Broadway Playbill
MusicGary Geld
LyricsPeter Udell
BookPeter Udell
Ketti Frings
BasisThomas Wolfe novel Look Homeward, Angel
Productions1978 Broadway

Angel is a Broadway musical that opened at the Minskoff Theatre in New York on May 4, 1978. It was based on Ketti FringsPulitzer Prize winning 1957 theatrical adaptation of Thomas Wolfe's best-selling 1929 novel, Look Homeward, Angel.

The musical featured songs with lyrics by Peter Udell and music by Gary Geld—the same team who created the musicals Shenandoah and Purlie. Frings and Udell collaborated on the book. Angel was directed by Philip Rose and choreographed by Robert Tucker. The production featured costumes by Pearl Somner, lighting design by John Gleason and scenery by Ming Cho Lee.

For her performance, Frances Sternhagen received a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Additionally, Joel Higgins was nominated for a 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.

The musical was savaged by the critics, and closed on May 13 after only five performances.

Original cast and characters

Character Broadway (1978)[1]
Eliza Gant Frances Sternhagen
Eugene Gant Don Scardino
W. O Gant Fred Gwynne
Ben Gant Joel Higgins
Laura James Leslie Ann Ray
Dr. Maguire Daniel Keyes
Fatty Pert Patti Allison
Madame Victoria Patricia Englund
Will Pentland Elek Hartman
Miss Brown Jayne Barnett
Helen Gant Donna Davis


Angel is set in Altamount, North Carolina in the fall of 1916. In Act One, the scene is the Dixieland Boarding House. In Act Two, Scene One is set in Gant's marble yard and shop; and Scenes Two and Three are set again in the Dixieland Boarding House.

Critical response

Reviewing for The New York Times, Richard Eder wrote:


  1. ^ Playbill 1961 Bio Cast Listaccessed 07/07/2023