Albums

Hazel Flagg – Original Cast 1953

Hazel Flagg – Original Cast 1953

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Synopsis

Hazel Flagg (Helen Gallagher) was in a fix. Just a few weeks ago, Doc Downer (Thomas Mitchell) told her she was suffering from radium poisoning and had only a short time to live. But Hazel wasn’t afraid. She stuck her chin up and said, “I want to have fun!” Then that reporter feller, Wallace Cook (John Howard), had come to Hazel’s home town, Stonyhead, Vermont, and invited her to go to New York for an all-expense-paid last fling. (Seems Miss Laura Carew [Benay Venuta], editor of Everywhere magazine, had heard of Hazel’s plight and determined that she would get some fun – and Everywhere some free publicity – while there was time.) But – just a few minutes after Wallace gave her the invite, Doc Downer told her he had read the X-rays wrong – she wasn’t going to die! What should Hazel do? Tell the truth – and stay in Stonyhead? That’s what Doc wanted her to do. But Hazel aimed to have that vacation in New York, and she wouldn’t go without Doc. So they went to New York. What New York and its mayor (Jack Whiting) and Everywhere magazine did for Hazel – and what Hazel did for them – is the story of Jule Styne’s big, bright, beautiful musical show named for the little girl from Vermont who, in her simple country way, set the big town on its ear. The hilarious saga of Hazel Flagg was first told in the 1937 movie, Nothing Sacred, starring Carole Lombard as Hazel and Frederic March as Wallace. Veteran hit-writer Ben Hecht, who wrote the screenplay from a story by James Street, also wrote the book of the 1953 musical production. Probably the greatest of Ben Hecht’s many successes is “The Front Page,” written with Charles MacArthur. Hazel Flagg’s producer, Jule Styne, doubled in brass – and strings, woodwinds and percussion – to write the music for the hit-studded score. He has to his credit the music for three previous Broadway shows: “High Button Shoes,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,“ and “Two On the Aisle” – and pop successes like “It’s Magic” and “I’ll Walk Alone.” Lyricist Bob Hilliard is known for, among others, “Dear Hearts and Gentle People,” “Civilization” and “Dearie.” The Stars – Brooklyn-born Helen Gallagher first hit Broadway in Billy Rose’s “Seven Lively Arts.” She’s played in “Billion Dollar Baby,” “High Button Shoes,” “Make A Wish” and “Pal Joey.” You remember Thomas Mitchell, a veteran of four decades in show business in such memorable movies as “Lost Horizon,” “Gone With The Wind,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “The Keys of the Kingdom.” He won an Academy Award® for his performance in “Stagecoach,” and has played Willy Loman in “Death of A Salesman.” Benay Venuta leaped to Broadway fame when she succeeded Ethel Merman in “Anything Goes.” She’s also been in “Kiss the Boys Goodbye,” “By Jupiter” and other stage and screen musicals. John Howard is making his Broadway debut in “Hazel Flagg.” He’s best known as Hollywood’s favorite “Bulldog Drummond.”

Credits

CAST An Editor – Dean Campbell Oleander – Jonathan Harris Laura Carew – Benay Venuta Wallace Cook – John Howard Vermont Villagers – Carol Hendricks, B.J. Keating, Joan Morton, Dorothy Love, Laurel Shelby Mr. Billings – Lawrence Weber Mr. Jenkins – Robert Lenn Hazel Flagg – Helen Gallagher Dr. Downer – Thomas Mitchell Man On The Street – George Reeder Bellboy – Jerry Craig Maximilian Lavian – John Pelletti Fireman – Bill Heyer Miss Winterbottom – Betsy Holland Mayor Of New York – Jack Whiting Whitey – Sheree North Willie – John Brascia Dr. Egelhofer – Ross Martin Chorus Girls – Lori Jon, Virginia Poe Committeemen – Michael Spaeth, John Bartis Policeman – Eric Schepard Singers: Sara Dillon, Mary Harmon, Carol Hendricks, Betsy Holland, Dorsie Hollingsworth, B.J. Keating, Beverly McFadden, Laurel Shelby; John Bartis, Dean Campbell, David Carter, Jerry Craig, Bob Davis, Bill Heyer, Robert Lenn, David Randall Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Bob Hilliard Book: Ben Hecht Based on a story by James Street and the film Nothing Sacred Publisher: Chappell & Co., Inc. (ASCAP) Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by Robert Alton Book directed by David Alexander Musical Direction: Pembroke Davenport Choral Arrangements and Direction: Hugh Martin Orchestrations: Don Walker A musical satire in two acts and fifteen scenes Hazel Flagg opened February 11, 1953, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City (190 performances) Recorded February 22 and 24, 1953, at Manhattan Center Produced for records by Hugo Winterhalter & David Kapp Original album: LOC-1010, released March 6, 1953