The First (musical)
Broadway Playbill cover
|Basis||Life of Jackie Robinson|
The First is a musical with a book by critic Joel Siegel. The music was composed by Robert Brush, and Martin Charnin wrote the lyrics. The show is based on the life of Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play major league baseball in the 20th century.
The musical premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 17, 1981 and closed on December 12, 1981 after 37 performances and 33 previews. Charnin has said that despite "stellar reviews," the musical failed to secure one: that of Frank Rich of the New York Times, "which at the time meant everything." Directed by Charnin and choreographed by Alan Johnson, the original cast included David Alan Grier as Jackie Robinson, and Lonette McKee as his wife Rachel.
Awards and nominations
- 1982 Tony Awards
- Best Book of a Musical -- Joel Siegel; Written in collaboration with Martin Charnin [nominee]
- Best Featured Actor in a Musical -- David Alan Grier [nominee]
- Best Direction of a Musical -- Martin Charnin [nominee]
- 1982 Theatre World Award
- Best Supporting Actor in a Musical -- David Alan Grier [winner]
- 1982 Drama Desk Award
- Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical -- Lonette McKee [nominee]
- Outstanding Set Design -- David Chapman [nominee]