Bajour (music and lyrics by Walter Marks, book by Ernest Kinoy) opened at the Shubert Theatre on Monday, November 23, 1964. It moved to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on May 10, 1965. The show, a gypsy musical with a twist, was set in present day New York. Chita played Anyanka, daughter of Newark's gypsy king. Johnny Dembo (played by Herschel Bernardi) and his gypsy family decamp in New York and his main ambition is to marry his son Steve (played by Gus Trikonis) to Anyanka. Anyanka must prove her worth by pulling a bajour, a successful swindle, and she succeeds.

Bajour also starred Nancy Dussault as Emily Kirsten, an anthropologist asked to study the gypsy tribe, who ends up unwittingly helping Anyanka pull her bajour. Dussault came to the show after having appeared as Maria Von Trapp in the Broadway production of The Sound of Music.

Bajour was directed by Lawrence Kasha who was making his Broadway debut, and choreographed by Peter Gennaro who had previously worked with Chita in Seventh Heaven and as co-choreographer for West Side Story.

Bajour Trivia:

Michael Bennett and Paul Sorvino were in the chorus. Sorvino also had a speaking role, 2nd Patrolman. Chita's standby was
Carolyn Morris. Gus Trikonis made his Broadway debut as one of The Sharks in West Side Story. Chita's hair was styled by M. Marc.

Bajour got two Tony nominations, Actress in a Musical for Nancy Dussault, and Choreographer for Peter Gennaro. The winners that year were Liza Minnelli for Flora the Red Menace and Jerome Robbins for Fiddler on the Roof. The Musical Producer Tony went to Harold Prince for Fiddler on the Roof. The team of Marks and Kinoy wrote another Broadway musical after Bajour,the 1968 The Golden Rainbow starring Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Bajour ran for 232 performances; it closed on June 12, 1965. Lisa Mordente was six at the time.


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