Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's a Bird, It's a Plane--It's SUPERMAN! 1966 Broadway Musical--On TV in 1975?! DC Comics!

Sure, we now live in a world awash with tons of multi-media versions of the famed superheroes, from big-screen films, TV shows, video games, and even musicals! But--didja know that a sensational Superman musical was mounted during the dizzying era of the 1966 BATMAN TV show? An ambitious Broadway play called IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN made waves during that "pop art" period, and it featured a host of great actors/singers involved in a high-camp extravaganza that looked to ride the coattails of the unbelievably popular live-action capers of his fellow Caped Crusader! The Supes show was re-staged in 1975, and ran as a late-night filler, starring David Wilson as the Man of Steel! Click below to take in all of the info about both the Broadway show and the TV version! 

Like most large plays and musicals, the Playbill guide for this show was gayly 
festooned with caricatures by the amazing Al Hirschfeld! Note that the play 
co-starred Jack Cassidy (David Cassidy's dad), and Linda Lavin (later to helm 
ALICE for CBS)!The above comes from the rare 1973 DC tabloid, AMAZING 

I somehow missed all of this in 1975, only mere months before the debut (also 
on ABC) of two new WONDER WOMAN live-action specials! Could it have 
been the late hour in which ABC had slotted this presentation? This 
TV version also starred David Wayne ("The Mad Hatter" from BATMAN),
and Loretta Swit (from M.A.S.H.)!

You asked for it--here it is! See the 1975 broadcast of this little gem now! Just click here!


Richard Bensam said...

I stayed up late to watch this in 1975, convinced by that Amazing World article the show was some kind of forgotten gem of American musical theater. I was, it must be said, a gullible and easily led child.

I'm surprised you didn't also include this link:


Now everyone can share in the disillusionment I felt as a boy!

Al Bigley said...

Thanks for the comment!

I can't believe I missed it, as I used to scan the neighbor's TV GUIDE for any superhero content!

Not a bad play, just kinda--underpowered, ya know?

I wonder if they had filmed and broadcast the actual 1966 play (as they did with things like PETER PAN) if fan reaction woulda been different...

I may post the video here, as I thought about it, but figured most folks had seen this already on bootlegs!

All the best--

Al Bigley