1955 – Off–Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Michael Stewart and Lee Adams.
1956 – Off–Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams.
BYE BYE BIRDIE – view IBDB
1960 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, book by Michael Stewart, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion.
Strouse and Adams' first Broadway show and an award–winning hit, BIRDIE catapulted the authors into celebrity and did the same for its stars, Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke (who also starred in the popular film version opposite Janet Leigh, in 1963). BIRDIE gave career boosts to Kay Medford, Paul Lynde and Dick Gautier (in the Conrad Birdie/Elvis Presley role). Edward Padula, a novice producer, got seed money from Goddard Lieberson, President of Columbia Records. The New York critics raved and after over 50 years, BIRDIE remains in the top five of stock and amateur productions.
Original cast album: Sony Classical. Original soundtrack: BMG Records. Television soundtrack: BMG Records.
1960 – Chicago – Musical Revue – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams.
ALL AMERICAN – view IBDB
1962 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by Mel Brooks (known then as a writer for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows TV program), directed by Joshua Logan.
The musical is based on Professor Fodorski, a novel by Robert Lewis Taylor, which tells the comical tale of a Mittel–European professor attempting to adapt to life at a small, football–crazed college. Starring Ray Bolger and Eileen Herlie, the show produced the love ballad "Once Upon A Time," which has become a standard–recorded by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and many more great artists.
Original cast recording: Sony Broadway.
GOLDEN BOY – view IBDB
1964 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, directed by Arthur Penn, musical direction by Elliot Lawrence, scenery and costumes by Tony Walton, lighting by Tharon Musser. Sammy Davis, Jr. was sensational as the feisty boxer punching his way to the top. Clifford Odets adapted his 1937 Group Theatre success for the musical stage, but while the show was in its pre–Broadway tryouts, Odets died and William Gibson (The Miracle Worker, Two for the Seesaw) was hired to make the necessary changes. More than 40 years after its Broadway premiere, GOLDEN BOY continues to engage audiences in the US and Europe.
Original cast recording: Capitol/EMI Records.
I AND ALBERT
1972 – London West End – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by Jay Presson Allen, playwright (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – also film version), directed by John Schlesinger, award–winning theatre and film director (Sunday Bloody Sunday, Midnight Cowboy, Darling, et al).
The love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I AND ALBERT played at London's Piccadilly Theatre. Although Strouse and Adams researched I AND ALBERT for nearly five years, London audiences and critics did not take kindly to their efforts. A cast album didn't appear until 1981, when the performers were re–assembled for the last time.
Original cast recording: Jay Records.
IT'S A BIRD… IT'S A PLANE… IT'S SUPERMAN – view IBDB
1966 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by David Newman and Robert Benton (who scripted the film version too), produced and directed by Hal Prince.
SUPERMAN starred Broadway legend Jack Cassidy, Bob Holiday (in the title role), Patricia Marand as Lois Lane and Linda Lavin. Charles Strouse's first foray into the realm of comic strips, SUPERMAN did not enjoy a long Broadway run, but the musical continues to be revisited by the authors from time to time. Hard–to–please NY critics praised Strouse's "brassy, swift and impish score" and Lee Adams' "scoffing" lyrics, which have been a touchstone of various productions in years since.
Original cast album: Sony Broadway.
APPLAUSE – view IBDB
1970 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, directed and choreographed by Ron Field, musical direction by Donald Pippin, lighting by Tharon Musser.
Lauren Bacall made her Broadway debut on the stage of the Palace Theatre, and APPLAUSE went on to win four Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Choreographer. Co–starring Len Cariou and Penny Fuller, the musical was a witty, satiric look at backstage shenanigans, inspired by the classic Bette Davis/Anne Baxter film All About Eve.
Original cast album: Decca Broadway.
1971 – Off–Broadway – Music, lyrics and book by Charles Strouse, musical direction by Wally Harper, directed by Peter Coe, assistant director Denny Martin Flinn.
Cast included Gilbert Price. A song cycle for six singers in the classical mode, SIX may have been ahead of its time.
1973 – Music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, book by Joseph Robinette.
Children's musical based on E. B. White's classic book. Frequently licensed to middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community theaters in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, and South Africa.
ANNIE – view IBDB
1977 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics, direction and concept by Martin Charnin, book by Thomas Meehan, choreography by Peter Gennaro, costumes by Theoni Aldredge, musical direction by Peter Howard, produced by Mike Nichols.
Based on Harold Gray's "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip, the show won a Tony for Best Musical. Andrea McArdle was the original Annie, the first in a long line, and her co–stars were Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan and Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks. ANNIE has achieved an almost mythical status. Produced all over the world and in the top ten of stock and amateur rentals around the world, there isn't a little girl who does not grow up knowing the song "Tomorrow."
Original cast recording: Sony Classical.
A BROADWAY MUSICAL – view IBDB
1978 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by William F. Brown, directed by Gower Champion.
Backstage story about a white producer's misguided effort to create a musical based on a play written by a black author.
1978 – Off–Broadway – Manhattan Theatre Club.
A review that included songs from Strouse's music in: Palm Beach, The Borrowers, Marjorie Morningstar, and Hunky Dory.
1993 – Workshop production at the Barksdale Theatre in Richmond, VA – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, book by Douglas Jones.
Biographical musical based on the life of the great tap–dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Has yet to be produced in New York.
CHARLIE & ALGERNON – view IBDB
1980 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics and book by David Rogers.
Based on a novel by Daniel Keyes about a mentally handicapped man whose intelligence is restored by an experimental drug, which ultimately fails to work. Nominated for Best Score Tony in 1981. Produced in London as FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON starring Michael Crawford.
London cast album: Original Cast Records.
BRING BACK BIRDIE – view IBDB
1981 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by Michael Stewart, direction by Joe Layton.
Produced as a sequel to BYE BYE BIRDIE, BRING BACK BIRDIE, it remains in the shadow of its more successful predecessor despite a wonderful cast including Donald O'Connor, Chita Rivera, Maurice Hines and Maria Karnilova.
Original cast recording: Varese Sarabande.
UPSTAIRS AT O'NEALS
1982 – Nightclub Revue – Music and lyrics by Charles Strouse.
DANCE A LITTLE CLOSER – view IBDB
1983 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics, book and direction by Alan Jay Lerner.
From the Robert E. Sherwood play, Idiot's Delight. Lerner's attempt to update the 1936 Sherwood play was greeted with disdain by the NY critics. The stellar cast, led by Len Cariou, Liz Robertson and George Rose, combined with Strouse's haunting melodies could not save DANCE from disaster.
Original cast recording: Jay Records
LYLE, LYLE CROCODILE
Staged Musical – Chicago, Milwaukee – Music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, book by Charles Strouse and Thomas Meehan, direction and choreography by Barbara Siman.
MAYOR – view IBDB
1985 – Off–Broadway – Music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, book by Warren Leight, directed by Jeffrey Moss, choreography by Barbara Siman.
Based on former NYC Mayor Edward Koch's book, MAYOR the musical depicts a day in the life of New York's #1 Man. MAYOR is an affectionate send–up of a thankless job in the Big Apple.
Original cast recording: Harbinger Record.
RAGS – view IBDB
1986 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Joseph Stein.
RAGS depicts the experiences of Jewish immigrants to the United States circa 1910, hoping for a better life but finding poverty and squalor instead. The title refers to the clothing made by those early garment workers as they struggle for survival in New York City. Strouse's score, nominated for a Tony in 1987, is a glorious outpouring of period music: ragtime, blues, popular songs and Klezmer melodies performed by an eclectic cast. The leads were Teresa Stratas, an opera star making her only Broadway appearance, and Larry Kert, a handsome musical theatre veteran. Marcia Lewis, Judy Kuhn and Terence Mann rounded out the cast. Although RAGS didn't lastlong on Broadway, sensational reviews have turned the show into a perennial favorite in regional theatres in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Original cast recording: Sony Masterworks.
NICK & NORA – view IBDB
1991 – Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, book and direction by Arthur Laurents, orchestration by Jonathan Tunick, costumes by Theoni Aldredge.
NICK & NORA was a look back at the sophisticated movie team of William Powell and Myrna Loy, who delighted audiences with their portrayal of Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man films during the thirties and forties. Strouse and lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. paid homage to the film composers of that era by using the songs as background music and having some of the dialogue sung rather than spoken. Barry Bostwick and Joanna Gleason starred, supported by Christine Baranski, Remak Ramsay, Chris Sarandon and Faith Prince. Nominated for Best Score Tony in 1992.
Original cast recording: TER Records.
1993 – Off–Broadway – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, book by Thomas Meehan, costume design by Theoni Aldredge, choreography by Peter Gennaro, scenery by Ming Cho Lee.
Action of this follow–up production starts 30 seconds after ANNIE ends. The production starred Harve Presnell, Donna McKechnie and Kathryn Zaremba (Annie) and played at the Variety Arts Theatre. It is often performed in reparatory with the prequel.
Original cast album: EMI/Angel Records.
CAN'T STOP DANCIN'
1994 – Musical Revue – Presented at Marymount Theatre in NYC. Music, concept and direction by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, Sammy Cahn, Alan Jay Lerner, Richard Maltby, Jr., David Rodgers, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, and Fred Tobias.
A LOT OF LIVING!
1996 – Revue – Presented at Rainbow & Stars. Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, Sammy Cahn, Martin Charnin, Alan Jay Lerner, Richard Maltby, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, and Fred Tobias, conceived and staged by Barbara Siman.
2002 – Boston's Huntington Theatre – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, book by Rupert Holmes.
The beloved 1955 film Marty starred Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair, and won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Paddy Chayevsky).
Academy Award Nominee John C. Reilly starred in the world premiere of the musical. Both he and the production received superb reviews, and a Broadway production is in the works.
DANCING WITH TIME (in development)
2005 – Trinity Repertory Company, Providence, RI – Music, lyrics and book by Charles Strouse.
The story of a young musician who learns that love comes when you least expect it.
REAL MEN (in development)
2005 – Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL – Music and lyrics by Charles Strouse.
A revue style show that focuses on the trials and tribulations of modern men and their relationships with their parents, children and women.
2009 – The Ahmanson, Los Angeles – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, book by Bob Martin, directed and choreographed by director–choreographer Casey Nicholaw.
In MINSKY'S, the king of burlesque himself, Billy Minsky, reigns over the rollicking backstage world of his famed strip palace. He knows well that entertainment is all about legs and laughs and that to keep the customers coming, you have to push the limits. But even he's not prepared for the day he falls in love and the cops come banging on his door.
MARTIN: A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL
2011 – The Kraine Theatre – Music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, book by Leslie Lee, directed by Jeffrey B. Moss, musical direction by Skip Brevis.
Based on the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (in development)
Unproduced – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, book by David Shaber.
Based on a novel by Theodore Dreiser. A classic tale of love, betrayal, class and deceit, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY was turned into the 1951 Oscar winning film A Place in the Sun.
MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR (in development)
Unproduced – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by David Newman.
Based on the famous novel by Herman Wouk, this classic coming of age drama was later turned into an Oscar–nominated film starring Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly.
NORTH AND SOUTH (in development)
Unproduced – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Richard Maltby, based on the novel by John Jakes.
THE TRUTH ABOUT CINDERELLA (in development)
Unproduced – Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by David Rogers.