The original Broadway production of "The Most Happy Fella" opened at the Imperial Theater in New York on May 3, 1956, ran for 676 performances and was nominated for the 1957 Tony Award for the Best Musical. See more »
I have a 2 DVD copy of this 1980 PBS broadcast and have made it available to many MHF enthusiasts.
Recently, I exchanged emails with Susan Loesser and later spoken with Georgio Tozzi about this show in general and this performance in particular. This performance of TMHF is on 2 DVDs and was transferred from a betamax of the show.
The DVDs are archival and fabulous!
In Susan Loesser's opinion, it is by far her favorite Broadway show of the three most popular shows of her father...and she ventures an opinion that it was her father's favorite, too. Her step-mother, Jo Sullivan, created Rosabella in original 1956 production which I saw in Philadelphia on its way to Broadway. Her performance and that of Robert Weede and Shorty Long are seared into my musical brain...sorry, I was too young to get a feel for the nuances of Joe's (Art Lund's) role played...thank goodness for the cast recording of the show as its two CDs comprise at least 95% of the entire show - it is all largely sung.
Jim Berg President
403 E. Ramsey #101 San Antonio, TX 78216
I get lots of comments and thanks since my original post. I am glad I kept a copy of the show...it may be the only one available.
Incidentally, Tozzi told me recently that the taping for this PBS performance was in a mold filled Detroit theater and that after the show moved to NYC, he replaced his singing with a(perfectly edited) studio voice over.
Jim Berg August 2007
Update June 2008...from a recent customer who loved the show!
"To any interested buyer: I just purchased the 2-DVD set of the MHF and I loved it. I suggest any buyer disregard the posting by a disgruntled customer of an older dubbed copy since replaced - in short he doesn't know what he's talking about. The quality of the video is just fine.
I queried the seller and was initially worried. But I bought the DVDs anyway and I am glad I did!
I am the newest Most Happy Fella!" - firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE July 6, 2010
Yes, Matson continues to provide to TMHF enthusiasts this remarkable 2-DVD set.
wlapides (see her posting above) email of thanks to me was the most evocative of the many I receive as feedback on the show:
I am wrung out! Just finished watching the show and it was absolutely fabulous! I can't explain exactly what that music and story does to me, but it's the eighth wonder of the world in my book!
Thank you so much for making it available.
End of Update
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