Finding a Life at The New York Public Library: Remembering Shannon Bolin 1917-2016

By George Boziwick, Chief, Music Division, Library for the Performing Arts
March 31, 2016
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Little Foxes manuscript

To whom it may concern: Today I spoke with a reference librarian about donating my copy of Marc Blitzstein’s original working score of Regina. I worked with Marc for two years singing his songs and going through all the changes. When Regina opened on Broadway around 45 years ago, I played the alternate lead in the Cheryl Crawford Broadway production.

This score is a working score and if I must say so, a brilliant one! For a young girl to be working in the company of Bobby Lewis, that remarkable director, Cheryl Crawford, the renowned producer, and Marc Blitzstein was an experience I shall never forget.

Most cordially, Shannon Bolin.

Thus began my brief musical journey with Shannon Bolin and her annotated working manuscript copy of Blitzstein’s Little Foxes, based on the play by Lillian Hellman which later became Blitzstein’s opera Regina.  

Although Ms. Bolin is best known for her role as Meg Boyd in the original production of Damn Yankees (1955), the Music Division best remembers her in her association with composer Marc Blitzstein.

Copy of letter from Marc Blitzstein to Shannon Bolin. Gift of Shannon Bolin to the Music Division.

In 1997 when we received the score to Little Foxes, I was Curator of American Music in the Music Division, and of course it was my charge to follow up with a letter of acknowledgement.

Although we never met, our correspondence continued cordially for several months concluding with a signed photograph.

Shannon Bolin, signed photo to George Boziwick