Paint Your Wagon deals with the California Gold Rush
of 1853. It tells the story of a grizzled prospector named Ben
Rumson whose daughter discovers gold near their camp. Word of
the strike quickly spreads, and before Ben knows what hit him,
there are nearly 4000 inhabitants of the new town of Rumson.
But the luck doesn't last--and neither does the gold. The town
is deserted as quickly as it filled up, and Ben is left with
nothing but his hopes and dreams.
James Barton returned to the musical stage for the first time
in twenty years to play Ben in the original production which
opened at the Shubert Theatre on November 12, 1951 and ran for
289 performances. During this run, Barton was succeeded by Burl
Ives and Eddie Dowling. The 1969 film featured Clint Eastwood,
Lee Marvin and Jean Seberg.
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