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Danny Apolinar papers, 1946-2000
- 12 linear feet (15 boxes )
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
The Danny Apolinar papers document the career of the composer/lyricist and nightclub entertainer, Danny Apolinar. Although the collection includes a few childhood pictures and some correspondence by Apolinar's companion, John Britton, written after Apolinar's death, the bulk of the material dates from 1957-1993 and covers his professional life in great detail. Apolinar's professional papers consist mainly of correspondence, financial and legal papers, photographs, and promotional materials, as well as some financial and legal papers. A significant portion of the collection, however, is comprised of production files and scores that document twoof Apolinar's Off-Broadway musicals, Your Own Thing (1968)and Changes (1980), as well as several other projects. Professional scrapbooks cover the entirety of Apolinar's career and include clippings, additional correspondence, fliers, photographs, programs, as well as some matchbooks from nightclubs in which Apolinar appeared. The collectionalso contains a number of programs unrelated to Apolinar'sown work, including an extensive set for various productions of Fiddler on the Roof. Among the oversized materials are examples of posters designed by Apolinar.
Danny Apolinar (1934-1995) was a multi-talented composer, lyricist, and nightclub entertainer, who perhaps was best known for creating the successful Off-Broadway rock musical, Your Own Thing (1968). Born Daniel George Apolinar in Brooklyn, New York, Apolinar began dancing lessons at the age of four. In 1956, while still a graphicart student, he began singing and playing the piano at nightclubs. After serving in the military, Apolinar formedthe Danny Apolinar Trio, and the group performed in various venues in New York and toured throughout the United States for several years. In 1965, Apolinar settledin San Juan, Puerto Rico, appearing regularly at A Spot InThe Sun, a nightclub which he co-owned with composer Hal Hester. During the day, the two men would work on their ideas for a musical, and in the evenings Apolinar would test their compositions in front of an audience. By 1968, these ideas had developed into Your Own Thing, a rock musical which would become an Off-Broadway hit. Originallyentitled The London Look, the show was a free adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night. In addition to co-writing the lyrics and music with Hester, Apolinar also designed the logo for the poster, contributed to the costume design, and was part of the on-stage musical group for the original New York production. The show ran for three years in New York, had seven simultaneous touring companies in North America, and also was produced in London and Australia. The Off-Broadway production, received an original cast album, won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and helped to launch the career of Sandy Duncan. Apolinar's subsequent efforts to replicate that success in musical theater were not as fruitful. He worked on several new shows that remained unproduced, including Alice (1970) and Bugs (1971). Apolinar later wrote the lyrics for two Off-Broadway musicals in collaboration with composer Addy Fieger, The Wicked Mrs. Woodhull (1976) and Changes (1980). His careeras a cabaret performer, however, remained a constant throughout his life. A professionally trained graphic artist, Apolinar also created artwork for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and record albums.
Controlled Access Terms
- Apolinar, Danny.
- Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Adaptations.
- Composers -- United States -- 20th century.
- Entertainers -- United States -- 20th century.
- Lyricists -- United States -- 20th century.
- Musical theater -- New York (State) -- New York.
- Off-Broadway theater.
- Financial records.
- Fliers (printed matter)
- Legal records.
- Graphic artists.
Additional Creator Names
- Fieger, Addy O.
- Hester, Hal.
- Apolinar, Danny. Your own thing.
- Hester, Hal. Your own thing.