On this date in 1950, A Member of the Wedding opened on Broadway
Carson McCullers adapted the play The Member of the Wedding from her novel of the same name about Frankie Addams, a lonely 12-year-old tomboy who becomes obsessed with her older brother’s upcoming wedding. The Broadway production was directed by Harold Clurman and starred Julie Harris as Frankie, second-grader Brandon DeWilde (“Shane! Come back, Shane!”) as her cousin John Henry, and the magnificent Ethel Waters as the family housekeeper Bereneice.
The show premiered 65 years ago today and ran at the Empire Theater for 501 performances
Movie director Fred Zinnemann wisely used the Broadway cast for his 1952 film of play. Julie Harris was 25 when she starred as Frankie onstage and 27 in the movie, but she somehow pulls it off.
The top picture is a cast photo from the 1950 stage production; the one below, a backstage shot of Harris smoking a cigarette and Waters with Carson McCullers on opening night.