Big B’way Flop Is Revived In London

I can’t say I’ve ever listened to any music from “La Strada,” which has just opened in revival in London, to mixed reviews. The original production premiered at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway on December 15 1969, and closed after a single night. The critics, unsurprisingly, tore it to pieces. “The book is weak, and the music and lyrics by Lionel Bart are undistinguished to the point of Muzak-like oblivion,” sneered Clive Barnes of The New York Times. It lost $650,000, the equivalent of almost $6 million today. The Fellini movie on which the show is based is a masterpiece, starring the incomparable Guilietta Masina and scored by the equally peerless Nino Rota. Fun fact: “La Strada” is one of the current Pope‘s three favorite movies.

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