Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs holds a very special place in every Disney fan’s heart, but it is often forgotten that this endearing tale of romance was once a stage production with as much acclaim as today’s Lion King or Beauty and the Beast demands.
As a smaller production, Snow White was presented to the public at New York’s Little Theater on West 44th Street, New York City, on October 31, 1912. This version of the tale was based on the stories by the Brothers Grimm. It was written under the pseudonym of “Jessie Graham White” who was really producer Winthrop Ames. He did it justice, as the play was met with favorable reviews. If you are interested in obtaining a script for your own school or community production, click HERE and check it out.
Few people know that the first major stage production of Snow White as a musical debuted in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1969. The show was highly successful, but due to financial constraints and conflicts, it did not make it’s debut in New York until October 18, 1979 at Radio City Music Hall. The original production opened there and closed November 18, 1979 after 38 performances so Radio City could put on their famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Snow White reopened on January 11, 1980, and closed after 68 performances on March 9, 1980, a total of 106 performances. A video recording of one of the shows was briefly available on VHS and Betamax (remember that?) from Walt Disney Home Video in 1981.
Sources say that the show was directed and choreographed by Frank Wagner, produced by Robert F. Jani, executive musical director Donald Pippin, scenery by John William Keck, costumes by Frank Spencer, lighting by Ken Billington, conducted by Don Smith, orchestrations by Philip J. Lang, Queen’s presentation music arrangement by Ronald Melrose, masks and animal costumes by Joe Stephen, choral arrangements Jay Blackton, Don Pippen, production stage manager Jeff Hamlin, stage manager Neil Miller, and press by Gifford/Wallace, Deborah Morgenthal.
The music included:
- “Welcome To The Kingdom” – Company
- “Queen’s Presentation” – Company
- “I’m Wishing” – Snow White, Greta, Villagers
- “One Song” – Prince Charming
- “With a Smile and a Song” – Snow White, Animals
- “Whistle While You Work” – Snow White, Animals
- “Heigh-Ho” – Seven Dwarfs
- “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Washing Song)” – Seven Dwarfs
- “Will I Ever See Her Again” – Prince Charming
- “The Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (The Silly Song)” – Snow White, Seven Dwarfs, Animals
- “Some Day My Prince Will Come” – Snow White
- “Heigh-Ho (Reprise)” – Seven Dwarfs
- “Here’s The Happy Ending” – Company”I’m Wishing”
Would you like to see the revival of this Disney classic return to the stage? Have you seen Snow White on stage before? Share your comments.