Get ready to "sing happy" as hosts Bobby and Kristina discuss 1965's Flora, The Red Menace on episode four of My Favorite Flop.
ABOUT FLORA, THE RED MENACE
Based on Lester Atwell's 1962 depression-era novel "Love Is Just Around The Corner," Flora, The Red Menace tells the story of valedictorian and future fashion designer Flora Meszaros and her struggle to balance love, communism, and self-worth. The musical was produced by Harold Prince featured a book co-written by director George Abbott and playwright Robert Russell. Now legendary composing team John Kander and Fred Ebb provided music and lyrics to the show, in what was their first official collaboration to make it to Broadway.
The original 1965 production famously featured a 19-year-old Liza Minnelli making her Broadway debut in the title role, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She was the youngest actor to ever win a Tony Award, period, until 11-year-old Frankie Michaels won for Mame the following year, however, she still remains the youngest winner of her particular Award. Despite closing after just 87 performances, Flora would not only become the launch pad for the careers of Kander, Ebb, and Minnelli, but also an important catalyst in Harold Prince's journey as producer AND director.
A 1987 off-Broadway revival reimagined the show as a presentation by WPA's Federal Theatre Project. Directed by Scott Ellis, choreographed by Susan Stroman, and featuring a new book by David Thompson, this new version premiered at The Vineyard Theatre to great acclaim and resounding success. Other notable productions have taken place at The Pasadena Playhouse, London's Orange Tree Theatre, Reprise!, and the Rose and Crown Concert Hall.
Original Broadway Cast
Liza Minnelli as Flora
Mary Louise Wilson as Comrade Ada
Cathryn Damon as Comrade Charlotte
Robert Kaye as Mr. Stanley
Bob Dishy as Harry
Art Carney as FDR's Voice
J. Vernon Oaks as Apple Seller
Clark Morgan as Pencil Seller
Daniel P. Hannafin as Police Man
Henry Le Clair as Broker
John Taliaferro as Fourth Man/Artist
Anne C. Russell as Woman/Lily
Anthony Falco as Fifth Man/Artist
Les Freed as Sixth Man/Artist
Robert Fitch as Seventh Man
Abbie Todd as School Principal
Diane McAfey as Artist
Marie Santell as Katie/Artist
Louis Guss as Comrade Galka
Clark Morgan as Comrade Jackson
Stephanie Hill as Elsa
Dortha Duckworth as The Lady
Joe E. Marks as Mr. Weiss
James Cresson as Bronco Smallwood
Danny Carroll as Joe
Gordon Dilworth as Mr. Rearson
Jamie Donnelly as Lulu
Elaine Cancilla as Maggie
Dancers: Elaine Cancilla, Ciya Challis, Barbara Doherty, Judith Doren, Ellen Graff, Mary Ann Niles, Phyllis Wallach, Harry Bell, Robert Fitch, Marcel Gamboa, Charles Kalan, James McArdle, and Neil J. Schwartz.
Singers: Jamie Donnelly, Barbara Christopher, Diane McAfee, Abbie Todd, Anthony Falco, Les Freed, Daniel P. Hannafin, Henry Le Clair, J. Vernon Oaks, and John Taliaferro.