Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Today In History; Broadway Musical The Band Wagon Opens

1931: When The Band Wagon opened on Broadway in New York City, no one knew whether it would be a hit. But a hit it was. The musical revue ran for 260 performances. The play was co-authored by playwright Adolph Green, and songwriters Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz were responsible for its hit songs. Most people remember the lead actors, though: dancer/singer/actor Fred Astaire and his sister Adele. The Band Wagon is about a dancer and his friends who are trying to save their musical show from a controlling, egotistic actor who has some rather odd ideas about what makes for good theater.

The play was so popular that MGM made a spin-off film of it. The movie The Band Wagon (1953) also starred Fred Astaire and featured some of the same songs, but the plot was changed and songs from other musicals were added. The movie became a hit and is still a favorite of musicals fans.

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