Three Wishes for Jamie

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Three Wishes for Jamie


Original Cast Recording
Music Ralph Blane
Lyrics Ralph Blane
Book Charles O'Neal
Abe Burrows
Basis Charles O'Neal' novel
The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin
Productions 1952 Broadway

Three Wishes for Jamie is a musical with a book by Charles O'Neal and Abe Burrows and music and lyrics by Ralph Blane.

Musical theatre work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Charles Eldridge O'Neal was an American film and television screenwriter and novelist.

Abe Burrows Dramatist, playwright

Abe Burrows was an American humorist, author, and director for radio and the stage. He won a Tony Award.


Based on O'Neal's 1949 novel The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin, [1] the fantasy focuses on the title character, a young Irishman who, when offered three wishes by the Queen of the Fairies, chooses travel, a bride, and a son who can speak Gaelic. The granting of the first brings him to Atlanta, Georgia, where the second is fulfilled in the form of Maeve Harrigan. But the third will prove to be more difficult to enjoy when it is discovered his new wife is unable to conceive and the couple adopts a mute boy. [2]

Fantasy genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Irish language Goidelic (Gaelic) language spoken in Ireland and by Irish people

Irish is a Goidelic (Gaelic) language originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations, and as a second language by a larger group of non-habitual speakers across the country.

Production history

In July 1951, the musical was staged at the Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles [3] and at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco by producer Edwin Lester and director Albert Lewis with John Raitt as Jamie and Cecil Kellaway as Owen Travis, [3] but neither critical nor audience reaction justified a move to New York City. Abe Burrows [4] replaced O'Neal's original collaborator Charles Lederer, consolidated the three acts into two, tailored the role of Jamie specifically for John Raitt, and eliminated most of the West Coast cast.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.

Curran Theatre theater and movie theater in San Francisco, California

The Curran Theatre, located at 445 Geary Street between Taylor and Mason Streets in the Theatre District of San Francisco, California was opened in February 1922, and was named after its first owner, Homer Curran. As of 2014, the theater is owned by Carole Shorenstein Hays.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, United States

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

After tryouts in New Haven, Boston, [5] and Philadelphia, the Broadway production opened on March 21, 1952 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. The opening had been delayed for two weeks to give Burrows "more time in which to improve the musical", and so added a tryout in Philadelphia. [6] It transferred to the Plymouth Theatre for the final week of its 92 performance run. Directed by Burrows and choreographed by Herbert Ross, Eugene Loring, and Ted Cappy the cast included Raitt, Anne Jeffreys as Maeve, with Bert Wheeler, Charlotte Rae, Walter Burke, Malcolm Keen, and Jeff Morrow in supporting roles. [7]

New Haven, Connecticut City in Connecticut, United States

New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. With a population of 129,779 as determined by the 2010 United States Census, it is the second-largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport. New Haven is the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010.

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

Mark Hellinger Theatre former Broadway theater and movie theater in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States, now a church

The Mark Hellinger Theatre is a former Broadway theatre and cinema complex, located at 237 West 51st Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City. Since 1989, it has been home to the Times Square Church. The former theater, which remains largely unaltered in appearance, is most notable for having been the site of the original production of My Fair Lady, which ran from 1956 to 1962.

Musicals Tonight! (New York) presented the musical in October - November 2010 in a staged concert. [2] The Backstage reviewer wrote "With its convoluted, plot-heavy book and generic, second-tier score, it's not hard to understand how 'Three Wishes for Jamie' folded after only 91 performances." [8]

An original cast recording was released by Capitol Records. [9]

Capitol Records American record label

Capitol Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG. The label's circular headquarter building in Hollywood is a recognized landmark of California.


Source:The Guide to Musical Theatre [10]


  1. "PAPERS OF CHARLES O'NEAL, Collection Dates: 1938 -- 1982" University of Iowa Libraries, accessed October 20, 2011
  2. 1 2 Gans, Andrew.Musicals Tonight's Three Wishes for Jamie Begins Off-Broadway Run Oct. 26", October 26, 2010
  3. 1 2 Zhito, Lee."Legit:Out of Town Review, 'Three Wishes for Jamie', Los Angeles" The Billboard, July 14, 1951, pp.7, 19
  4. "Legitimate: Sides and Asides" The Billboard, October 6, 1951, p.46
  5. "'Three Wishes For Jamie'" Genealogy and Local History Department, Columbus Public Library (Georgia), accessed October 20, 2011
  6. Zolotow, Sam. "Venus Observed' In Debut Tonight", The New York Times, February 13, 1952, p.34
  7. "'Three Wishes for Jamie' (Original Broadway Production)", accessed October 20, 2011
  8. Haagensen, Erik."'Three Wishes for Jamie' (in Concert)" Backstage, October 29, 2010
  9. "'Three Wishes for Jamie' Original Broadway Cast", accessed October 20, 2011
  10. "'Three Wishes For Jamie' listing", accessed October 20, 2011

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