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Wright, Robert (1914-2005), and George "Chet" Forrest (1915-1999)  
 
page: 1  2  

Not all of Wright and Forrest's works were box-office hits. Magdalena (1948, book by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan and Homer Curran), based on music by Heitor Villa-Lobos, was, in Wright's opinion, one of their finest efforts, and the music and lyrics garnered favorable reviews, but the show closed after only eleven weeks on Broadway. Anya (1965, book by George Abbott and Guy Bolton), a retelling of the story of the czarina Anastasia set to music based on the work of Sergei Rachmaninoff, also closed quickly.

Timbuktu (1978, book by Luther Davis), a reworking of Kismet with an all-black cast, including Eartha Kitt, enjoyed a modest run in New York.

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Wright and Forrest's adaptation of Vicki Baum's novel Grand Hotel, called At the Grand (book by Luther Davis), closed out of town in 1957, but a revised version, Grand Hotel (1989, book again by Davis), directed on Broadway by Tommy Tune, was a great success, winning five Tony Awards. Wright and Forrest's "Let's Take a Glass Together" is a show-stopper and was a highlight of the year's Tony Awards show. Critic Ed Real called Grand Hotel "one of the great musicals of the past decade—a complex and compelling work of theater."

In the 1990s Wright and Forrest returned to a work that they had begun three decades earlier with P.G. Wodehouse, Betting on Bertie, a musical about the Bertie Wooster character from Wodehouse's "Jeeves" stories. The project ended when Forrest died in Miami on October 10, 1999.

Forrest's passing brought to an end a loving and creative partnership of over seven decades. Wright followed his partner in death on July 27, 2005.

Wright and Forrest's professional career included work in film, television, radio, the cabaret circuit, and most notably the stage. The later was rightfully acknowledged when they were given the 1995 ASCAP/Richard Rodgers Award for their contributions to American musical theater.

Linda Rapp

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    Bibliography
   

Block, Geoffrey. "Wright, Robert." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed. Stanley Sadie, ed. London: Macmillan, 2001. 27: 579.

Chute, James. "The Men behind It Spin Popular Shows from Classical Works." Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (February 5, 1988): 4.

Hanley, Robert. "George Forrest, 84, Songwriter for Broadway, Films and Clubs." New York Times (October 12, 1999): B13.

Real, Ed. "Grand 'Hotel' Open for Business at Le Petit." Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (September 17, 1999): L24.

Vallance, Tom. "Obituary: George Forrest." The Independent (London) (October 14, 1999): 6.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Wright, Robert , and George "Chet" Forrest  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated June 9, 2008  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/wright_r.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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