Imperial Theatre, (10/31/1957 - 4/11/1959)

Opening Date: Oct 31, 1957
Closing Date: Apr 11, 1959
Total Performances: 555

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway
Description: A musical in two acts
Setting: Pigeon Island, a mythical island off Jamaica. Time, the present.
Comments: On layoff from June 28 - August 11, 1958.

Opening Night Production Staff

Produced by David Merrick

Book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy; Music by Harold Arlen; Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg; Musical Direction, Continuity, and Vocals by Lehman Engel; Dance Music and Additional Vocals by Peter Matz; Music orchestrated by Philip J. Lang

Directed by Robert Lewis; Choreographed by Jack Cole

Scenic Design by Oliver Smith; Costume Design by Miles White; Lighting Design by Jean Rosenthal; Hair Stylist: Ernest Adler

General Manager: Jack Schlissel; Company Manager: Vince McKnight

Production Stage Manager: Neil Hartley; Stage Manager: Charles Blackwell

Orchestra Personnel Manager: Sol Gusikoff

General Press Representative: Harvey B. Sabinson; Press Representative: David Powers; Advertising: Blaine-Thompson and Fred Golden

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Opening Night Cast

Lena HorneSavannah
Ricardo MontalbanKoli
Adelaide HallGrandma Obeah
Josephine PremiceGinger
Joe AdamsJoe Nashua
Alvin AileyLead Dancer
Ethel AylerIsland Woman
Adelaide BoatnerIsland Woman
George BorelandIslander
Hugh BryantIslander
Herb ColemanIslander
Jayne CraddockIslander
Ossie DavisCicero
Hugh DilworthHucklebuck
Norma DonaldsonIslander
Patricia DunnIslander
Doris GaliberIslander
Frank GlassIslander
Harold GordonIslander
Lavinia HamiltonIslander
Sandra HintonIslander
Nat HorneIslander
Albert JohnsonIslander
Chailendra JonesIslander
Cristyne LawsonLead Dancer
Tony Martinez1st Ship's Officer
Audrey MasonIslander
Jim McMillanIslander
Charles MooreIslander
Sally NealIslander
Pearl ReynoldsIslander
Erik RhodesThe Governor
Allen RichardsDock Worker
Augustine RiosQuico
Alan ShayneRadio Announcer
Christine SpencerIslander
Carolyn StanfordIslander
Claude ThompsonIslander
Roy ThompsonSnodgrass
Ben VargasIslander
Jacqueline WalcottIslander
James E. WallLancaster
Billy WilsonIslander
Barbara WrightIslander
Michael Wright2nd Ship's Officer

Understudies: Ethel Ayler (Savannah), Charles Blackwell (Joe Nashua), Adelaide Boatner (Grandma Obeah), Hugh Bryant (Koli, Radio Announcer), Virginia Capers (Grandma Obeah), Herb Coleman (Quico), Alan Shayne (Koli, The Governor), Roy Thompson (Joe Nashua), Jacqueline Walcott (Ginger) and James E. Wall (Cicero)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1958 Best Musical [nominee] 

Book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy; Music by Harold Arlen; Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg; Produced by David Merrick

 1958 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Ricardo Montalban

 1958 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Lena Horne

 1958 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Ossie Davis

 1958 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Josephine Premice

 1958 Best Scenic Design [nominee] 

Oliver Smith

 1958 Best Costume Design [nominee] 

Miles White


music by Harold Arlen; lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

ACT 1 Sung By
SavannahKoli and Fishermen
Savannah's Wedding DayGrandma Obeah and Islanders
Pretty to Walk WithSavannah
Push the ButtonSavannah
IncompatibilityKoli, Quico and Island Men
Little BiscuitCicero and Ginger
Cocoanut SweetGrandma Obeah and Savannah
Pity the SunsetKoli and Savannah
Yankee DollarGinger and Islanders
What Good Does It Do?Koli, Cicero and Quico
Monkey in the Mango TreeKoli and Fishermen
Take It Slow, JoeSavannah
Ain't It the TruthSavannah
ACT 2 Sung By
Leave the Atom AloneGinger and Islanders
Cocoanut Sweet (Reprise) Savannah
For Every FishGrandma Obeah and Fishermen
I Don't Think I'll End It All TodaySavannah, Koli and Islanders
Ain't It the Truth (Reprise) Savannah and Islanders
Savannah (Reprise) Savannah, Koli and Islanders

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Imperial Theatre

(10/31/1957 - 4/11/1959)
Musical Director: Sherman Frank.

Assistant to Mr. Merrick: Eduard Fuller.


Hugh Bryant
Radio Announcer
Gloria Higdon
Alan Shayne
The Governor
Sherman Sneed
Ella Thompson
Royce Wallace

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