Our Town (Producers' Showcase)

Our Town is a 1955 episode of the American series Producers' Showcase directed by Delbert Mann and starring Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint. The episode is a musical adaption of Thornton Wilder's 1938 play Our Town, with songs by Jimmy van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. It was Sinatra's only performance in a dramatic role specifically for television until Contract on Cherry Street in 1977.[1]

"Our Town"
Producers' Showcase episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 1
Directed byDelbert Mann
Written byDavid Shaw (adaptation)
Thornton Wilder (play)
Produced byFred Coe
Featured musicJimmy Van Heusen
Original air dateSeptember 19, 1955 (1955-09-19)
Running time90 minutes

Reception

The show was praised by television critics, although several writers have questioned Sinatra's suitability for the role of the Stage Manager. Thornton Wilder reportedly disliked the production.[1][2]

Cast

Soundtrack

This television production marked the beginning of the lengthy and successful collaboration between Cahn and Van Heusen.[3] Among their songs for the production was "Love and Marriage", later known as the theme song to the TV show Married... with Children. Sinatra's version of the song from the program became a chart success, as did another version quickly recorded by Dinah Shore.[4] The show was also Nelson Riddle's first time to take charge as conductor of an entire television production.[2]

References

  1. Tom Santopietro, Sinatra in Hollywood (Macmillan, 2009), ISBN 978-1429964746, pp. 183ff. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. Peter J. Levinson, September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle (Taylor Trade, 2005), ISBN 978-1589791633, pp. 121-124. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  3. William Zinsser, Easy to Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs (David R. Godine, Publisher, 2006), ISBN 978-1567923254, pp. 224-225. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  4. Murray Forman, One Night on TV Is Worth Weeks at the Paramount: Popular Music on Early Television (Duke University Press, 2012), ISBN 978-0822350118, p. 113. Excerpts available at Google Books.
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