b. Alexander Galbraith Wilson, 19 May 1924, Sale, Cheshire, England. A composer, lyricist and author. After studying at Harrow, and Oxford University where he wrote and appeared in many undergraduate productions, Wilson began to make his mark in the West End by contributing songs to revues such as SLINGS AND ARROWS (1948) and ORANGES AND LEMONS (1949). In 1950 he provided the lyrics for a provincial production of Michael Pertwee's musical play, CAPRICE, and then was the author and composer of SEE YOU LATER (1951) and SEE YOU AGAIN (1952). His big break came in 1953 when he was asked to write the book, music and lyrics for The Boy Friend, a lighthearted, but entirely accurate spoof of the musical comedies of the '20s—flappers, and all that. After starting its life as an hour-long entertainment at the tiny Player's Theatre, THE BOY FRIENDMOVED first to the Embassy and was expanded before finally transferring to Wyndhams's Theatre in the West End on 14 January 1954 where it ran for over five years. Later that year, the Broadway production, in which Julie Andrewsmade her New York stage debut, opened at the Royale Theatre for a run of 485 performances. The show has subsequently been produced in many countries throughout the world, and enjoyed revivals in New York (1958) and London (1967). The 1971 film version was directed by Ken Russell and starred Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Moyra Fraser, and Tommy Tune. Sandy Wilson's other stage work, generally as a composer and/or author and lyricist, includes shows such as THE BUCCANEER (1955), Valmouth (1958), PIECES OF EIGHT (1959), CALL IT LOVE (1960), DIVORCE ME, DARLING! (1965), AS DOROTHY PARKER ONCE SAID (1966), SANDY WILSON THANKS THE LADIES(in which he also appeared, 1971), HIS MONKEY WIFE (1971), THE CLAPHAM WONDER (1978), and ALADDIN (1979). In 1993 he announced that another London revival of THE BOY FRIENDWOULD open in 1994 at its original birthplace, the Player's Theatre, before moving to the West End.
Further reading: all by Sandy Wilson THIS IS SYLVIA. THE BOY FRIEND. I COULD BE HAPPY (HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY). IVOR (a biography of Ivor Novello). THE ROARING TWENTIES.
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