The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Stage adaptations

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was adapted for the stage by Thurber as part of the 1960 Broadway theater revue A Thurber Carnival. The sketch, which closed the show except for "Word Dance Part II", was nearly identical to the short story, except that at the end he cleverly avoids being shot.[13] The original cast for the sketch was as follows:[14]

  • Peggy Cass as Mrs. Mitty
  • Tom Ewell as Walter Mitty
  • Paul Ford as Mr. Pritchard-Mitford and The Leader
  • John McGiver as Dr. Renshaw
  • Wynne Miller as Nurse
  • Peter Turgeon as Narrator, Lt. Berg, and Dr. Remington
  • Charles Braswell as Dr. Benbow

The story was again adapted for the stage in 1964, this time by Joe Manchester. This musical version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty depicts Mitty at age 40, tempted by "would-be chanteuse" Willa De Wisp to leave his wife Agnes and really live "the Secret Life". It features 17 songs, with lyrics by Earl Shuman and music by Leon Carr.[15] The musical opened off-Broadway at the Players Theatre on October 26, 1964, and ran for 96 performances.[16] Time magazine referred to the musical's plot as having been "boldly extrapolated" from the short story, and called the result "a thoroughly pleasant musical evening". [17] Columbia Records issued an original cast recording on LP, also dated 1964.


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