Ten things you didn’t know about Jerry Herman

1) Jerry originally went to college to study design. Frank Loesser persuaded him to quit and enrol in a theatre course.

2) “Hello, Dolly” wasn’t supposed to be called “Hello, Dolly.” It was initially called “A Damned Insufferable Woman” until Louis Armstrong released a certain single which made number one and knocked the Beatles off the top spot – the world had heard the theme tune – “Hello, Dolly” was christened!

3) Mame paid back it’s entire investment in 24 weeks of running. No mean feat for a show that had twenty-six costume changes for Angela Lansbury alone.

4) Some of his best songs were written in the middle of the night in hotel rooms when shows were trying out in regional theatres. “Before the Parade Passes By” was written at 3am in Detroit and taught to Carol Channing in dressing gown and slippers. It went into the show that same day.

5) Jerry and his late partner Marty Finkelstein had a successful joint career venture designing and developing property. Jerry has decorated almost forty houses in his lifetime, including Edward Albee’s townhouse at 50 West 10th.

6) La Cage aux Folles is the only show ever to have won a Best Musical Tony Award for every Broadway outing: the original won the Best Musical Award in 1983, and the other two Broadway productions won Best Musical Revival in both 2005 and 2010.

7) Jerry was diagnosed with HIV in the early 1980’s and was part of the early experimental studies in protease inhibitors. He is proud to have played a part in getting the drug approved.

8) From his early days, Jerry would treat himself with candy and chocolate when he had a good idea. If he was on a deadline, he would go to the corner store, buy up a stash of goodies and barricade himself inside, rewarding himself for completing a verse or finding a hook.

9) Mack and Mabel was a huge flop on Broadway and Jerry was devastated, considering it to be his best score. It went on to great success in England many years later.

10) When Jerry was born, his mother’s hospital room looked out over the marquee of the Winter Garden, where Mame would eventually play decades later. He was literally born on Broadway.

Jerry’s Girls will transfer to the Jermyn Street Theatre for a further three week run from May 12th.