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Eleanor


Eleanor was a project which Dorothy Fields worked on with Cy Coleman in 1970; the subject was Eleanor Roosevelt. The project was inspired by the play written by Jerome Coopersmith, also called "Eleanor", about the life of Mrs Roosevelt when she was 20 years old and working as a volunteer at the University Settlement on the lower East Side.

Jerome Coopersmith, whose other musical theatre credits include the books for The Apple Tree and Baker Street, was to adapt his own play. Alexander H. Cohen offered to produce the show, Morton DaCosta agreed to direct, and Fields and Coleman wrote an entire score.

However Fields and Coopersmith did not see eye to eye on the story line and he decided to withdraw from the collaboration.

( Thanks to Jerome Coopersmith for the above information. )

Years later Cy Coleman spoke of his disappointment describing the show as having ďone of our best scoresď.

He said: ďThe score didnít completely die, however. I raided it. We used Itís Not Where You Start and put it into Seesaw. I put a song called Scream into Seesaw. In Barnum, the music to Out There is the Teddy Roosevelt song . Thereís a lot more. I hated doing it but I just figured it was good, and I wanted to do something with it. ď

Of the songs written for Eleanor which were not incorporated into later shows, there was a recording of After Forty, Itís Patch, Patch, Patch by Kaye Ballard on the Ladies Don't Write Lyrics CD.

Julie Wilson's disc includes two songs with Eleanor connections. I Can't Let You Go is said to have been written for Sweet Charity, but the Deborah Grace Winer songlist indicates that it was used in Eleanor. More significantly, Julie Wilson unearthed the splendid Do Be A Darling which features a product of the upper crust requesting an increasingly outrageous series of favours from a put-upon friend. For example:

Do be a darling,
Do be a dear.
I bought a gondola in Venice last year
Could you pick it up
And pack it up
Then carry it back here?
Do be a darling, dear.

 

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