Hollywood was not sending lead role script opportunities to Angela Lansbury. She went to Broadway and did a 1964 Stephen Sondheim musical that lasted for only 9 performances. But Jerry Herman, riding high on the success of HELLO DOLLY!, saw her sing and dance in that short-run musical. He was working on a musical version of the Broadway and film hit comedy, AUNTIE MAME. Rosalind Russell famously originated the role on Broadway and recreated her performance in the movie version. Several actresses were considered for the musical version -- Broadway great Mary Martin, Ann Sothern, Kitty Carlisle … even Rosalind Russell. Angela Lansbury was on nobody's list. Nobody except for Jerry Herman. She got the role and became the "It" Girl of 1966. Broadway gave her the stardom that Hollywood had not. Angela Lansbury looked glamorous, she was the Toast of Broadway, the musical was a huge hit and songs she introduced were recorded by top pop stars of the day. She was now starring in MAME, a leading lady and not a supporting player.
Here is one of the MAME songs written by Jerry Herman that ascended her to Broadway stardom. Click onto the link below:
Jerry Herman's musical forced the entertainment industry to see the versatile Angela Lansbury in a whole new light. His songs illuminated HELLO, DOLLY!, MAME, DEAR WORLD, MACK AND MABEL and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. Herman was a Broadway great whose work made others Broadway greats. His songs will always hold a special place in our hearts.