Ambassador is a musical with a book by Don Ettlinger and Anna Marie Barlow, lyrics by Hal Hackady, and music by Dan Gohman. It is based on the 1903 Henry James novel The Ambassadors.
The show was first produced at Her Majesty's Theatre in London on October 19, 1971, and ran for 86 performances. The production was directed by Stone Widney, choreographed by Gillian Lynne, and starred Howard Keel as Lewis Lambert Strether, Danielle Darrieux as Marie de Vionnet, Margaret Courtenay as Amelia Newsome, Judith Paris as Sarah, and Blain Fairman as Bilham.
Despite the show's poor reception in London, the producers decided to bring it to Broadway. The show went through several re-writes which included cutting the first scene. The Broadway production, directed by Widney, conducted by Herbert Grossman and choreographed, because of Miss Lynne's unavailability, by Joyce Trisler, opened on November 19, 1972 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it ran for 29 performances. The cast included Keel as Lewis, Darrieux as Marie, Michael J. Shannon as Chad, Andrea Marcovicci as Jeanne de Vionnet, M'el Dowd as Amelia Newsome, and Nicholas Dante as the bellboy.
Lewis Lambert Strether experiences a clash of cultures when he journeys to 1906 Paris to find his fiancée's wayward son and bring him back to America to take his rightful place as heir to the family fortune. The strait-laced Strether's mission falls by the wayside when he finds the openness of the European lifestyle far more attractive than his stifling existence and comes to the realization the only rescue the young man requires is from the values of his manipulative mother.