LOVELY ORIGINAL 1980 BROADWAY POSTER FOR MAURICE SENDAK AND CAROLE KING'S MUSICAL REALLY ROSIE, FEATURING AN ILLUSTRATION OF ROSIE AND THE BOY FROM CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE, INSCRIBED BY SENDAK FOR PRESENTATION TO HIS CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
SENDAK, Maurice. Poster inscribed ["Really Rosie"]. New York: No publisher, 1980. Color poster, measuring 14 by 22 inches; handsomely framed, entire piece measures 17-3/4 by 25-3/4 inches. $2800.
Original Broadway poster, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, advertising the Maurice Sendak and Carole King musical, Really Rosie, which played from 1980-81 at the American Place Theatre, inscribed at the bottom for presentation to Sendak's close friend and neighbor: "For Really Elizabeth! from Maurice Jan. '82."
This poster advertises the musical, Really Rosie, a collaboration between Maurice Sendak and Carole King featuring several of Sendak's most beloved characters. The concept of Really Rosie was initially developed into a half-hour CBS animated special in 1975. Sendak directed the special, in which Carole King voiced Rosie after no suitable child actor could be found to sing along to King's pre-recorded music. The original seven songs from the special were so popular that an album was eventually released by Epic. In 1978, Sendak and King helped Really Rosie reach its full potential as a musical, expanding it for premiere in London and D.C. By 1980, Really Rosie had premiered off-Broadway. The musical finally made it to Broadway that same year, with designs by Sendak and King's original music. The production ran for 274 performances and has since become quite popular with children's theater companies nationwide. The former owner of this inscribed poster was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing featuring the cake). Sendak often referred to Betty as "Elizabeth" in inscriptions as he felt that "Betty" was too common a name. The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.