Show History



Greenwillow is a musical with a book by Lesser Samuels and Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business...), along with a score by Loesser. It is based on the 1956 novel of the same name by B.J. Chute.

Producer, Robert A. Willey, first went to the composing team of Lerner and Loewe to create Greenwillow. When they turned him down, he went to Frank Loesser, who volunteered to do the book, music and lyrics after his work on The Most Happy Fella. Soon into the process, though, he found the need for a bookwriter. After several major figures turned the job down, Loesser and Willey settled on minor screenwriter, Lesser Samuels.


Greenwillow held a pre-Broadway tryout at the Shubert Theatre in Philadelphia before opening at the Alvin Theatre on Broadway on March 8, 1960. It closed on May 28 of the same year after 97 performances. In 2004, the musical returned to New York City as a part of the York Theatre Company's "Musicals in Mufti" series.

Cultural Influence

  • The song, "Never Will I Marry," went through several covers by significant artists. It can be found on albums from Barbra Streisand, Nancy Wilson and Judy Garland.


  • The Broadway production of Greenwillow was nominated for seven Tony Awards and one Outer Critics Circle Award.
  • The Broadway production of Greenwillow starred Anthony Perkins, Pert Kelton, Cecil Kellaway, William Chapman and Marian Mercer.