Sweet Smell of Success is a musical created by Marvin Hamlisch (music), Craig Carnelia (lyrics), and John Guare (book). The show is based on the 1957 movie of the same name, which tells the story of a powerful newspaper columnist named J. J. Hunsecker (based on famed New York columnist Walter Winchell) who uses his connections to ruin his sister’s relationship with a man he deems inappropriate.
LISTEN TO “I CANNOT HEAR THE CITY” FROM THE MUSICAL “Sweet Smell of Success” — Rendition by Tenor J. Mark McVey.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the musical opened on March 14, 2002 at the Martin Beck Theatre on Broadway. It closed on June 15, 2002, after 109 performances and 18 previews. The show starred John Lithgow as J.J. Hunsecker, and Brian d’Arcy James as Sidney Falcone. The creative team included choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, sets and costumes by Bob Crowely, and lighting by Natasha Katz. Sweet Smell garnered 7 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. John Lithgow received the show’s only Tony Award, winning Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
LISTEN TO A FEW SELECTIONS FROM THIS BROADWAY MUSICAL:
In 2011 the musical had a production by New York University students (NYU Steinhardt’s Program– 2011)
The Arts Educational School in London also had a production by third-year students during 2011:
LONDON, U.K. — “The Musical Sweet Smell of Success gets its British premiere in a production featuring third-year students of the Arts Educational school:
“I can only report that no musical this year has given me more pleasure: the story is gripping, the Marvin Hamlisch score dramatically powerful, and the dancing as good as you will find in any West End show. Musicals based on movies often betray the original: this one faithfully replicates the sombre savagery of the Alexander Mackendrick film. Set in New York in the early 1950s, it’s the story of a legendary showbiz columnist, JJ Hunsecker, closely modelled on Walter Winchell. But while JJ, which someone claims stands for “jugular, jugular”, patrols Manhattan’s sidewalks as if he owns them, he harbours an incestuous passion for his half-sister; and Sidney Falco, JJ’s acolyte, is forced into crime and corruption to protect his master’s Achilles heel.The plot may steer towards waterfront melodrama, but then so does that of Rigoletto. What matters is that John Guare’s witty book conveys the awesome power, and rightwing prejudice, of a column like that written by JJ. Hamlisch’s score also catches the frenzy of Manhattan life and is full of pleasing ironies: my favourite comes when a psalm in St Patrick’s Cathedral provides a bakground to the columnist’s Machiavellian scheming. Steven Bush here plays JJ with a self-possession and assurance that belies his years, Michael Woolston-Thomas is a suitably grubby Sidney, and the ensemble, in Guy Unsworth’s production, is terrific: I take my hat off to the girl in the red dress who did a hair-raising backward fall off a high rostrum. I’m just astonished that a musical as good as this, resembling an updated Duchess of Malfi, has lain neglected so long” Source: Michael Billington Guardian.co.uk, Sunday 6 November 2011
Source: Michael Billington Guardian.co.uk, Sunday 6 November 2011