Original Broadway Cast

Skyscraper [Original Broadway Cast]

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The songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen was best known for their movie theme songs and specially written tunes for Frank Sinatra. But by the mid-'60s, that work had become only occasional, and they turned to Broadway. Both had been there before with other partners; Cahn had last written a stage musical 18 years earlier, Van Heusen 12 years back. Skyscraper was librettist Peter Stone's adaptation of Elmer Rice's 1945 play Dream Girl crossed with the early-'60s controversy about the destruction of venerable New York City buildings to make way for urban development. The serious political issue was used to create romantic conflict for a rich brownstone owner, played by Julie Harris (making her debut as a musical comedy star after a distinguished career in straight plays), and an architect played by Peter Marshall, prior to his renown as the host of TV's Hollywood Squares. Another future alumnus of that show, Charles Nelson Reilly, provided comic relief. Cahn and Van Heusen penned some appealing songs, the best of which were "Everybody Has the Right to Be Wrong" and "I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her," the latter earning recordings by Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and others. The principals did their jobs adequately, but Skyscraper was still a minor musical that didn't deserve better than its six-month run, and the original cast album, which spent two months in the charts, remains a footnote in the careers of the songwriters and the performers. [The 2002 reissue adds the Charles Nelson Reilly-sung "Just the Crust" as a bonus track.]

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