Merman Wouldn’t Be Upstaged By A Penis

Sometimes when I’m doing research for a story I run across tidbits that startle even someone as jaded as I am. While doing sleuthing today for a theater story I ran across this fact from Wikipedia about a 1956 Broadway musical called “Happy Hunting” that starred Ethel Merman and Fernando Lamas. To wit: ‘Initially Merman was pleased with co-star…Lamas, but soon after rehearsals began they clashed when he publicly criticized her performance, and as tensions between them escalated they stopped speaking to each other. Lamas was certain he would be overshadowed by Merman and plotted to draw the focus away from her. Known throughout Hollywood for

his unusually large physical endowment, he instructed costume designer Irene Sharaff to cut his pants so they would cling as tightly as possible. On opening night in Philadelphia during the pre-Broadway tryout, his appearance elicited loud gasps from the audience when he stepped out on stage for the first time. Merman was not amused by the vulgar display and demanded his costume be altered.’

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