The Gay Life is a musical with a book by Fay and Michael Kanin, lyrics by Howard Dietz, and music by Arthur Schwartz.
Based on an 1893 play by Arthur Schnitzler, it focuses on womanizing playboy Anatol Von Huber, who has decided the time has come to settle down and get married. His target is the sister of his best friend Max, the virginal Liesl, whose longtime crush on him makes her the likeliest candidate. But the young lady is determined to tame the philanderer and make him swear to be true to her before she accepts his proposal.
The score is a mixture of traditional Broadway show tunes and operetta.
The Gay Life had a tryout period at the Fisher Theater in Detroit and the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto before heading to Broadway. After three previews, the production, directed by Gerald Freedman and choreographed by Herbert Ross, opened on November 18, 1961 at the Shubert Theatre, where it ran for 113 performances. The cast included Walter Chiari as Anatol, Barbara Cook as Liesl, and Jules Munshin as Max, with Elizabeth Allen in a supporting role.
An original cast recording was released by Angel Records.
Because of the connotation the term "gay" had acquired since the show's original staging, its title was changed to The High Life when it was presented by the off-Broadway company Musicals Tonight! in October 2005 .
Awards and nominations