-2006 National Tour of this production failed.[1]

2006 West End revival

A production ran at the West End Haymarket Theatre from August 16, 2006 through November 18, 2006.[2]

Revised 2007 U.S. production

A revised version played at several venues, including the Paper Mill Playhouse (New Jersey) (April 11, 2007 - May 11), North Shore Music Theatre (May 29, 2007 - June 17), Theatre Under the Stars (June 26, 2007 - July 1), and Theater of the Stars (Atlanta) (June 26, 2007 - July 1).

Under the direction of Scott Schwartz, set design was by Tony Award nominee, Anna Louizos and lighting by Tony Award winner Donald Holder. This production was a hybrid between the literal approach of the Goodspeed production and the slapstick camp of the original film. While reviews were positive, the attention focused on Patti Colombo's choreography.[3][4]

UK regional

The Liverpool Empire staged the musical from 7 - 11 October 2008. It starred Steven Houghton and Susan McFadden.

Staff and students of the University of Dundee staged Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 23 hours and 30 minutes and now hold the world record for the fastest ever staging of a musical.[5]

Musical numbers

Act I
  • Bless Your Beautiful Hide (Adam)
  • Wonderful Wonderful Day (Milly and Brides)
  • One Man (Milly)
  • Goin' Courtin' (Milly and Brothers)
  • Social Dance (Milly, Adam, Brides, Brothers, Suitors and Townspeople
  • Love Never Goes Away (Adam, Milly and Gideon)
  • Sobbin' Women (Adam and Brothers)
Act II
  • The Townsfolk's Lament (Suitors and Townspeople)
  • A Woman Ought To Know Her Place (Adam)
  • We Gotta Make It Through The Winter (Brothers)
  • We Gotta Make It Through The Winter (Reprise) (Milly and Brides)
  • Spring Dance (Brides and Brothers)
  • A Woman Ought To Know Her Place (Reprise) (Adam and Gideon)
  • Glad That You Were Born (Milly, Adam, Brides, Brothers and Townspeople)
  • Wedding Dance (Milly, Adam, Brides, Brothers and Townspeople)

"One Man", "Love Never Goes Away", "The Townsfolk's Lament", " A Woman Ought To Know Her Place", "We Gotta Make It Through The Winter", "Spring Dance", and "Glad That You Were Born" were written by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn for the musical. "Bless Your Beautiful Hide", "Wonderful Wonderful Day", "Goin' Courtin'", and "Sobbin' Women" are from the 1954 film and written by Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer.

References

External links

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