|Lyrics Harold Rome|
Composer Harold Rome
|Lyricist Harold Rome|
|Book Kazuo Kikuta (Japanese); Horton Foote (English)|
Basis Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With the Wind
Productions 1970 Tokyo 1972 West End
Similar Harold Rome plays, Musicals
Scarlett is a 1970 musical with a score by Harold Rome. The original 1966 Japanese book is by Kazuo Kikuta, and the English version of the book is by Horton Foote. The Tokyo production was directed by American director/choreographer Joe Layton, who later directed a production in the London West End. London producer Harold Fielding cancelled his plans for a 1974 Broadway production, and the musical has never been performed on Broadway.
Based on Margaret Mitchell's bestseller Gone with the Wind, it traces the fate of self-centered Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara and her passionately turbulent relationship with dashing blockade runner Rhett Butler, from the days prior to the American Civil War through the war itself and the following period of Reconstruction.
In 1966, a nine-hour play (without music) based on Gone with the Wind opened at the Tokyo Imperial Theatre. This production was highly successful, and Kazuo Kikuta and the Toho Company decided to produce a musical version of Gone with the Wind at the same theatre. Kikuta wrote the book to the new musical, but the rest of the production was largely the work of Americans—the music and lyrics were by American Harold Rome, the director was American Joe Layton, and the musical director was well-known Broadway conductor Lehman Engel. The original Tokyo production was presented in two parts - each for 6 months - and each ran four hours long. The production opened in January 1970 with the title Scarlett.
The show underwent severe trimming when it was translated into English, reduced to one part but still close to 4 hours long. It had a new book adapted by Horton Foote and was rechristened Gone with the Wind. The West End version, produced by Harold Fielding and again directed by Joe Layton, opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1972, with a cast headed by June Ritchie, Harve Presnell, Patricia Michael, and Robert Swann. The majority of reviews praised Ritchie's Scarlett and were duly impressed by Layton's staging; however, they criticized Foote's adaptation of the story, which relied heavily on the audience's prior knowledge of the characters and plot and as a result was sketchy in its presentation of both. Still, Fielding was encouraged enough to schedule a Broadway opening for April 7, 1974.
In August 1973, a revised version of the London production was mounted at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles by the city's Civic Light Opera Association, with Lesley Ann Warren, Pernell Roberts, Udana Power and Terence Monk in the leads. The strongly negative reviews prompted Layton to make numerous changes throughout the Los Angeles and subsequent San Francisco runs, but Fielding cancelled his plan to move the show to Broadway. In 1976, Lucia Victor staged a production in Dallas that travelled to three other cities, but that was the last time the musical was produced.
Songs (Los Angeles - First Performance)
Note: The score was heavily cut and revised during the Los Angeles & San Francisco runs