Superman, the 1966 Broadway musical!


Who needs Man of Steel when you can wax nostalgic for "It's A Bird, It's a Plane, It's SUPERMAN," the 1966 Broadway musical! Drew Friedman:

The TV series starring George Reeves had been off the air for almost a decade and the Superman movies were still another decade away. A Broadway musical reviving The Man of Steel seemed like a good idea. The show starred Jack Cassidy as a new character, unscrupulous Daily Planet gossip columnist Max Menchen (loosely based on Walter Winchell). Also featured were Linda Lavin (fresh from The MAD Show) as Max's Girl Friday Sydney, Patricia Marand as Lois Lane, Michael O'Sullivan (overly sweaty & spitty) as a lunatic-professor bent on Superman's destruction, (10 time Nobel prize loser), Dr. Abner Sedgwick, and the 6 foot/4 inch, square-jawed baritone, the imposing yet throughly likable Bob Holiday as Superman/Clark Kent.
"It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's SUPERMAN", the 1966 Broadway Musical" (Drew Friedman)

Below, the sweet sounds of "We Don't Matter" from the musical.


  1. FYI, the musical’s been revived twice very recently.  It had a five-day run in March in New York’s City Center (which I wish I’d been able to attend). It also had a brief 2010 run at the Dallas Theatre Center, which boasted an updated book by playwright/comics & TV writer Roberto Aguirre-Sarcasa, as well as brand-new numbers written by Adams and Strouse for the production (and boy, do I wish I could have seen THAT).

  2. I seem to remember this show was adapted for TV, with extra cheese, way back in my youth. Yep, there it is: ABC in 1975.

  3. I played in a pit orchestra for a community theater production in the mid-90’s. Even then, it felt like- well- a product of its time. Nice enough, but no “Oklahoma”, as we said.

  4. What the hell?  A cultural phenomenon and “Mad Men” didn’t even touch on it in season 5?  But they found space in one script to give a shout out to Jean-Claude Van Itallie?  That’s absurd!

    1. It wasn’t really “a cultural phenomenon.”  The original production closed after 129 performances, so the 1966 Broadway public wasn’t terribly interested (even though it got generally positive reviews). The general response at the time was not, “Oh wow! A hit musical about Superman!” but more a puzzled, “Um, okay, why did they make this?”

      It’s doubtful it would have been on Don Draper’s radar.

      1. Seems to be a photographic distortion.  All the parts look like they fit together just right in other photos.

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