Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The Drury was known for its ability to house large-scale, gargantuan productions with massive sets and Gone with the Wind didn't disappoint on that point. It's easy to see what an impression the show made in terms of its grand scale and looming bits of architecture (blended with grand drapery everywhere.)
First, however, an even further revised rendition of the piece was scheduled for a run at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. This was presented by the Civic Light Opera Association and was a way to try the show on for size with U.S. audiences before heading into The Big Apple.
The program for this rendition of the musical included shots from the original London production along with some newly-shot pictures of the principals. The photos of a nearly orgasmic Melanie and a Lawrence Welk Show-ish Ashley crack me up.
After a torturesome history of rewriting, cutting, adding, enhancing and tweaking, some of which led to improvement, the writing was on the wall and finally the producer, Harold Fielding, decided to cancel the intended Broadway opening. In 1976, there was another staging of the piece in Dallas and a brief local tour, before it blew away for good.