On A Summer Afternoon: A Look at WISH YOU WERE HERE

Welcome to this month’s Musical Theatre Monday! I wanted to find an appropriate show to highlight here in honor of the first week of summer. I’ve settled on the 1952 Leland Hayward-Josh Logan musical comedy Wish You Were Here, which featured a dynamic score by Harold Rome (perhaps my favorite of his entire output) and concerned the romantic entanglements at an adult summer camp in New York. (It was based on the play Having Wonderful Time.) The original production featured Patricia Marand, Jack Cassidy, Sidney Armus, Sheila Bond, Paul Valentine, Harry Clark, Sammy Smith, John Perkins, Frank Aletter, and Larry Blyden. Florence Henderson and Phyllis Newman, both making their Broadway debuts, also had small roles.


Cast recordings were made of both the Original Broadway production and the following year’s London ensemble; I recommend both — they’re easy to find. But I’m sharing something rare: clips of the original Broadway company as they appeared on Ed Sullivan’s Toast Of The Town. From the May 17, 1953 telecast, here’s Pat Marand with “Could Be,” followed by the ensemble in “Tripping The Light Fantastic,” which segues into “Fay’s Dance,” led by Sheila Bond.

From the July 06, 1952 telecast, here’s an audio recording of Jack Cassidy and Pat Marand with both the title song and “Where Did The Night Go?,” followed by Sheila Bond with “Shopping Around.” (Subscribers interested in seeing the footage, please kindly comment below!) This performance is credited with bolstering ticket sales and saving the show from closing!



Come back next month for another Musical Theatre entry! And tune in tomorrow for the start of our series on Dream On!