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STAGE TUBE: On This Day 9/08 - CARNIVAL IN FLANDERS Opened on Broadway

Hello and welcome to BWW's ON THIS DAY Series! Please read along as, each day, we celebrate birthdays, shows' openings and all kinds of theatrical events that have happened on this date.

Sixty-three years ago, the musical "Carnival in Flanders" opened on Broadway, at New York's New Century Theatre. With music and lyrics by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke, and with Preston Sturges's book, based on French comedy film "La Kermesse Héroique".

The story is set in 1616, in Flacksenburg (in what is now) Belgium, and the town's mayor decides to play dead in the hope that the invading Spanish army will therefore just leave. However, this proves less than successful, as the Duke who heads up the army becomes infaturated with Cornelia, the mayor's wife. The mayor is then forced to continue playing dead, even as the duke pursues his wife.

Unfortunately critics did not find this rather ridiculous set-up intriguing and the show closed after just six performances. The show did, though, prove a strong career move for Dolores Gray, who still suceeded in winning that year's Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her win remains a record to this day - that of the briefest run to still gain a Tony.

Today's video is not from "Carnival in Flanders" but does go some way to showing was a powerhouse performer was Dolores Gray.

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