The Duke of ZENDA

Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This week, we’re celebrating Zenda, the ill-fated musical adaptation of The Prisoner Of Zenda, which toured the West Coast in late 1963 and closed permanently in November, weeks before its scheduled Broadway opening. Starring Alfred Drake, Anne Rogers, and Chita Rivera, Zenda boasted a great cast, staging/choreography by Jack Cole, and a strong roster of songs with music by composer Vernon Duke. (Three lyricists contributed: Leonard Adelson, Sid Kuller, and Martin Charnin.)

Highlights from Zenda, taken from a live tryout audio, were released on the Blue Pear LP label (later put out on CD). But for subscribers, who kindly comment below to alert me of their interest, I am offering something even better: the COMPLETE audio from which the highlights were sourced. (It’s longer and in better quality!) I’m fond of much of this score, so if you haven’t heard of this, it’s worth a listen. As a sample, here’s the title song…




Come back next month for another Musical Theatre Monday! And stay tuned Tuesday for more Will & Grace!

25 thoughts on “The Duke of ZENDA

  1. Zenda sounds like a parody; anyway, I would like to know more and hear more of the Vernon Duke score. Best, John

  2. I don’t remember hearing about this before, and I was around at the time. Would appreciate having a copy of the audio.
    The rhythm of the melody reminds me of ‘Nina’ from Cole Porter’s The Pirate.

  3. would like to hear the complete score. the sound quality does sound much better than the songs-only cd. thanks

  4. Do you still have the recording of the show as I have on heard about to of the musical numbers of Zenda on You Ube wmpnd would lovevto hear the whole ecore.

    • Hi, Donna! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred address and I will send you this audio!

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