January 5, 2012

Album of the Week: Mayor

Broadway shows about New York politics were a recurring feature in the 20th century. Some of the most notable have been Irving Berlin and Moss Hart’s Face the Music, I’d Rather Be Right by Kaufman and Hart and Rodgers and Hart, and Harnick and Bock’s Fiorello.

In 1985, just as New York Mayor Ed Koch was preparing to run for a third term, composer Charles Strouse and librettist Warren Leight adapted Koch’s best selling memoir into a hit off Broadway musical that depicts a day in the life of Koch and his administration. It included performers appearing as real-life personalities such as Cardinal John O’Connor, Leona Helmsley, John Lindsay and Abe Beame. Koch was played by veteran actor Lenny Wolpe.

Mayor opened on May 13, 1985 at the Top of the Gate in Greenwich Village and ran for 185 performances, before moving to the Latin Quarter, a Broadway–eligible nightclub/theater on West 48th Street where it ran for 70 performances. It’s closing brought an end to six years of legitimate theater at the location, which was demolished in 1990.

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