Broadway classics: The Apple Tree July 29, 2007Posted by Jeff in Musicals, Theater.
The recent Broadway production was a revival of the 1966 original production of the Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick show, starring Alan Alda, Barbara Harris and Larry Blyden. It was Bock and Harnick’s first show after Fiddler On The Roof, and the first Broadway musical directed by Mike Nichols (whose second was Spamalot, thirty-nine years later).
The Apple Tree is an evening of three one-act musicals. The first act (and best, judging by the cast album), is based on Mark Twain’s The Diary Of Adam and Eve. Here, Adam (Alda) sings of his ambivalent attraction to Eve (Harris):
Eve thinks that Adam is put off by her lack of intelligence, which gives the Snake (Blyden) the perfect opening:
The second act is based on Frank L. Stockton’s “The Lady Or The Tiger?” Harris plays Princess Barbara, whose lover Sanjar (Alda) is sentenced to the fate famously laid out in the original story: behind one door in the arena is a tiger who will kill him, behind the other is a beautiful lady whom he must marry. Come to think of it, I guess I can imagine Chenoweth in this number …