1961 West End Premiere
On May 18, 1961, The Sound of Music made its debut at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End, starring Jean Bayless as Maria. This landmark premiere transfer ran almost twice as long as the New York production, boasting a staggering 2,386 performances. It was the longest run of a Broadway show in London at the time; the production was still playing when the 1965 film ran its engagement at the Dominion Theatre.
The Original London Cast album of The Sound of Music was recorded on May 28, 1961. The show was a huge success, holding the record for the longest-running Broadway show on the West End for many, many years. The cast featured Jean Bayless as Maria, Roger Dann as the Captain and Constance Shacklock as Mother Abbess. The production was a replica of the Broadway original, including the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett.