Show History



Riverwind is a work of a rare "triple threat" creator.  John Jennings, a protégé of the great Frank Loesser, worked on the book, music and lyrics for the musical.  Jennings took inspiration from being raised in rural Indiana to write Riverwind.  Allegedly, he sang out songs from the show on a flatbed truck in Shubert Alley after a newspaper strike prevented reviews for the show from being released.


Riverwind opened Off-Broadway at the Actors' Playhouse in Greenwich Village.  It ran from December 12, 1962, to January 5, 1964, for 443 performances, a staggering total for an Off-Broadway musical at the time. The original cast of mostly unknowns comprised: Elizabeth Parrish as Louise, Lawrence Brooks as Fred, Helon Blount as Mrs. Farrell, Martin J. Cassidy as John, Brooks Morton as Burt, Dawn Nickerson as Jenny and Lovelady Powell as Virginia. Tony-winning lighting designer Jules Fisher created the lighting for this, one of his early Off-Broadway assignments. It was directed by the prolific Off-Broadway director, Adrian Hall.  The musical premiered outside of New York in Newburgh, New York, near the hometown of creator John Jennings.  Another notable production occurred at the Bucks County Playhouse on June 20, 1966, starring a young Bernadette Peters as Jenny.