Hallelujah, Baby! is a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden, and a book by Arthur Laurents. The show is "a musical chronicle of the African American struggle for equality during the [first half of the] 20th century."
The musical premiered on Broadway in 1967 and made a young Leslie Uggams a star. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
2 Musical numbers
4 Laurents' recollections
5 Awards and nominations
7 External links
Georgina is a talented, beautiful and ambitious African American woman, determined to have a career as a singer. Overcoming many obstacles, she rises to stardom. She makes her way through the Great Depression, World War II, and the beginning of the civil rights movement. Her mother advises her to "keep her place" as a maid on a South Carolina estate, but Georgina negotiates the blocks to stardom from her negative and opportunistic mother. She encounters the racism that pervades society and show business.
Two men vie for Georgina's attention. Harvey, who is white, is able to provide opportunities for her. Her fiancee Clem, who is a black train porter, cannot help her on her journey. By the 1950s, she is a successful singer in an expensive night club. However, Clem has become an Army captain and then a civil rights activist and challenges Georgina's life goals.
Prologue - Georgina
Back in the Kitchen - Momma
My Own Morning - Georgina
The Slice - Clem and Provers
Farewell, Farewell - Calhoun, Betty Loo, Captain Yankee, Georgina and Harvey
Feet Do Yo' Stuff - Georgina, Chorines, Tip and Tap
Watch My Dust - Clem
Smile, Smile - Clem, Georgina and Momma
Witches' Brew - Georgina, Mary, Ethel and Company
Breadline Dance - Bums
Another Day - Harvey, Clem, Mary and Georgina
I Wanted to Change Him - Georgina
Being Good Isn't Good Enough - Georgina
Dance Drill - Tip, Tap and G.I.'s
Talking to Yourself - Georgina, Clem and Harvey
Limbo Dance - Night Club Patrons
Hallelujah Baby! - Georgina, Tip and Tap
Not Mine - Harvey
I Don't Know Where She Got It - Momma, Clem and Harvey
Now's the Time - Georgina
Now's the Time (Reprise) - Company
The musical opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on April 26, 1967 and closed on January 13, 1968 after 293 performances and 22 previews. It was directed by Burt Shevelove, choreographed by Kevin Carlisle, with scenic design by William and Jean Eckart, costumes by Irene Sharaff and lighting by Tharon Musser. The cast featured Allen Case as Harvey, Robert Hooks as Clem, Leslie Uggams as Georgina, and Marilyn Cooper as Mrs. Charles, Mistress, Ethel, Dorothy. The production won five Tony Awards (out of nine nominations), including Best Musical, and Uggams won the Tony for Best Actress for her performance.
The George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey presented the musical in October - November 2004. Additional lyrics were written by Amanda Green. The cast featured Suzzanne Douglas as Georgina and Ann Duquesnay as Momma.
The Arena Stage, Washington, DC production ran in January and February 2005.
Arthur Laurents felt that "the original production was too soft in its take on black social progress during the first six decades or so of the twentieth century. It was originally written with Lena Horne in mind. When the steely Horne opted out of the project, it was rewritten to suit the more youthful and bubbly Leslie Uggams." In the 2004 production, Laurents attempted "to add levels of darker intensity.... However, the music and lyrics are in the infectiously bright and bubbly style of musical comedy, and his efforts in this area reduce the charm and good spirits of the show without adding much of significance in the way of depth or insight." According to Laurents, after Lena Horne declined to do the show, "What we should have done is abandon the show.... Instead it was rewriten for a woman who is one of the nicest women I have ever met in the theatre, Leslie Uggams,--and, God knows, she has a beautiful voice ... she was good, but it wasn't that original show. The show lost its edge, and I must say I lost interest in it."
Awards and nominations
1968 Tony Awards:
Best Musical [winner]
Best Composer and Lyricist [winner]
Best Actor in a Musical, Robert Hooks [nominee]
Best Actress in a Musical, Leslie Uggams [winner]
Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Lillian Hayman [winner]
Best Costume Design, Irene Sharaff [nominee]
Best Choreography, Kevin Carlisle [nominee]
Best Direction of a Musical, Burt Shevelove [nominee]
Best Producer of a Musical, Albert W. Selden, Hal James, Jane C. Nussbaum, Harry Rigby [winner]
1967 Theatre World Award, Leslie Uggams [winner]