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Seesaw

Opening night: 19th March 1973
Performances: 296 performances

Composer: Cy Coleman
Book: Michael Bennett


Performers:
Michele Lee
Ken Howard
Tommy Tune

Musical Numbers
Big Fat Heart (cut)
Chapter 54, Number 1909
He's Good For Me
Hospitality (cut)
I'm In A Highly Emotional State
In Tune
It's Not Where You Start
More People Like You (cut)
My City
Nobody Does It Like Me
The Party's On Me (added for tours)
Pick Up The Pieces (cut)
Ride Out The Storm
Salt (cut)
Seesaw (First Unused Version) (cut)
Seesaw
Spanglish
Tutu And Tights (cut)
Visitors (cut)
We've Got It
Welcome To Holiday Inn


The story of how Seesaw got to Broadway is an archetypal musical theatre tale of egos, tantrums, dramatic exits and money problems. The most bizarre component was the removal of the leading lady, partly because she failed to keep her weight down to a promised poundage.

Unfortunately this story did not have a happy ending Ė despite a lengthy run, the show never recouped its investment. Once again, Coleman and Fields wanted to tackle a contemporary New York story. Once again our heroine was a kooky, loveable single girl. The source was a two-handed play about the girlís relationship with a strait-laced lawyer by William Gibson. After a disastrous and rancorous out-of-town tryout, the star, half the chorus, the writer, the director and some of the financial backers all left. Some jumped, others were pushed.

Reliable professional Michele Lee took over the leading role, but the most important change was the importation of young choreographer Michael Bennett as director. Bennett insisted on substantial rewriting (he eventually took the credit for the book). A colossal effort by all involved succeeded in gaining positive reviews on its Broadway opening, and some critics were wildly enthusiastic.

However, immediately after the opening, more financial crises erupted, requiring Fields to stave off closure with a substantial personal subsidy, and the producers and cast to undertake a series of imaginative publicity stunts, including the enticing of Mayor John Lindsay onto the stage.

The show settled down for a respectable run. Fields work was once again colloquial and surprisingly raunchy in the comic Welcome to Holiday Inn. Two numbers from the show had lives outside; Nobody Does It Like Me has the same appeal to egomaniac performers as My Way, but is in a different world in terms of quality. My Wayís lyrics neither rhyme nor scan, and when they mean anything are disgustingly self-congratulatory; Nobody Does It Like Me is crisp, knowing, wry and humorous. The other popular song is Itís Not Where You Start, Itís Where You Finish which is over-Broadwayed on the original cast recording; turn instead to Barbara Cookís version.

The song The Party's On Me was added to the touring version for Lucie Arnaz to sing. It can be heard on a rare 1976 RCA LP called The Party's On Me by Cy Coleman, and has been described as a "rousing ear teasing Coleman showstopper ".

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