first appeared on Broadway in 1965. Barbra played her in the movies
in 1970. In 2000, Daisy was
reincarnated for New York audiences, and is set for another revival in
It's Lovely Up Here! . . .
To Streisand fans, "On A
Clear Day You Can See Forever" is one of her most classic and revered
performances. Great tunes, wonderful period costumes, stunning
locations and a creative storyline about mysticism were all
masterfully woven together by legendary film director Vincente
Minnelli. The result was a Streisand musical vehicle that has
withstood the test of time for nearly four decades.
portrayal of Daisy Gamble was not the first. In fact, it was not even
the most recent. Two notable Broadway portrayals of the character have
graced the New York boards throughout the years.
The Many Lives of Daisy Gamble
Barbra Streisand (1970)
Kristen Chenoweth (2000)
Growing Up Daisy:
The Reincarnation of a Beloved Psychic
Legendary lyricist Alan Jay Lerner wrote a book for
a new Broadway musical production called "On A Clear
Day You Can See Forever." Directed by Robert Lewis
and with a score by Lerner and Lane, the show
starred Barbara Harris as Daisy Gamble and John Cullem as Dr. Mark Bruckner. Streisand film alum
William Daniels ("All Night Long") played the
supporting role of Warren. The original production
was modestly successful, lasting 280 performances
and three previews. Barbara Harris's notices,
however, were all raves.
Gamble was the role of a lifetime for Harris and her
portrayal of the character established her as an
overnight sensation on Broadway.
The show came up empty
handed at the Tonys but did receive three nominations
("Best Actress in a Musical" for Harris, "Best Actor in
a Musical" for Cullem and "Best Composer and Lyricist"
for Lerner and Lane). Future Streisand collaborator,
Herb Ross choreographed the show.
There are some subtle (and not so subtle) differences
between the Broadway and film versions of "Clear Day."
The first thing you'd notice is that some character
names were altered for the film. Dr. Mark Bruckner
became Dr. Marc Chabot and Melinda's surname was changed
from Wells to Winifred-Waine-Tentrees. And just for good
measure, Warren Smith became Warren Pratt on screen.
On stage, Melinda's
story line was quite different. She died in a drowning
at sea while on her way to America. The plot had nothing
to do with insurance company inquisitions, court trials
or unjust executions. The time-line of Melinda's story
centers around 1794, not 1814 as in the film. She did
not attend any grand banquets with the King or engage in
any extramarital liaisons with an ambassador. Melinda
did have a suitor named Edward whom she eventually
married. Edward was a womanizer who fell for Melinda's
charm. (His character was scaled back and rewritten as
Robert Tentrees for the film version). Melinda never had
a first husband named Percy.
Meanwhile, Daisy Gamble lived in Mamaroneck, New York.
She did not reside in a penthouse apartment in
Manhattan. Neither did she not have a step-brother named
The final scene of the play takes place at an airport.
Daisy has a premonition that the plane Dr. Bruckner is
about to get on will crash. She warns him not to board.
The flight is cancelled due to technical malfunctions.
When Daisy and Bruckner see that the name of the
aircraft is the same as the ship where Melinda met her
demise, Daisy realizes that she may indeed have had a
past life. She and Dr. Bruckner go off together,
seemingly to live happily ever after (and after...).
The stage version of "Clear Day" contained a number of
songs that were not incorporated into the film. The
musical number, "Wait till We're Sixty-five" was
performed in the stage version, and although a Streisand
audio track of the song was recorded during film
production, the sequence never made it to the screen. On
stage, Edward sings the ballad "She Wasn't You."
version has Streisand performing "He Isn't You" as a
rewrite for Melinda's character. On stage, when Melinda
first meets Edward, she sings a delightful number called
"Tosy and Cosh." In the film, it's the melody we hear
when Melinda arrives by carriage at Brighton Pavilion
and first lays eyes on Robert Tentrees.
The stage version offered deeper character development
for Daisy's fiancée, Warren. And a whole subplot existed
between Daisy, Bruckner and a Greek tycoon who desired a
deeper understanding of reincarnation. Like the similar
ancillary character in the film, the tycoon wants to
leave all of his money to himself.
Paramount released the Streisand film version of
"Clear Day," directed by Vincente Minnelli in 1970.
With Barbra's star power, the story line was
tightened to provide more emphasis on her two
characters, and musical numbers were added or
rewritten for Barbra, ("Love With All the
Trimmings," "Go to Sleep," "He Isn't You" and "On A
Clear Day"). The title number (on stage) was
originally performed by John Cullem's character as a
solo. For the movie, the number was reworked to
allow for a Streisand tour-de-force performance
rendition of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" has
since taken on a life of its own. After she performed it
in the film, Barbra incorporated the number in many of
her live concert performances and television
appearances. At the McGovern benefit in 1972, Barbra
even jokingly performed the song in honor of the city of
Los Angeles and its notorious smog. "Clear Day" is one
of the most recognized of all Streisand signature songs
and is considered to be one of Barbra's most endearing
vocal performances ever.
Though the film did not enjoy a
huge box-office return when it was first released,
Streisand's screen performance and vocal renditions have
had lasting endurance. The decision to cast Yves Montand
opposite Barbra in the film is considered one of the
film's mistakes according to critics and some fans. And
at The Actors Studio interview in 2003, Barbra herself
was less than enthusiastic about that particular casting
decision when the topic of Montand came up.
Regardless, Barbra Streisand took a modestly successful
stage musical and made it part of her lasting legacy.
The film will not only be remembered for her musical and
comic contributions but also for the opportunity she was
given to work with one of Hollywood's most legendary
directors, Vincente Minnelli.
February of 2000, Daisy Gamble was reborn once again
on the New York stage. Tony Award winner Kristen
Chenoweth ("You're A Good Man Charlie Brown")
offered up a new rendition of the role that
was pure delight. As part of City Center's
"Encores!" series, "On A Clear Day" was presented in
a limited run of just four performances. Veteran
character actor Peter Friedman portrayed Dr. Mark
Bruckner. Roger Bart, who costarred as "Snoopy" with
Chenoweth in "Charlie Brown" (and also won a Tony)
was brought in to play the role of Warren.
The revival received
overall good notices, with the New York Times saying:
"Like the original ''Clear Day,''
... this one is a must-see for its music and its star
... And then there is Ms. Chenoweth, who beams through
the night in what seems to be a state of effortless
ecstasy, lending wholesale sincerity to an outrageous
gimmick of a role."
York Times reported in July, 2010 that "On A Clear Day You
Can See Forever" will return to the New York stage once
again. Michael Mayer ("Spring Awakening" and "American Idiot") will direct
the show in a new 2011 production.
The new 2011 revival is planned as an off-Broadway production that
will have fans of the show stunned, but certainly not appalled by
one of the major changes that are proposed. The book has been
reworked by Peter Parnell (and sanctioned by the estate of
original author, Alan Jan Lerner) and will present the story with
a most intriguing twist: A related report at Playbill.com offers
insight into the rewrite:
Mayer has kept
mostly mum about
the changes in
the tale, but
part of the love
earlier draft of
treating a gay
life — a woman.
The doctor falls
for the past
wrapped in rich
July 5, "I can't
all the new
writing on Clear
Day, as we're
still very much
in process. I
can say that the
of the original
story is the
same, but the
rest of it is
in new ways."
According to The
Times, material from both the stage and film versions of the show
will be incorporated in the new production, including, we assume, some of the music
Barbra Streisand sang exclusively in the movie.
"On A Clear Day You
Can See Forever" is
scheduled to open at
New York's Vineyard
Theatre in the fall of
2011. The cast has not been announced.
for the official Broadway revival of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever"
began on Nov. 12 at the St. James Theatre. Opening night was December
Harry Connick, Jr. starred
as Dr Bruckner.
The new production employed several clever devices. Daisy
Gamble became David Gamble,, as portrayed by Broadway veteran
David Turner (right). His alter-ego character of Melinda was
played by Jessie Mueller. Mueller provided the breakout moment of the
show. Critics hailed her performance despite overall lackluster
reviews for the show.
The new production also marked the first time songs originally
sung by Barbra Streisand in the 1970
film were performed on a New York stage.
The show received a slew of lackluster reviews which contributed to
lower than expected box office receipts. Producers decided to close the show on January 29, 2012.