Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

It Happened Today in New York City

12-26 My Sister EileenOn December 26, 1940, My Sister Eileen by Joseph A. Fields & Jerome Chodorov opened at the Biltmore Theatre and would go on to run for 865 performances. The semi-autobiographical comedy, based on the stories of Ruth McKenney, starred Shirley Booth and Jo Ann Sayers as two provincial Ohio sisters who come to New York to hit the big time, meeting up with crazy urban shenanigans wherever they go. In 1942, the play was adapted to a film starring Rosalind Russell and Janet Blair. In 1953, Leonard Bernstein adapted it into the musical, Wonderful Town.

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1 Comment

  1. The book and lyrics for Wonderful Town were written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green who also collaborated with their friend Leonard Bernstein on an earlier musical, On the Town.
    In the My Sister Eileen stories the McKenney sisters lived in a basement apartment at 14 Gay Street – the apartment does exist.
    Eileen married the novelist Nathanael West (nee Weinstein) author of Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locust. The couple died in a gruesome automobile accident in Southern California
    West’s sister married New Yorker humorist, playwright and screenwriter SJ Perelman

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