Thirty years ago, a musical called "My One And Only" defied all the odds to become a surprise hit on Broadway. The original members of the company came together this week to stage a reunion celebrating their unlikely success, and NY1's Roma Torre was there.
When "My One And Only" opened on Broadway on May 1, 1983, starring Twiggy and Tommy Tune, it was dubbed "The Miracle On 44th Street." But the fact that it lasted long enough to be featured at that year's Tony Awards was a surprise to almost everyone involved with the musical.
"When we opened in Boston, we were a total flop," Tommy Tune says.
"We had to fire all the creative people. We came to New York on a wing and a prayer with a lot of debt," says Francine LeFrak, the show's co-producer.
But after a dramatic overhaul, the show did go on and it became a huge hit, garnering four Tony Awards and running for the next two years.
The experience was life-changing for those who lived through it, and so on this 30th anniversary year of its opening, a party was held at Sardi's to look back and remember.
Almost everyone came: the stars, the techies, the money people and all, it seemed, held special memories of that "one and only" time in their lives.
"It was extraordinary, it was touching and lovely, happy and sad. It was brilliant," Twiggy says. "And just to see everyone again, it was fabulous."
It's not too often that a reporter has a personal connection to a story she's covering but in all honesty, I was invited not as Roma Torre from NY1. I'm here because 30 years ago I was an aspiring actress looking for a job and I ended up getting one as the production secretary on "My One And Only."
David Jackson, a member of the original company who co-organized the event, says, "When I looked at the Playbill to locate people, I saw 'Roma Friedman' and someone said, 'You know who Roma Friedman is?' I said 'No.' They said, 'That's Roma Torre.' And I said, 'Get out of here.'"
It was a celebration of the Gershwin music that inspired the musical but most of all the pluck and fortitude that enabled them to turn a flop into an overnight success.
"The gods of the theater descended on Boston to help me out," Tommy Tune says. "Tony Walton redesigned the set. Peter Stone came and wrote a whole new book. And then the great Mike Nichols materialized and he literally touched every aspect of that show and... 'Swonderful.'"