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 May 18 , 2012

The 2012 Broadway University Final Exam

Okay, students, the school year is almost over, so it’s time to pay the scholastic piper. Here’s your 2012 Broadway University Final Exam.

You’ll be given two clues for each of the 25 questions. The first will tell about a theatrical personality – be it performer, writer, director, composer, or even a character. The second will refer to a musical.

But in each case, the initial(s) used for the each performer’s name will be the same as the one(s) for the musical.

For example:

1a. He was the third-billed star of The Apple Tree.
1b. In this musical, two sisters played characters named Elsie and Wynne.

The answer to the first question is Alan Alda; the answer to the second is Ankles Aweigh. You see, both have the same initials: A.A.

Good, you got it. Be apprised that such tag lines as “The Musical” and, God help us, “The New Mel Brooks Musical” are not included. We’re just going with what is the generally accepted name of the show.

What’s more, all the musicals named here do not start with the articles “A,” “An” or “The,” so you can eliminate those.

Send your answers to me at All answers are due by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22. You’d better get to work P.D.Q.

1a. In a musical revival, he got to play the same role that got him an Oscar nomination when he first did the non-musical film.
1b. A show that used its final song to mock a president has long outlasted that chief executive.

2a. Hasn’t appeared on Broadway since December, 1965.
2b. A musical set in 221b, to be exact.

3a. He, with his wife, wrote the score to a musical about a famous New Yorker.
3b. When it was first produced – very unsuccessfully in 1975 -- the title sported only one word. It picked up one more when the show was revamped in 2001. That’s the one we want here.

4a. In a flop musical that played the Hellinger, she portrayed a character who had the same name as she.
4b. One of the few original cast albums of the ‘60s that hasn’t surfaced on CD.

5a. She’ll always be remembered for telling an audience, “I could be at home with my seven maids.”
5b. A 2005 musical whose CD box is probably the tallest in your collection.

6a. She was written out of a notorious one-performance flop.
6b. It originally had a short run at a theater that has since been razed, but it resurfaced decades later with this new title that was identical to its source material.

7a. He lost a Best Actor in a Musical Tony one year, but won it the next.
7b. A new composer-lyricist came in, buttressed the score, and made it into a 1000-plus performance hit.

8a. Won eight Tonys, starting in the ‘40s and ending in the ‘80s.
8b. The source material for one of the biggest hits of the ‘90s.

9a. A multi-Tony winner who has to be considered a front-runner for one of this year’s Tonys.
9b. It opened in April, and contained a song that was named for a month that it never lived to see.

10a. He wrote 17 numbers for a show that had a different number as its title.
10b. The Tony-winning musical from the last quarter century that is the least likely to be revived.

11a. Right now, she’s appearing in her eighth Broadway musical.
11b. The leading man and leading lady of this Gallic-flavored musical wound up getting married -- and even stayed married for a while.

12a. Beat out a four-time Oscar winner for the Best Musical Actress Tony.
12b. The cast included Chico and Chloe.

13a. On a subsequent cast album, she got to record a Sondheim song that originally had been omitted on the original cast album.
13b. Quite a few original casters were invited to repeat their roles in this 1959 film.

14a. She can say she’s appeared in four Broadway shows and one Elvis Presley movie.
14b. Originally got lousy reviews in London, but it’s still there, and may last 24,601 performances.

15a. Leading man of the original cast of a Sondheim musical.
15b. A Broadway musical named for a city that was written by a librettist whose previous Broadway musical obliquely dealt with one of that same city’s most famous entertainers.

16a. She has one Tony Award and four Drama Desk nominations – but the irony is that the role for which she won the Tony was one for which she didn’t get a Drama Desk nomination.
16b. The musical that contains a song with a 14-syllable one-word title.

17a. She’s appeared with her husband in two musicals, both of which were adapted from famous films.
17b. Won a Best Score Tony, but not a Best Musical Tony.

18a. The brains behind the most notorious flop of the ‘70s.
18b. Its last two Broadway revivals have seen its leading man, who played the title character, depart before the opening.

19a. He took a ‘60s musical flop and wrote a new book for what became a 21st century flop.
19b. A famous play first became a play with music and later a genuine musical. Each had melodies by two famous Broadway composers who later competed against each other (and lost) in a Best Musical Tony race.

20a. She sang about Paris, but only in Washington and not New York.
20b. One of the comparatively few musicals that won Tonys for Best Book and Score but didn’t win Best Musical.

21a. He spent 10 weeks on Broadway starring in a revival of a Kurt Weill musical.
21b. This musical version of a famous comedy endured an out-of-town change of its leading man, director and choreographer. The bookwriter-lyricist, who later became a TV personality, stayed on.

22a. On Broadway, she’s sung the melodies of Marvin Hamlisch, John Kander, Galt MacDermot and Richard Rodgers.
22b. The twice-revived-on-Broadway musical that originally reopened one of New York’s most famous theaters.

23a. Appeared in the original cast of three of Broadway’s eight longest-running musicals.
23b. Two-character off-Broadway musical about two famous killers.

24a. He’s played two diametrically opposed individuals, each of the extreme end of the religious spectrum -- one in a musical revival on Broadway, one in a movie version of a famous musical.
24b. A big flop musical that opened a theater that now plays host to a big hit.

25a. A character who was part of the original 1946 production, then dropped for the 1966 revival and reinstated for the 1999 revival.
25b. A musical whose score was replaced just before rehearsals were to start.

         — Peter Filichia


You may e-mail Peter at Check out his weekly column each Tuesday at His newest book, Broadway Musical MVPs, 1960-2010: The Most Valuable Players of the Past 50 Seasons, is now available through Applause Books and at

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