I Remember Mama is a musical with a book by Thomas Meehan, lyrics by Martin Charnin and Raymond Jessel, and music by Richard Rodgers.
I Remember Mama originated as a memoir by Kathryn Forbes entitled Mama's Bank Account. It was adapted for the stage by John Van Druten in 1944, filmed in 1948, and served as the basis for a 1950s television series. Every incarnation basically was the same, a series of heartwarming vignette (literature)s centering on a family of Norwegian immigrants living in San Francisco in the early 20th Century. At its core is the oldest daughter, Katrin, who yearns to be a published writer and conspires to meet renowned author Dame Sybil Fitzgibbons, a guest at the Fairmont Hotel, for professional advice and guidance. It is through Katrin's eyes we see the struggles, hopes, and dreams of the Hansens unfold.
After 40 previews, the Alexander H. Cohen-Hildy Parks production, directed by Cy Feuer, opened on May 31, 1979 at the Majestic Theatre, where it ran for 108 performances. The opening night cast included Liv Ullmann, George Hearn, and George S. Irving.
By 1979, Broadway audiences had become accustomed to edgier musicals like Sweeney Todd and Evita. Critics found Mama to be old-fashioned and corny, and all were quick to describe the musically-disinclined Ullmann as miscast. Advance box office sales, particularly for matinee performances, had been strong enough to keep the show alive in its early weeks, but attendance quickly dropped in numbers dramatic enough to warrant closing. It proved to be Rodgers' last musical.
An original cast album never was recorded, but a studio recording with Hearn and Irving reprising their stage roles and Sally Ann Howes replacing Ullmann was released in 1985.
I Remember Mama
A Little Bit More
A Writer Writes at Night
Ev'ry Day (Comes Something Beautiful)
You Could Not Please Me More
Easy Come, Easy Go
It Is Not the End of the World
Mama Always Makes it Better
It's Going to Be Good to Be Gone
I Remember Mama (Reprise)