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Showalter, Max

Max Showalter, the composer/lyricist of TOUCH OF THE CHILD, was born in Caldwell, Kansas and worked at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he was discovered by Oscar Hammerstein II. He wrote the first musical ever televised, NBC's TIME FOR LOVE, a revue for Hermione Gingold's U.S. debut, and the revue JOY RIDE. In 1963 he and Peter Walker wrote the score for GO FOR THE GUN, produced in England and Scotland. In 1984 he composed the music and Peter Walker wrote the lyrics to Michael Stewart's book for the musical HARRIGAN 'N' HART, which was first produced at the Norma Terris Theatre Goodspeed-at-Chester and opened on Broadway in 1985. An updated HARRIGAN 'N' HART was presented by the York Theatre, New York City as a staged reading in September, 1996.

Max wrote songs for films, records and television performed by Marlene Dietrich, Rosemary Clooney, Lucille Ball, and Mary Martin.

As an actor, Max appeared in many Broadway productions, including THE GRASS HARP, in which he co-starred with Barbara Cook. He played over 3,000 performances as Horace Vandergelder in HELLO, DOLLY!, co-starring with Betty Grable, Martha Raye, Betsy Palmer, and Carol Channing. He has been in more than 1,000 television shows from Texaco Star Theatre and The Lucy Show to co-starring with Mary Martin on The Love Boat. His credits list more than fifty films, including Niagara, Bus Stop, Elmer Gantry, Summer and Smoke, How to Murder Your Wife, 10 and Sixteen Candles.

An accomplished painter, Max has had six one-man shows. On his recording of The Brementown Musicians (American Melody Records), he created all the voices—in four part harmony. The Book of the Month Club praised the recording as "unforgettable." His cassette for "children of all ages" is The Gold Dog by Lev Ustinov, Russia's foremost writer of children's books and plays. The songs on both recordings are by Peter Walker and Max, who also wrote the title song for the National Theatre of the Deaf's production of ONE MORE SPRING. His one-man show at the piano with film clips has been a great success at the Goodspeed Opera House, Dartmouth University, Mitchell College, The Shoreline's Alliance for the Arts, Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre in Westport, and elsewhere.

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      The birthday of Max Showalter, composer of the musical TOUCH OF THE CHILD.