Age, Biography and Wiki

Claibe Richardson (Claiborne Richardson) was born on 10 November, 1929 in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, is a Composer, Music Department.

Popular AsClaiborne Richardson
Age74 years old
Zodiac SignScorpio
Born10 November 1929
Birthday10 November
BirthplaceShreveport, Louisiana, USA
Date of death5 January, 2003
Died PlaceNew York City, New York, USA

Claibe Richardson Height, Weight & Measurements

At 74 years old, Claibe Richardson height not available right now. We will update Claibe Richardson’s Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible.

Physical Status
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Dating & Relationship status

He is currently single. He is not dating anyone. We don’t have much information about He’s past relationship and any previous engaged. According to our Database, He has no children.

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Claibe Richardson Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2019-2020. So, how much is Claibe Richardson worth at the age of 74 years old? Claibe Richardson’s income source is mostly from being a successful Composer. He is from USA. We have estimated Claibe Richardson’s net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2020$1 Million – $5 Million
Salary in 2019Under Review
Net Worth in 2019Pending
Salary in 2019Under Review
HouseNot Available
CarsNot Available
Source of IncomeComposer

Claibe Richardson Social Network




Playwright Frank Gagliano asked Claibe Richardson to compose music for his play “Congo Square”, which would comprise the second of a Voodoo trilogy, (#1) “TheVoodoo Parlour of Marie Laveau” and (#3) “The Commedia World of Lafcadio Beau”. (#2) “Congo Square” was first produced at the University of Rhode Island’s Professional Season of Plays, directed by J. Ranelli. CFR was never happy with the play’s material nor with the college’s presentation, which is why Richardson never discussed the project. The musical’s scenario is about a young black man, Willy Beau, being chased by a New Orlean’s mob and police. Willy Beau hides in a dimly-lit warehouse attic where Mardi Gras costumes, floats, elaborate masks and costumed mannequins have been stored. In a kind of self-induced, frenzied amnesia, Willy retreats into a musical fantasy world, with his mannequin friends; fantasies that involve corruption, madness, the heroism of historical or mythical black characters and Congo Square, where the slaves would dance to release their joy. A white woman, Delphine, joins Willy in the attic, with her own fantasies, together, the two innocents fall in love. Together they face a violent, but transcendent, destiny. The Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company presented the complete Voodoo Trilogy in 2011: in this order, “Congo Square” (musical play directed by Marci Woodruff); “The Voodoo Parlour of Marie Laveau” (play directed by Kim El); “The Commedia World of Lafcadio Beau” (play directed by Frank Gagliano).


Claibe Richardson developed a musical-play, which would appeal to a Yiddish audience, based upon the Jennie Grossinger’s stories about her family’s 100 acre farm in New York State. Jennie turned the farm house into a boarding house, which became a summer resort known as “Grossinger’s”. Claibe, in the mid 1990’s, interested Stephen Cole in writing the book with him as a new musical. Claibe enlisted Ronny Graham (1919-1999), who was living and working in Los Angeles, in writing the variety vaudeville acts which would go into the musical’s scenario: in the early 1960s, a Saturday night, the Catskills Mountains, at the (boarding house’s) brand new nightclub. When the stars do not show up to entertain, Jennie, owner and founder of the greatest hotel in the Jewish Alps, enlists her family to entertain the packed audience, to tell the story of how it all happened. A hilarious, tuneful and ultimately moving six character musical about the rise of the Borscht Belt and the hotel that became to symbolize it all: “Saturday Night at Grossinger’s”. The musical’s first staged NYC reading was performed at the off-‘off’-Broadway York Theatre Company (1996) starring Tovah Feldshuh. Eventually, the project was produced in Florida testing what they had written. This was followed by subsequent productions that seemed to go no where! The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony Orchestra performed a benefit concert staging, in August, 1996 Summer, at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center’s Fred Kavli Theatre, starring Ruta Lee as Jennie, Gavin MacLeod as Jennie’s best friend, Sheldon Seltzer. This was followed with a full stage production at Casa Mañana Musicals, Fort Worth, Texas, starring Gavin MacLeod and Ruta Lee, directed by Bruce Lumpkin, May 24 through June 5, 1997. After CFR’s death in January, 2003, a full stage production of the six character revision of “Grossingers” was performed at the Broadhollow Theatre Rockville Center, New York, in July 2003; at the Theatre West, Los Angeles, California, for a four month run in 2005; at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a three month run in 2006, starring Barbara Minkus and Barry Pearl. After finishing the score in 1996 for “Saturday Night at Grossinger’s”, this was when CFR decided to go after Paul Grubb’s novel “Night of the Hunter”.


Playwright Frank Gagliano, again collaborated with CFR, on the musical play “From The Bodoni County Songbook Anthology” (Book and Lyrics by Frank Gagliano, Music by Claibe Richardson); first produced at the 1989 Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s Musical Theatre Conference, then at the Vineyard Theatre’s a Musical Workshop, in NYC, in the Spring of 1991 with Andre Ernotte directing; and then in a revised text, showcased by Pittsburgh’s, (Pennsylvania), Pyramid Productions, August 1995, directed by Ted Hoover. The “From Bodoni County Songbook Anthology” musical play is a 21st Century combination “Our Town/Spoon River/Jacques Brel” on acid! A musical revue in which the inhabitants of a mythical American County step out and sing their angst away. Some material range from the opening number, “Buy Me A Ticket OUT”, to the Bush era anthem, “Reagan’s Legacy I Don’t Give A Shit About Anyone Else But Me”, to the sung monologue, “A Song of Life for Alzheimer Mary”; to the realistic sung scene “Cul-de-Sac” in which a bunch of teenagers and a grieving mother explore Perry Carrington’s suicide; to the satiric and surreal sketch “Dancing with Joy”, in which two innocents Eubie Copoccio and Joy, walk into a travel poster to escape Bodoni County, and which features Joy’s raunchy song “Sand Dune Blues”. Overseeing it all is a Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Overview, who chronicles the fables and foibles of Bodoni’s inhabitants, and whose need to become more than a point of view, culminates in his haunting song, “November is My Time”, an autumnal moment that changes Johnathan forever – which poignantly, and lyrically, brings down Bodoni’s curtain on a note of compassion.


With Kenward Elmslie, Claibe collaborated on the musical-play “Lola,” based upon the life of Lola Montez, a 19th Century personality. The musical was performed by The York Theatre Company at the Heavenly Rest, at 2 East 90th Street, NYC, from March 24-April 10, 1982. “Lola” was performed by three actresses in sequence, Jane White, Gretchen Albrecht, and Leigh Beery, directed by John Going.


Claibe Richardson’s professional friendship with Celeste Holm, Intoduced him to Ruth Aaron, who represented and was his contract management representative, Ruth Aaron’s Talent Magement until Ruth Aaron’s demise in 1980.


The original Grass Harp album cover art was designed by Kenward Elmslie’s fine artist-painter friend, and his lover, Joe Brainard. Jim Pearsall, an advertising agency movie poster art director lived on the main floor of Claibe Richardson’s 115 West 7st Street apartment building. Jim Pearsall designed the Chappell Music Publishing’s sheet music cover art work. Pearsall’s twisted china berry tree design, featured on the Chappell Music Publishing sheet music cover art, replaced the original Brainard vinyl record “Grass Harp” cover art work when the Painted Smiles audio CD was issued. After Pearsall moved from NYC to the West coast, to Hollywood in 1973, Pearsall designed movie posters for the 1974 feature film “Chinatown” and the 1975 Charles Bronson feature film “Breakout”. Jim Pearsall produced a North Hollywood production of the musical “The Grass Harp” in 1976, performed for twelve weeks.


The New York Times printed on March 16, 1969, that Ellis Rabb would direct “Yellow Drum,” a musical play based upon Truman Capote’s novella ‘The Grass Harp’ scheduled on Broadway for February 17, 1970. Claibe Richardson’s first and most notable Broadway theatre score was for the 1971 Broadway adaptation of Truman Capote’s novella “The Grass Harp.” The University of Michigan Professional Theatre Program, produced by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Michael Harvey and Michael Kasden, staged “The Grass Harp” musical, directed by Ellis Rabb in the summer of 1971. The cast included Barbara Cook as Dolly Heart Talbo, Carol Brice as the black maid Catherine Creek, Ruth Ford as Verena Talbo, Celest Holm as Baby Love, Max Showalter as Dr. Morris Ritz, Russ Thacker as Collin Talbo; music orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick and Robert Russell Bennett, musical arrangements by J. (Billy) Van Planck, dance and incidental music by John Berkman, musical director by Theodore Saidenberg, choreography by Rhoda Levine, scenic and lighting by James Tilton, and costumes by Nancy Potts. The successful out of town try-out musical “The Grass Harp” presented at the University of Michigan in association with Theatre 71 Productions closed, moving to New York City. The final NYC rehearsals were held on the Amsterdam Roof, where Ziegfield once put on midnight extravaganzas. A theatre so derelict, its lobby was used as a shooting gallery by itinerant dopers, nonplussed by such hallucinogenic perks as Karen Morrow, singing “The Babylove Show” with her gospel troupe of Pride-‘n-Joys. “The Grass Harp” musical previewed (October 26, 1971) with five performances, opening November 2, 1971 at the Martin Beck Theatre, NYC. The University of Michigan cast remained with one exception, Ellis Rabb replaced Celest Holm’s “Baby Love” role with Karen Morrow. The cast with Claibe playing piano appeared on a local NYC-CBS TV Sunday morning interview format program to advertise that the musical had opened on Broadway. (may be viewed on You-Tube). The musical closed a week after opening night, November 6, 1971. The musical previewed and opened during a NYC newspaper strike, with only television drama critic reviews. With extremely poor advance publicity nor advertising, lacking any advance group ticket sale guarantee, the producers posted a closing cast notice during the first opening week.The cast had been presented with two options by the producers to continue, after seven performances, for three more weeks, or closing the production after the seven performances, in order to use the remaining producer-production banked fund account to produce a “Grass Harp” Broadway cast album. Jonathan Tunick, to avoid prohibitive NYC’s musician union regulations, recommended the orchestra score be recorded in Cologne, Germany, with the Cologne Symphony Orchestra. Karen Morrow accompanied Ken Elmslie and Claibe Richardson to Germany. In the recording studio, Claibe playing the grand piano, Karen Morrow performed the “Baby Love Magic Show” solo anthem for the Cologne Orchestra musicians prior to their three day symphonic recording session. The orchestra musicians immediately tuned into the musical’s rhythm and spunky pulse. Returning to the States, passing through US Customs Inspection, Richardson and Elmslie declared only carrying tape reels in their carry on luggage. At the cast reunion, in a dinky NYC recording studio, the engineer wasn’t use to real voices: Carol Brice, Barbara Cook, Russ Thacker, and Karen Morrow, all accustomed to projecting to the last row of the second balcony. The cast recorded their material, transposed on top of the orchestra tracts. The 33.3 vinyl platter album was released in January 1972. Because of timing, one number was dropped, but added when the tracts were released on a CD reissue. Listeners, including some critics, couldn’t understand why on earth the show flopped. The musical has developed a cult following among musical theatre aficionados. This was Barbara Cook’s last Broadway stage musical performance. The musical’s behind the curtain push was Celest Holms’ legacy.


Joan Rivers gave Claibe a boxed puzzle that she had received from one of her fans. The puzzle was a 24″ round RED DOT. John Braden’s twin brother Hub visited New York City. On his departure, Claibe gave Hub the puzzle box to take back to California. In California, Hub gave the puzzle to their mutual puzzle fanatic friends Neil Foster, Vern Lanegrasse and Walter Wood, who put the puzzle together. After the puzzle was completed, missing one piece located in the middle of the red dot puzzle, Hub had the Prospect and Talmadge ABC TV studio’s carpenter shop glue down the puzzle on to a 24″ diameter hard Masonite circle, lacquered for use as a tray. When Joan Rivers made her first and only Hollywood appearance on the ABC TV variety show “The Hollywood Palace,” host: Vince Edwards (air show: #3.19, February 5,1966), Hub gave the “red dot puzzle” to Joan, asking, “where’s the missing piece”.


The 1964-1965 NYC World’s Fair, held in what is now Flushing Meadows Corona Park, symbolized a grand consumer show covering many products in America at the time for transportation, living, and consumer electronic needs in a way that would never be repeated at future world’s fairs in North America. The fair ran for two six-month sessions – April 21-October 18, 1964 and April 21-October 17, 1965. The Electric Power and Light Pavilion, one of the fair’s major attractions, sponsored by a corporation of Electric Companies including CONED, was a circular domed shaped “Carousel of Progress.” The Electric Power and Light Pavilion was one of the few buildings to be completed prior to the opening day of the NYC World’s Fair. The Pavilion’s interior exhibition area consisted of six pie shaped chamber spaces, each chamber displaying a film documentary – the future progress of ‘electric power.’ Audience participants were ushered onto an enormous doughnut shaped revolving turntable (platform) which rotated into each of the six consecutive (adjacent) sound proof film chambers; at the end of the sixth film chamber, audience members departed the ‘ride.’ Alfred Stern (June 11, 1911-October 26, 1979-age 85) produced and wrote the attraction’s show, hiring Broadway and film couture-costume designer Miles White (1914-2000-age 85) to design the six chamber film presentation spaces. Miles’ film theater chamber designs were whimsical and wonderfully imaginative. Alfred Stern set up offices in the World Fair Village. Scenic designer John Braden working with Miles was in charge of draftsmen transcribing Miles White’s design aspects into construction drawings; supervising the exhibit’s installation. Miles White was instrumental in Alfred Stern hiring composer Claibe Richardson, who worked with Alfred Stern, his film script, composing the film score with songs consisting of about thirty minutes of musical material for “The Brightest Show on Earth.” This was the first time Claibe asked (his mentor) Robert Russell Bennett to orchestrate the score for the film-exhibit-show. Robert Russell Bennett, incidentally, sponsored Claibe’s membership in ASCAP.


From 1963 through 1968, Claibe Richardson was the musical director for Esquire Magazine’s annual “Men’s Fall Fashion Preview Runway Show” held in New York and in Los Angeles. Esquire Magazine Fashion Editor Chip Raymond and Associate Paul Roth produced the fashion runway shows, usually in the Spring featuring men fashions for summer, fall and spring.


Richardson provided the score for Celeste Holm and Ronny Graham’s revue “What A Day”, Claibe was the musical director for the summer theater tour. Celeste Holm was “compted a 1960 cherry fire engine red Oldsmobile convertible” for the summer circuit tour. Claibe chauffeured Celeste and Ronny, with the car’s trunk packed with the soft fabric scenic panels designed by John Braden at the premiere Westport Playhouse Theater engagement.


While Claibe and Paul Rosner’s material was being performed at Julius Monk’s Cabaret Club, Claibe met Wallace Gray, who was teaching ‘English-Writing’ at Columbia University, and Gene Schneider, who considered himself a ‘show producer’. Gene Schneider commissioned Claibe to compose music to his room-mate Wallace Gray’s children’s lyrical-play. Claibe and Wallace developed an hour musical play titled “I Wish I May”. Gene Schneider, a nemesis, produced the Saturday morning children’s musical at the off-Broadway Brownstone building first floor “Theatre East” on 59th Street, between Second and Third Avenue. A prison dramatic play “Death Watch” was presented during the weekly night schedule. The ground first floor “Theatre East”, had been converted into a small theatre space, with a box office inside the 59th Street entrance’s small lobby. A lobby aisle entrance against the building’s West brick wall provided access to a ‘U’ shaped audience seating plan, with a very short nine (9′-0″) deep, one (1′-0″) foot high stage platform, by fifteen (15′-0″) foot length wide stage platform area. At the street side lobby aisle entrance, a platform was built over the audience seating area, functioning as a stage manager’s isolation perch and for an electrician/stage hand’s lighting and sound console. A ladder against the wall provided access to the overhead work station balcony. The prison “Death Watch” scenery and set dressing was dirty, with dark prison furniture, iron jail bars extending parallel with the building’s painted brick West wall, with the illusion of suppressed inmates and captors closeted in an oppressive, dank, smelly, littered environment. To redress the prison set for the Saturday morning children’s musical, Gene, the producer, arrived with multi-bright rainbow colored balloons on rainbow strings which he tied to the prison bars to ‘dress it UP’. Gene, the producer, rented a small upright spinet piano positioned on top of the make-shift tech balcony. Part of Claibe’s agreement, Claibe performed the music he had composed. At this point of Claibe’s career, Claibe was sharing a sumptuous apartment, with four room mates, all working in Wall Street. At 115th Street and Broadway, the second floor apartment was directly across from Columbia University, where Wallace taught. Gene Schneider commissioned, again, Claibe to compose and develop a second ‘new children’s musical’ with Wallace, writing the play and lyrics, titled “Star Bright”. The new musical was to be in repertory with “I Wish I May”. John Braden, costume and scenic designer, was added to the creative team. Volunteering his idea to cover up the prison jail bars, Braden devised a twenty (20′-0″) foot long rope soft fabric header-fence, hung with nine (9″) inch wide olive-green felt strips, spaced three (3″) inches apart, with ring-hooks spaced along the rope header. Cast members, entering onto stage, carrying the rope banner, were to hang the felt banner on top of the iron jail bars, hooking the rope header rings on the iron header prison bars. Introducing the kiddies musical opening, the cast members choreographed business, hanging the felt rope fence, turning the prison scenery into a kid’s play yard pen. With no rehearsal prior to the new musical’s opening day, the extremely nervous cast failed to properly hook the rope rings onto the prison bars. Following the cast’s opening entrance and “hanging the rope fence”, the rope fence immediately fell to the stage platform floor surface. Braden received his reputation – that his “set fell down on opening (night) at the off Broadway Theatre East”. Afterwards, the cast learned their routine hanging the felt fence. The two rotating children’s musical plays became successful Saturday morning kid show adventures.


One of Claibe Richardson’s earliest composing credits was for the 1957 Shoestring Revue performed at the Barbizon Plaza, in New York City.


Claibe was the younger sibling, with older brothers George and Robert, and sister Fanny. An unplanned surprise for his mother and father, he was awarded a silver spoon and wallet. An early child prodigy on the piano, Claibe was entered in recitals and piano competitions, which he won, much like Van Cliborne did when he was growing up in Texas. In high school, the father of Molly Northfleet, Claibe’s classmate, a talented soprano, wanted Molly and Claibe to visit NYC to broaden their life experiences, to see the sights of the big apple. Molly’s father flew Molly and Claibe, by private airplane during a school break, to experience NYC for one week of vacation. Claibe, at this age, had no concept of composing, or writing music, his career objective being just an exceptional pianist. Graduating from Lufkin High School, Claibe attended Louisiana State University majoring in piano studies, providing him training for a potential composing career. Graduating from LSU, not wanting to spend two years burrowed in a Korean fox hole, Claibe enlisted in the United States Air Force. The Air Force, after basic training, assigned Claibe to the Air Force music division unit that centered around travel, entertaining military troops. A small group of musician in the group formed a swing and jazz dance band, which was featured in the Air Force traveling performance entertainment group’s duties. Upon Claibe’s discharge, Claibe returned to his parents homestead in Lufkin, Texas. Claibe decided to test his skills going to NYC, joining former LSU classmates and Air Force musician buddies who had relocated to the big apple. Living in an apartment on Barrow Street in the Village, Claibe searched for a job. Because of his Air Force experience and family banking history, Claibe went to work with an airline travel and ticket company located on Wall Street. While working as a travel booking agent negotiating airplane travel vouchers, Claibe met Paul Rosner, a clever Jewish writer-lyricist; working together, with Paul providing clever ideas for Claibe to compose his ‘tunes’. Together, they produced several songs, one composition “Fifth Avenue Buses Never Go Out Alone”, catching the attention of Julius Monk. Julius Monk had a restaurant cabaret on 56th Street West of Fifth Avenue, featuring a second floor piano bar-restaurant where six performers performed popular musical review material, three shows a night, with a very exclusive clientèle. The Julius Monk Cabaret Club was considered the ‘Top Banana’ of NYC night life entertainment. When the performers were not entertaining, the piano was played by a ‘cocktail pianist’. Claibe turned down Julius Monk’s job offer, disdained, refusing to be considered a honky tonk pianist hack! Claibe continued his day shift air line agent employment, continuing to work at night with Paul Rosner, writing new review material for Julius Monk’s Cabaret Club.


Upon the completion of CFR and Stephen Cole’s collaboration on the musical play “Saturday Night at Grossinger’s,” Claibe zeroed in on the 1953 classic thriller novel “Night of the Hunter” by American author Davis Grubb. The book “Night of the Hunter” inspired the 1954 classic “film noir” starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. The Davis Grubb ’53 novel was a national best seller and was voted a finalist for the 1955 National Book Award. The plot was based, on the true story of Harry Powers, who was hanged in 1932 for the murders of two widows and their children in Moundsville, West Virginia. ‘The New York Times’ called the novel “a work of beauty and power and astonishing verbal magic.” CFR’s doomed experience in (1961) securing from Jean Giraudoux’s widow, the property rights to the fantasy play “La Folle de Chaillot” taught him a hard learned lesson. The 1963, Spring 1964 “Crazy Lady” adaptation had to be shelved because Claibe’s property rights to the project was for European jurisdictional rights. This experience prepared CFR in obtaining all of the property rights from the widow of Davis Grubb. Reluctant in allowing the book being turned into a serious musical adaptation, Claibe convinced Davis Grubb’s widow into granting the novel’s copyright stage adaptation production rights to turn the property into a musical drama. Richardson’s persuasion abilities could charm an elephant to take off his pants! Lyricist-librettist Stephen Cole and composer Claibe Richardson began collaborating on the project in the summer of 1995. Upon learning of CFR’s newest project from orchestrator Larry Moore, New York City theatrical producer Bruce Kimmel joined the team, expanding the project, developing the property for workshop presentations. Bruce Kimmel had been looking for a new musical to do as a concept album for quite some time. Wanting the musical to be uniquely American, Bruce wanted the score to be firmly rooted in Broadway tradition rather than pop, something that would make sense and tell the story as an album. In between two and half years time, the show had had a successful reading at The Vineyard Theatre, Claibe and Stephen continued pushing forward, fixing what clearly hadn’t worked at the reading, writing new sequences. The Night of the Hunter is a quintessentially American musical, a classic story of good and evil, love and hate, the innocence of children and their ability to endure and abide. Both book and film are masterpieces of their respective medium. The Davis Grubb book is poetic, lean, and very musical in its prose. The film, written by James Agee and directed by Charles Laughton (his only directorial effort) was also stark, expressionistic, and in its use of hymns and original scoring, also very musical. Claibe and Stephen’s score perfectly captures the drama, the poetry, and the horror of the source material.


Truman Capote’s stage play adaptation of his novella “The Grass Harp”, directed by Robert Lewis, opened on March 27, 1952 at Broadway’s Martin Beck Theater, where it ran for 36 performances. The cast included Mildred Natwick as Dolly Talbo, Ruth Nelson as Verena Talbo, Jonathan Harris as Dr. Morris Ritz, Sterling Holloway as The Barber, Gertrude Flynn as The Baker’s wife, Val Dufour as The Sheriff, Jane Lawrence as The Choir Mistress, Lenka Peterson as Maude Riordan, and Alice Pearce as Miss Baby Love Dallas. Music was by Virgil Thomson with scenery and costumes by Cecil Beaton. Kenward Elmslie’s first meeting with Truman Capote in Boston, where the play was trying out, pre-Broadway, was terrified by Mr. Capote’s high-pitched nasal voice and weirdo effeminacy. Truman complained vociferously about Cecil Beaton’s scenic stunner of a tree, which upstaged the performances and sabotaged his play. In 1963, Kenward Elmslie and Claibe Richardson had been collaborating on a musical play adaptation of Jean Giraudoux-Maurice Valency poetic fantasy satire “La Folle de Chaillot” – “The Madwoman of Chaillot.” While working on the “Crazy Lady” project, Kenward suggested Capote’s novella, not his play, “The Grass Harp” to Claibe as a possible musical. The team tackled some songs, playing them for Mr. Capote. Capote loved what they had come up with, counseled them to “make it your own,” and gave them the go-ahead. Kermit Bloomgarten, a prestigious Broadway producer, optioned their musical for Broadway. Bloomgarten, to raise the huge sum of $250,000, needed a star. Claibe on piano, Kenward Elmslie sharing vocals, auditioned their musical “The Grass Harp” for Gwen Verdon, Julie Harris, and Shirley Booth, singly. Delectably responsive, each turned them down. Kenward and Claibe flew to Brazil, to nab a star, tracking down Mary Martin at her isolated frontier fin-ca. Showbiz shrewd, Mary Martin knew she needed to play both Dollyheart and Babylove to fulfill her fans’ expectations. She demurred charmingly. John Braden, the resident scenic designer at the Trinity Square Repertory Company, brought the “Grass Harp” property to the Repertory Company’s director Adrian Hall, suggesting the musical for the Trinity Square Repertory Company’s presentation of new works. The New York Times, in a bi-line press release November 28, 1967, announced the opening performance of “The Grass Harp” for December 26, 1967; the “Grass Harp” musical play professional initial trial performance was presented by the Trinity Square Repertory Company, at the Rhode Island School of Design Auditorium. The production was staged and directed by Adrian Hall. The cast included Barbara Baxley as Dolly Heart Talbo, Carol Brice as the black maid Catherine Creek, Carol Bruce as Verena Talbo, Elaine Stritch as the evangelist Baby Love with her Miracle Show “heavenly Pride-‘n-Joys.” After the Trinity Square Repertory Company-Adrian Hall’s “Grass Harp” production ended their trial-run of performances, Larry Fineberg optioned the property for Broadway; with the same initial casting, signing Mama Cass as Baby Love. Unable to raise financing, producer Larry Fineberg’s option was taken over by Richard Barr.


Located at Mt. Bethel, in the Pocono Mountain Summer-Winter resort area, near Bushkill, Pennsylvania, Camp Tamiment and Tamiment Playhouse originally opened in 1921. Its purpose was to serve as a summer retreat for faculty, students, and friends of the Rand School of Social Science and serve as a reliable financial resource of revenue for the School. The famous Jewish Summer Resort became a winter week-end ski-resort from November through February. The camp was also the home to the Tamiment Summer Playhouse, for a playhouse that served as an early training ground for performers, writers, composers, choreographers, and others. The Playhouse became a major creative outlet for theatre, dance, film, and television in the United States; nurturing major entertainment figures as Imogene Coca, Betty Garrett, Danny Kaye, Max Liebman, Jules Munshin, Jack Sydow, and Jerome Robbins. Comics who performed at the Summer Playhouse included Woody Allen, Shelley Berman, Joey Bishop, and Carol Burnett. Camp Tamiment known in its heyday for its celebrity clientèle (Jewish). The Internal Revenue Service revoked the camp’s tax exempt status in 1963. This action contributed directly to the Camp’s demise; it closed in 1965 and was sold to commercial interests. Claibe Richardson was hired as a composer for the 1958 Summer where he was paired with writer/lyricist Paul Rosner. A show a week written and performed usually in a revue format, a summer stock factory, each show performed for one week only, closing, never traveling nor performed anywhere else. The creative production staff turned out songs, skits, reviews, comedy sketches, for the stock cast of comics, singers, dancers, and performers. The resort was known for its hospitality, noted for its Jewish foods and life style. There was a lake, an extraordinary golf course, where Danny Kaye hosted golf competition tournaments during the 1950s and ’60s summers. Participating during the ’58 summer, Carol Burnett and Mary Rodgers, members of the creative production team, developed a short musical play adapted from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” “Once Upon a Mattress” – written as a group project during one late 1958 summer week for an initial trial performance week. Composers and writers contributed material for the musical. Mary Rodgers staged the 1958 “Once Upon a Mattress” Tamiment Summer group project off-Broadway in May 1959, then moved the musical production to Broadway. Mary Rogers had to buy out the Tamiment summer staff composers who had contributed their talents to the musical. The musical’s lyrics are by Marshal Barer, Book by Jay Thomas, Dean Fuller, and Marshal Barer. The Tamiment Playhouse comedy skit-revue format, was the basis for the television vaudeville style broadcast program used by Sid Caesar and Max Liebman for the CBS TV “Your Show of Shows” (1950-1954).