Original Recording
Music Frank Loesser
Lyrics Frank Loesser
Book Lesser Samuels
Frank Loesser
Basis Novel by B. J. Chute
Productions 1960 Broadway

Greenwillow is a musical with a book by Lesser Samuels and Frank Loesser and music and lyrics by Loesser.

Based on the novel by B. J. Chute, the fantasy is set in the magical town of Greenwillow, where the eldest in each generation of Briggs men must obey the "call to wander," while the women they leave behind care for the home and rear their children in the hope that someday their husbands will return. Gideon loves his girlfriend, Dorrie, and would like nothing better than to settle down with her, and finds in the town's newest inhabitant, the Reverend Birdsong, an ally who will try to help him make his dream come true.

Following a pre-Broadway run at Philadelphia's Shubert Theatre, the production, directed by George Roy Hill and choreographed by Joe Layton, opened on March 8, 1960 at the Alvin Theatre where, hampered by lukewarm reviews, it ran for only 97 performances. The cast included Anthony Perkins, Cecil Kellaway, Pert Kelton, Ellen McCown, William Chapman, and Marian Mercer.


Song list

Act I
  • A Day Borrowed from Heaven
  • The Music of Home
  • Gideon Briggs, I Love You
  • The Autumn Courting
  • The Call to Wander
  • Summertime Love
  • Walking Away Whistling
  • The Sermon
  • Could've Been a Ring
  • Gideon Briggs, I Love You (Reprise)
  • Halloweve
  • Never Will I Marry
  • Greenwillow Christmas
Act II
  • The Music of Home (Reprise)
  • Faraway Boy
  • Clang Dang the Bell
  • What a Blessing
  • He Died Good
  • The Spring Courting
  • Summertime Love (Reprise)
  • What a Blessing (Reprise)
  • The Call
  • The Music of Home (Reprise)

Tony Award nominations

  • Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Pert Kelton)
  • Best Scenic Design (Musical)
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Choreography
  • Best Conductor and Musical Director
  • Best Stage Technician


This play was being rehearsed in New York while Anthony Perkins was simultaneously filming the Alfred Hitchcock classic shocker Psycho (1960) in Los Angeles. Over the years in interviews about the infamous shower scene in that film, Anthony Perkins has always said that during the whole week of filming required for that scene, his stand-in was used, because he was in New York rehearsing for a Broadway play. Greenwillow was that play.

Barbra Streisand recorded "Never Will I Marry" for The Third Album in 1964,[1] and sang it live in her early club act.


External links

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