|Take Me Along!|
1959 Broadway Playbill
|Book||Joseph Stein |
|Basis||Eugene O'Neill's play|
|Productions||1959 Broadway |
1985 Broadway revival
The idea to musicalize Ah, Wilderness came to David Merrick when George M. Cohan came through St. Louis with the original production of the O'Neill play. (It was rare of Merrick to mention his hometown, as he hated it, and once he refused to fly TWA to the coast because it flew over St. Louis). While producing The Matchmaker in 1955, he began working on Connecticut Summer. Things came to a halt when lyricist/librettist John La Touche died suddenly. But in 1957, an adaptation of another O'Neill play, Anna Christie, came to town, called New Girl in Town. Merrick decided to ask the composer, Bob Merrill, to take another stab at it.
Take Me Along was directed by Peter Glenville with production design by Oliver Smith, lighting by Jean Rosenthal, costumes by Miles White, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Lehman Engel, dances and musical numbers staging by Onna White, ballet and incidental music by Laurence Rosenthal, orchestrations by Philip J. Lang; and was produced by David Merrick. It opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on October 22, 1959  and closed on December 17, 1960 after 448 performances.
A revival opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theater in April 1985, closing after 7 previews and 1 regular performance following seven months of successful runs at The Goodspeed Opera House, The Shubert Theatre New Haven, and The Kennedy Center. Kurt Knudson scored a Tony nomination for the role of Sid Davis and Gary Wright received a Theatre World Award nomination for his role as Richard Miller.
In 1967, United Airlines' advertising agency, Leo Burnett, adapted the title song for a massive ad campaign, anchored by promotional films directed by Michael Cimino, who would later become a noted motion picture screenwriter and director. An urban legend then goes on to say that the ad campaign backfired when United offered a two-for-one "take me along" fare in ads encouraging (male) business travelers to take their wives with them on business trips. United then sent "thank you" letters to the wives of business travelers who had taken advantage of the promotion. Unfortunately, many of these wives had not been "taken along" on those trips. Their husbands had supposedly taken their mistresses with them, instead. This funny tale is not true, however. The wives were only offered discounts, never freebies.
Knights on White Horses was added for Lily (Beth Fowler) in the 1985 revival. Volunteer Firemen's Picnic has been borrowed twice by animated TV show Family Guy: first for the episode PTV as The Freakin' FCC. The song then returned for a special appearance at the Emmy Awards as If You Want It You Can Find It On TV, taking potshots at Desperate Housewives, Two and a Half Men and The Sopranos among others.
|1960||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Jackie Gleason||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Eileen Herlie||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Peter Glenville||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Onna White||Nominated|
|Best Conductor and Musical Director||Lehman Engel||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Miles White||Nominated|
|Best Stage Technician||Al Alloy||Nominated|