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John Murray Anderson’s Almanac

John Murray Anderson
(September 20, 1886- January 30, 1954)
John Murray Anderson was a man of many talents and abilities. Aside from working in almost every genre of show business, such as film and broadway, he also had experience in the many different aspects of production such as directing, songwriting, acting, and light designing.
Throughout his career, John Murray Anderson became known for producing performances such as ‘The Greenwich Village Follies’ in 1919, the ‘Ziegfield Follies’, ‘Life Begins at 8:40′ in 1934, ‘Billy Rose’s Jumbo’ in 1935, ‘One for the Money’ in 1939, ‘Two for the Show’ in 1940, ‘Three to Make Ready’ in 1946, and ‘New Faces’ of 1952. He also directed both film and stage productions such as ‘The League of Notions’, ‘The King of Jazz’ in 1930 and ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ in 1952.
John Murray Anderson’s Alamanac
John Murray Anderson’s Almanac was a musical revue that open on Broadway on December 10, 1953 at the Imperial Theatre in New York City and closed on June 26, 1954. Featuring the music of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, the revue starred Harry Belafonte, Hermione Gingold, Orson Bean, Tina Louis, Polly Berfen, Billy DeWolfe, and Monique van Vooren.
Harry Belafonte won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical as well as sharing the Theatre World Award with Orson Bean for their outstanding performances.

Memories of his Performance: “The New York Post noted that ‘Mark Twain’ routinely stopped the show. I went on to earn a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Almanac, a dream come true.”

Food For Thought: Do you think Harry Belafonte’s performance in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac was an example of the changing view of African American performers during that time?

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