Friday, May 1, 2020

71. BUY BONDS, BUSTER. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975

Cast of Buy Bonds, Buster.
"In Lieu of Reviews"

For background on how this previously unpublished series—introducing all mainstream New York shows between 1970 and 1975—came to be and its relationship to my three The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage volumes (covering every New York play, musical, revue, and revival between 1920 and 1950), please check the prefaces to any of the earlier entries beginning with the letter “A.” See the list at the end of the current entry.
Rowena Rollins, Phil Erickson, Winston DeWitt Hemsley.
BUY BONDS, BUSTER [Musical/Military/Period/Romance/War] B/M: Jack Holmes; LY: M.B. Miller; SC: an original concept by Bob Miller and Bill Conklin; D: John Bishop; CH: Bick Goss; S: William Pitkin; L: William Stron; P: Wit’s End; T: Theatre de Lys (OB); 6/4/72 (1)

Nostalgia for the good old days of the early 40s, when stars like Betty Grable, Jack Benny, and Carmen Miranda were around to put on shows for the troops, inspired this hopeless musical, which died after one performance.

It concerned the activities of a group of four young men and four young women during basic training at Camp Liberty, where the sexes are not segregated. Under the circumstances, romance naturally blooms. The group decides to put on a ware bonds show under the guidance of a male and female sergeant (Phil Erickson and Rowena Rollins). They end up presenting it on the White House lawn for F.D.R. and Eleanor (Erickson and Rollins). Three of the couples are paired off at the conclusion.

The fact that the show originated in Atlanta prompted Clive Barnes to suggest it would “doubtless soon be gone with the wind.” Richard Watts considered it “well-meaning amateurishness,” with a “modestly pleasant” score of pastiche tunes. And Julius Novick characterized it as “an arch, vacuous and self-consciously quaint little show,” charming in a “pleasantly second-rate” way.

Previous entries:

Abelard and Heloise
Absurd Person Singular
“Acrobats” and “Line”
The Advertisement/
All My Sons
All Over
All Over Town
All the Girls Came Out to Play
Alpha Beta
L’Amante Anglais         
American Gothics
And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little       
And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers
And Whose Little Boy Are You?
Anna K.
Anne of Green Gables
Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead
As You Like It
The Au Pair Man

Baba Goya [Nourish the Beast]
The Ballad of Johnny Pot
Barbary Shore
The Bar that Never Closes
The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel
The Beauty Part
The Beggar’s Opera
Behold! Cometh the Vanderkellens
Be Kind to People Week
Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill
Bette Midler’s Clams on a Half-Shell Revue
Black Girl
Black Light Theatre of Prague
Black Picture Show
Black Sunlight
The Black Terror
Black Visions
Les Blancs
Blasts and Bravos: An Evening with H,L. Mencken
Blue Boys
Bob and Ray—The Two and Only
Boesman and Lena
The Boy Who Came to Leave
A Breeze from the Gulf
Brief Lives
Brother Gorski
Bullshot Crummond
The Burnt Flower Bed
Button, Button