THIS IS AN AUTHENTICALLY AUTOGRAPHED PLAYBILL BY BUDDY HACKETT..
THIS IS A 6 INCH BY 9 INCH PLAYBILL FROM THE MARTIN BECK THEATRE-JAN 1965-I HAD A BALL-PHOTO COVER IS SIGNED BY BUDDY HACKETT-CONDITION OF THE PLAYBILL AND AUTOGRAPH IS VERY GOOD.
I Had a Ball is a musical with a book by Jerome Chodorov and music and lyrics by Jack Lawrence and Stan Freeman.
Set on the Coney Island boardwalk, it focuses on matchmaking fortune teller Garside, who finds love with floozy Addie, and recent parolee Stan, who becomes involved with Ferris wheel operator Jeannie. Other characters include Ma Maloney, who heads the Alley Gang and tries to keep them out of the clutches of patrolling Officer Millhauser.
I Had a Ball was similar to earlier projects designed to showcase the talents of Bert Lahr and Ed Wynn, short on plot and overloaded with vaudeville-like comedy routines and musical numbers. In this case the star was nightclub and television comic Buddy Hackett, appearing for the first time in a structured theatrical production. Lloyd Richards, whose later career would find him serving as the Artistic Director for the Yale Repertory Theatre and a frequent collaborator with playwright August Wilson, was signed to direct, but following a clash with producer Joseph Kipness was replaced by John Allen, although Richards retained official credit in the program.
After a critically and commercially successful run in Detroit, the Broadway production, choreographed by Onna White, opened on December 15, 1964 at the Martin Beck Theatre, where it ran for 199 performances. In addition to Hackett as Garside, the cast included Richard Kiley as Stan, Karen Morrow as Jeannie, Luba Lisa as Addie, Rosetta LeNoire as Ma Maloney, and Ted Thurston as Officer Millhauser.
The New York City critics were less enamored with the show than their Detroit counterparts had been, and without a strong directorial hand to keep him under control, Hackett soon began ignoring the script and breaking character to inject his own routines into the proceedings. Audiences expecting to see a Broadway musical were not enchanted by the comic's often smutty material, and negative word-of-mouth linked with competition from heavy-hitters like Fiddler on the Roof, Hello, Dolly! and Funny Girl ultimately led to a dwindling box office and an early closing.
Luba Lisa was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and received the 1965 Theatre World Award for her performance. An original cast recording was released by Decca Records.