World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Act (musical)


The Act (musical)

The Act
Original Cast Recording
Music John Kander
Lyrics Fred Ebb
Book George Furth
Productions 1977 Broadway

The Act is a Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander.

It was written to showcase the talents of Kander and Ebb favorite Liza Minnelli, who portrayed Michelle Craig, a fading film star attempting a comeback as a Las Vegas singer. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1977.


  • Production 1
  • Song list 2
  • Awards and nominations 3
    • Original Broadway production 3.1
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The Act played out-of-town tryouts for fifteen weeks in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.[1] The musical opened on Broadway on October 29, 1977 at the Majestic Theatre, where it ran for 233 performances and six previews. Directed by Martin Scorsese, choreographed by Ron Lewis, with costumes by Halston, the cast included Barry Nelson and Wayne Cilento.[2] The New York Times reviewer wrote that "'The Act' is precisely what its name implies: It is an act, and a splendid one. On the other hand, it is a little less than its pretensions imply. Theatrical though it is as a performance, it is indifferent musical theater."[3] Another New York Times writer noted that "If there's a point 'The Act' underscores most, it's that Miss Minnelli on Broadway has incomparable star power."[1]

With an all-time ticket-price high of $25 for Saturday night orchestra seats, The Act had $2 million in advance sales,[1]then the highest in Broadway history. But the production was doomed from the start, with its star in erratic behavior and frequently-missed performances, more than 10% of the entire run. During out-of-town tryouts, Gower Champion was called in to help with the staging (but took no directorial credit).[1] Additionally, the original costumes were replaced.[1] With the additional costs and with refund demands running high, it was impossible for the show to recoup its costs. [4]

Song list

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1978 Tony Award Best Original Score Kander and Ebb Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Barry Nelson Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Liza Minnelli Won
Best Choreography Ron Lewis Nominated
Best Costume Design Halston Nominated
Best Lighting Design Tharon Musser Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d e Jahr, Cliff. "In 'The Act,' The Drama Backstage Is Not An Act: Behind the Scenes Of 'The Act'", The New York Times, October 23, 1977, p.D1
  2. ^ Furth, George, Kander, John, and Ebb, Fred."Script, 'The Act'"The act: a musical play (1987), Samuel French, Inc., ISBN 0-573-68155-4, pp.3-4
  3. ^ Eder, Richard."Liza Minnelli's 'Act' Is Fine as Cabaret"The New York Times (abstract), October 31, 1977, p.39
  4. ^ Suskin, Steven. Second Act Trouble: Behind the Scenes at Broadway's Big Musical Bombs (2006), pp. 19-27, Hal Leonard Publishing, ISBN 1-55783-631-0

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.