Bernstein: Wonderful Town
Wonderful Town is a 1953 musical with book written by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Leonard Bernstein. The musical tells the story of two sisters who aspire to be a writer and actress respectively, seeking success from their basement apartment in New York City's Greenwich Village. It is based on Fields and Chodorov's 1940 play My Sister Eileen, which in turn originated from autobiographical short stories by Ruth McKenney first published in The New Yorker in the late 1930s and later published in book form as My Sister Eileen. Only the last two stories in McKenney's book were used, and they were heavily modified.
Wonderful Town premiered on Broadway in 1953, starring Rosalind Russell in the role of Ruth Sherwood, Edie Adams as Eileen Sherwood, and George Gaynes as Robert Baker. It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress, and spawned three New York City Center productions between 1958 and 1966, a 1986 West End production and 2003 Broadway revival. It is a lighter piece than Bernstein's later works, West Side Story and Candide, but none of the songs have become as popular.