• Welcome

    The Apple Tree

    Music by Jerry Bock

    Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

    Book by Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock

    With additional book material by Jerome Coopersmith

    Based on stories by Mark Twain


    Yale Cabaret

    Directed by Rory Pelsue

    Music Directed by Jill Brunelle

    Starring Erron Crawford, Danilo Gambini, & Courtney Jamison

    Dramaturgy by Molly FitzMaurice


    In this eclectic & casual diary of production dramaturgy, I'll be assembling and adding resources throughout our process. Read, skim, click, enjoy, and don't hesitate to reach out with curiosities or requests!



  • Mark Twain

    For an easy reading, succinct, and accurate portrait of the man, visit this bio from the Mark Twain House & Museum:



    For a taste of Twain's signature wry and irreverent wit, check out one of his humorous essays linked below! They're excellent morning coffee mini-readings that might help us tap into the play's comic world.

  • Livy

    "Eve's Diary" may have been written as a posthumous love-letter to Mark Twain's wife Olivia Langdon Clemens, or Livy, who died in June 1904, just before the story was written.


    Mark Twain's been quoted as remarking, "'Eve's Diary' is finished — I've been waiting for her to speak, but she doesn't say anything more."


    The story ends with Adam's speaking at Eve's grave, "Wherever she was, there was Eden."

  • On the genesis of Twain's "Diaries of Adam and Eve"

    FROM TELEVISION; 'The Diaries of Adam and Eve': Its Genesis, From Its Creator
    Published: April 23, 1989
    in The New York Times


    The first story, ''Extracts From Adam's Diary,'' was written in the 1890's; the second, ''Eve's Diary,'' more than a decade later. The earlier work is essentially one long joke. Twain had written it sometime before 1893. In that year, he was asked to write a piece for a publication about Niagara Falls and he realized that his unpublished ''Adam's Diary'' would be suitable if he placed the Garden of Eden at Niagara Falls.


    ''Where else could it have been?'' Mr. Twain says. ''Wasn't Niagara just made for the Garden of Eden? Of course it was the Garden of Eden.''


    The work appeared in ''The Niagara Book,'' which contained 10 essays, including ''The Earliest Authentic Mention of Niagara Falls. Extracts From Adam's Diary. Translated From the Original Ms. by Mark Twain.'' In the Garden at Niagara Falls, Adam is confused by a new creature that has suddenly appeared and that has long hair. It tells him its name is Eve, and it devotes most of its time to naming everything it finds in the Garden. ''I get no chance to name anything myself,'' Adam complains.


    Later, he reports that she has taken up with a snake, and he foresees trouble. After the Fall, when Cain appears, Adam is not sure what this being is - perhaps it is a fish, perhaps a kangaroo. Eve ''caught it while I was up country trapping on the north shore of the Erie,'' he says. ''Caught it in the timber a couple of miles from our dugout.

    ''It makes curious devilish noises when not satisfied,'' Adam writes, ''and says 'goo-goo' when it is.''


    Twelve years after ''The Niagara Book'' appeared, Twain received requests to contribute to Harper's Magazine. ''Eve's Diary'' was the result. It was first published in Harper's in December 1905.


    ''My technique was to use 'Extracts From Adam's Diary' as her unwitting and unconscious text,'' he says, ''since to use any other text would have been an imbecility.'' The two works were later published in one volume as ''The Diary of Adam and Eve.''

    In her diary, Eve writes that she is not sure what Adam is - perhaps it is a man, perhaps a reptile, perhaps both. ''It has no hips; it tapers like a carrot,'' she says of the strange being. ''When it stands, it spreads itself apart like a derrick; so I think it is a reptile, though it may be architecture.'' ''Eve's Diary'' is very different in tone from Adam's: it is gentle, amusing, even sentimental. Twain's wife had died the year before, and the piece was essentially a tribute to her as Eve, the first woman, all women. It focuses on what Twain thinks of as the essential female characteristics: love of beauty and nature, affection, intuition, curiosity. ''The core and center of my nature is love of the beautiful, a passion for the beautiful,'' Eve writes.


    The final entry in the combined diaries reads: ''At Eve's grave: Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.''


    The stories do not have the bitterness, melancholy, misanthropy and pessimism that characterized a good deal of Twain's later work. In those later years, he lost much money in unsuccessful printing and publishing ventures, he suffered through the long illness and death of his wife, Olivia, as well as the deaths of two of his daughters.

  • Harnick & Bock

    Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock met and began their fruitful partnership in 1958. Their first venture The Body Beautiful, flopped but did earn Hal Prince’s attention, getting them their next gig: a musical biography of former New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Fiorello! (1959), which really put them on the map, winning both the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


    The Body Beautiful (1958)

    Fiorello! (1959)

    Tenderloin (1960)

    Man in the Moon (1963)

    She Loves Me (1963)

    Fiddler on the Roof (1964)

    The Apple Tree (1966)

    The Rothschilds (1970)


    from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/broadway/stars/jerry-block-and-sheldon-harnick/

  • The Apple Tree

    The Apple Tree is triptych of three musical playlets with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and a book by Bock and Harnick with contributions from Jerome Coopersmith. “The Diary of Adam and Eve” is the first of its three acts, or playlets.


    Harnick interviewed on the Broadway revival & on the show’s genesis:


    Original Broadway Production


    Opened on Broadway October 18, 1966 at the Shubert Theatre and ran for 463 performances, closing on November 25, 1967. Directed by Mike Nichols. Starred Barbara Harris, Alan Alda, and Larry Blyden.


    New York Times original review: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9D02E6DE153BE63ABC4152DFB667838D679EDE&legacy=true [accessible via Yale NYT credentials]

    "Gorgeous" from the Original Broadway production

    Encores! Concert


    Encores! staged concert production May 12, 2005 through May 16, 2005. Starred Kristin Chenoweth, Malcolm Gets and Michael Cerveris.


    New York Times review of the Encores! concert:


    Broadway Revival


    Roundabout Theatre Company Broadway revival ran December 14, 2006 to March 11, 2007. Starred Kristin Chenoweth, Brian D'Arcy James, and Marc Kudisch. It ran for 18 previews and 99 regular shows for a total of 117 performances.


    New York Times revival review:


    Broadway Revival Part 1 of 2

    Broadway Revival Part 2 of 2

  • Lyricism

    On Sheldon Harnick’s lyrical style:


    Mr. Harnick’s skill, actors and directors say, is in writing lyrics that are deceptively straightforward. Barbara Cook, the Broadway actress and singer, described Harnick lyrics as “like conversation — he’s not just trying to rhyme things.” Harold Prince, the producer, said, “They’re smart and sharp, and character delineation is very strong.” And Todd Haimes, the longtime artistic director of the Roundabout Theater Company, cited the lyrics of “She Loves Me,” which his theater is reviving this season, saying “Everything is just perfect — the rhymes don’t feel forced, it’s emotional, it’s funny, and it moves the story forward in an organic way.”

    See more: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/theater/sheldon-harnicks-vast-eternal-plan.html


    While Sondheim has since popularized an exuberant, and witty lyrical style, it’s important to luxuriate in the lush sounds, metaphors, puns, and alliteration Harnick offers us—to remember his style was exceptional in his time. Below are some lyrics from his contemporaries—other great musicals that premiered on Broadway in 1966 but take a different approach to lyricism. What distinguishes Harnick’s lyricism? What about it can we indulge and delight in?


    from Cabaret

    What good is sitting alone in your room?

    Come hear the music play

    Life is a cabaret, old chum

    Come to the cabaret

    Put down the knitting, the book and the broom

    It's time for a holiday

    Life is a cabaret, old chum

    So come to the cabaret

    Come taste the wine

    Come hear the band

    Come blow that horn

    Start celebrating right this way

    Your table's waiting

    What could permitting some prophet of doom

    To wipe every smile away

    Life is a cabaret, old chum

    So come to the cabaret

    I used to have this girlfriend known as Elsie

    With whom I shared four sordid rooms in Chelsea

    She wasn't what you'd call a blushing flower

    As a matter of fact she rented by the hour

    The day she died the neighbors came to snicker

    "Well, that's what comes from too much pills and liquor"

    But when I saw her laid out like a Queen

    She was the happiest corpse, I'd ever seen

    I think of Elsie to this very day

    I remember how she'd turn to me and say

    "What good is sitting all alone in your room?

    Come hear the music play

    Life is a cabaret, old chum

    Come to the cabaret

    And as for me

    And as for me

    I made my mind up, back in Chelsea

    When I go, I'm going like Elsie

    Start by admitting from cradle to tomb

    Isn't that long a stay

    Life is a cabaret, old chum

    It's only a cabaret, old chum

    And I love a cabaret

    "Hey Big Spender"

    from Sweet Charity

    The minute you walked in the joint

    I could see you were a man of distinction

    A real big spender

    Good lookin' so refined

    Say, wouldn't you like to know what's goin' on in my mind?

    So let me get right to the point

    I don't pop my cork for every man I see

    Hey big spender,

    Spend a little time with me

    Wouldn't you like to have fun, fun, fun

    How's about a few laughs, laughs

    I could show you a good time

    Let me show you a good time!

    The minute you walked in the joint

    I could see you were a man of distinction

    A real big spender

    Good lookin' so refined

    Say, wouldn't you like to know what's goin' on in my mind?

    So let me get right to the point,

    I don't pop my cork for every guy I see

    Hey big spender

    Hey big spender

    Hey big spender

    Spend, a little time with me


  • More Inspo

    from our musical genius, Jill!

  • The Snake

    Fosse Snake in The Little Prince

  • How to Delight

    Our Adam and Eve discover every element of the world for the first time, reveling in the stoniness of a stone, or relishing the just-discovered name of an animal. How do we embody their fresh eyes, their perpetual discovery?

    Dust of Snow

    by Robert Frost

    The way a crow

    Shook down on me

    The dust of snow

    From a hemlock tree


    Has given my heart

    A change of mood

    And saved some part

    Of a day I had rued.

    Of Robert Frost

    by Gwendolyn Brooks

    There is a little lightning in his eyes.

    Iron at the mouth.

    His brows ride neither too far up nor down.


    He is splendid. With a place to stand.


    Some glowing in the common blood.

    Some specialness within.

  • Questions, Curiosities, & Requests Welcome!

    Contact your friendly neighborhood dramaturg, Molly FitzMaurice.

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