REVIEW: Woman of the Year – Original Broadway Cast

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woman of the yearThere are certain shows by the giants of musical theater that have lesser reputations. While often these reputations are earned (e.g. late-period Andrew Lloyd Webber), too often scores are unfairly maligned simply because they pale in comparison to the real masterpieces in their writers’ catalog. Women of the Year is unquestionably in the latter category. Kander & Ebb’s 1981 star vehicle for Lauren Bacall is no Cabaret, but believe me, it’s no Stephen Ward either.

Based on the 1942 Tracy/Hepburn film, the musical updates the story to the 1980s, with Bacall as TV star Tess Harding in a rocky relationship with cartoonist Sam Craig, played by Harry Guardino. The score produced two genuine classic songs: the tender ballad “Sometimes a Day Goes By” and the hilarious duet for Bacall and Marilyn Cooper, “The Grass Is Always Greener.” The show nabbed four Tony Awards, for book (Peter Stone), score, Bacall, and Cooper.  Continue reading