Angel (musical)

Angel (musical)

Infobox Musical
name= Angel

music= Gary Geld
lyrics= Peter Udell
book= Peter Udell
Ketti Frings
basis= Thomas Wolfe novel "Look Homeward, Angel"
productions= 1978 Broadway

"Angel" is a Broadway musical that opened at the Minskoff Theatre in New York on May 4th 1978. It was based on Ketti Frings’ theatrical adaptation of the best-selling Thomas Wolfe novel "Look Homeward, Angel". The play (with the same title as the novel) was a 1958 Pulitzer Prize winner.

The musical featured songs with lyrics by Peter Udell and music by Gary Geld - the same team who created the musicals "Shenandoah" and "Purlie". Frings and Udell collaborated on the book. Angel was directed by Philip Rose and choreographed by Robert Tucker. The production featured costumes by Pearl Somner, lighting design by John Gleason and scenery by Ming Cho Lee.

For her performance, Frances Sternhagen received a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Additionally, Joel Higgins was nominated for a 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. The musical was savaged by the critics, and closed on the 13th of May after only five performances.


"Angel" is set in Altamount, North Carolina in the fall of 1916. In Act One, the scene is the Dixieland Boarding House. In Act Two, Scene One is set in Gant's marble yard and shop; and Scenes Two and Three are set again in the Dixieland Boarding House. ;Act One
*"Angel Theme" - Orchestra
*"All the Comforts of Home" - Boarders
*"Like the Eagles Fly" - Ben Gant
*"Make a Little Sunshine" - Eliza Gant, Eugene Gant, Ben Gant
*"Fingers and Toes" - W.O. Gant, Tim Laughran, Reed McKinney, Joe Tarkington
*"Fatty" - Ben Gant
*"Astoria Gloria" - Fatty Pert and Boarders
*"Railbird" - Eugene Gant
*"If I Ever Loved Him" - Laura James
*"A Dime Ain't Worth a Nickel" - Ben Gant, Fatty Pert
*"I Got a Dream to Sleep On" - Eugene Gant
*"Drifting" - Eliza Gant;Act Two
*"I Can't Believe It's You" - W.O. Gant, Madam Victoria
*"Feelin' Loved" - Eugene Gant, Laura James
*"A Medley" - Ben, Fatty, Eliza, Laura
*"Tomorrow I'm Gonna Be Old" - W.O. Gant
*"Feelin' Loved (Reprise)" - Eugene and Laura
*"How Do You Say Goodbye" - Laura
*"Gant's Waltz" - W.O. Gant and Eliza Gant
*"Like the Eagles Fly (Reprise)" - Eugene Gant

Original Broadway cast

*Donna Davis - Helen Gant
*Joel Higgins - Ben Gant
*Patti Allison - Mrs. Fatty Pert
*Grace Carney - Mrs. Snowden
*Don Scardino - Eugene Gant
*Frances Sternhagen - Eliza Gant
*Elek Hartman - Will Pentland
*Rebecca Seay - Florry Mangle
*Justine Johnston - Mrs. Clatt
*Gene Masoner - Jake Clatt
*Billy Beckham - Mr. Farrell
*Jayne Barnett - Miss Brown
*Leslie Ann Ray - Laura James
*Fred Gwynne - W. O. Gant
*Daniel Keyes - Dr. Maguire
*Rex David Hays - Joe Tarkington
*Carl Nicholas - Reed McKinney
*Norman Stotz - Tim Laughran
*Patricia Englund - Madame Victoria

Critical response

Reviewing for "The New York Times", Richard Eder wrote:
*" a damp and oppressive amalgam of bathos. It has lyrics of the consistency of cornbread soaked in milk, a whole collection of indifferent performances and a score of sufficient banality to furnish a number or two for the piped music on airplanes waiting to take off."
*"The performances have no shine to them; at best they are losing battles."
*"Mr. Geld's score is so thin and trite as to make us notice Don Walker's orchestration. Its vulgarity is unfailing."
*"It is putting things too strongly to call "Angel" a disaster. It is a desert."

External links



*Botto, Louis. "Playbill: At This Theatre" (Applause Books, 2002) (ISBN 1-55783-566-7)
*"Angel Turns Wolfe Into Music; Looking Homeward", "The New York Times", May 11, 1978.

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