The Golden Apple is a musical adaptation of parts of the Iliad and Odyssey with music by Jerome Moross and lyrics by John Latouche. The musical premiered Off-Broadway in 1954 and then transferred to Broadway.
The Golden Apple was one of the first musicals ever produced Off-Broadway, at the Phoenix Theatre, where it opened on March 11, 1954. The musical transferred to Broadway on April 20, 1954, to the Alvin Theater where it played for only 125 performances despite rave reviews. The original production starred Kaye Ballard as Helen and Stephen Douglass as Ulysses. It was the first Off-Broadway show to win the Best Musical award from the New York Drama Critics' Circle.
The musical is through-composed and exhibits features similar to more operatic musicals like Porgy and Bess, Candide, The Most Happy Fella, Sweeney Todd and Les Mis. Jerome Moross was a classical composer of concert music and ballets, as well as a highly appreciated film composer. The show is held in high esteem by devotees of musical theater and is remembered in part for introducing the standard "Lazy Afternoon," sung by Ballard, and its fantastical, suggestive settings by William and Jean Eckart.
The only New York revival of The Golden Apple was presented Off-Broadway in 1961 at the Equity Library Theatre, and in 1962 that production moved to the York Playhouse. Both productions were directed by Robert Ennis Turoff and starred Roberta MacDonald as Helen and Stan Page as Ulysses.
The musical continues to receive occasional productions. It was presented as part of the New York City Center "Encores!" staged concert series from May 10–14, 2017.
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