The Theater Years
The Theater Years
While still filming “Wagon Train,” Bob was
preparing for a career in the musical theater by performing in summer
stock around the country during the breaks in filming “Wagon Train.”
After leaving that series in 1962, Mr. Horton starred on Broadway in
“110 in the Shade,” the musical version of “The Rainmaker.” The
musical also starred Inga Swenson, Stephen Douglas, Will Greer, and
introduced Leslie Ann Warren. Mr. Horton, who has performed in both the
play and the musical versions, feels that the play “holds up much
- 110 in the Shade
I Do, I Do
- There’s a Girl In My Soup
- Same Time Next Year
- 6 Rooms Riv Vu
- The Girl in the Freudian Slip
- Catch Me If You Can
- The Odd Couple
- The Rainmaker
- The Man of La Mancha
- Kismet (1969, ’70, ’71)
- Zorba the Greek (1970)
- The Music Man
- Under the Yum-Yum
(1963 & '64)
- Show Boat
- The Man
- Pajama Game (1961-62)
- Guys and Dolls (1959)
- Death of a Salesman
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
- All My Sons
- The Hasty Heart
- The Respectful Prostitute
- Thunder Rock (1950)
- Born Yesterday
- On the Town (1950)
- Night Must Fall
- Golden Boy
|110 in the Shade 1963-64
||As Starbuck in 110 in the Shade
||Singing "Is it Really Me" from
|No matter how Mr. Horton felt about
the musical, 110 in the Shade was well received and
reviewed. Ward Morehouse of the Long Island Press claimed that it
had "definite quality and certainly there is magic in the
music." And of Mr. Horton's performance he said, "Robert
Horton supplies a vigorous and winning performance as the con man
on the prowl." And of the album release, Variety said that
"Horton's 'Rain Song' was a high point in an
overall winning score." Hobe Morrison of the Chronicle
said, "Horton, making his (Broadway) stage debut, gives a
convincing portrayal of the swaggering con man who big-talks his
ability to bring rain to a parched southwest farmland and proves
to be an impressive singer."
|Of Mr. Horton's many portrayals of
Hal Carter in Picnic, the reviews are legend. S.
Carleton Guptill of Kennebunks The News, said,
"Sometimes the theater rises above entertaining and soars
with its audience to a memorable dramatic experience. The star is
Robert Horton...Here is one TV star who can really act. I don't
remember who originally created the role, but it should have been
Mr. Horton." Josef Mossman, the drama critic for the Detroit
News, said, "Horton fitted the role both physically and
artistically. The physical fitness was demonstrated by the
skintight blue jeans the role requires. His artistic portrayal of
the role was an extraordinarily fine job of acting. Horton's
performance had insight and strength." And WCSH-TV Drama
Critic Fritzi Cohn said, "Robert Horton is the catalyst who
takes the stage with his first dynamic entrance and never
relinquishes it. Entirely believable in every mood...swaggering,
tender, belligerent, boyish...the complete man and the complete
actor. Moving with a lion's grace, he is a captivating
|In his 1st musical, "Guys and
||Bob & Marilynn in "LaMancha" 1972
||As Curly in "Oklahoma"
During much of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, Mr.
Horton toured throughout the United States performing in musicals and
plays, often with his lovely wife Marilynn, whom he met while both were
performing in a summer theater production of “Guys and Dolls” in
Ohio. In a review of Kismet , for the
Sacramento Union, Richard Simon said, "The most enjoyable thing about the show
was the incandescent performance by Robert Horton. Horton showed a fine
awareness of the ironic wit of the humble poet, and a certain dash that
recalls the vintage of Errol Flynn. Marilynn Horton was both striking
and droll as Lalume." Of Mr. Horton's role as Don Quixote, Angela
Owen, of the Peninsula Times Tribune wrote, "but above all it was
his humanity that tugged at the heartstrings of the audience...Horton is
such a compelling dramatic actor..." Both Robert and Marilynn have
played the roles of Curly and Laurey in Oklahoma numerous
times around the country. The reviews were always glowing. In a review in
The Plain Dealer, Peter Bellamy wrote, "Both Hortons
have the quality of fresh, radiant youth. He has a rich baritone voice.
Her operatically trained and throbbing voice has great charm. And as a
couple truly in love they add extra tenderness to their singing of
"People Will Say We're in Love." And in Ohio, reviewer Miriam
Hawkins wrote, "Hortons make "Oklahoma" a 'Beautiful
Evening' here." She went on to say, "(Robert) Horton's voice
registers a depth and power as he sings his way through the two acts.
Appearing opposite her husband is Marilynn Horton, a radiant beauty
whose main forte is singing but who enacts with charming innocence the
part of a pretty farm miss." It was reported in "Variety"
that in a mere seven performances of "Oklahoma" at the St.
Louis Municipal Light Opera, Robert Horton grossed a record $143,320.75!
|Bob as "Zorba" 1970
||As Tommy in "Brigadoon"
||As John Adams in "1776"
||"There's a Girl in My Soup"
||In "The Odd Couple"
- Bob's favorite character was Billy Bigelow from “Carousel.”
- His most demanding role: John Adams in “1776.”
- The most "fun" role to play: Robert Danvers in "There's
a Girl in My Soup."
- A role he would have liked to have played, but didn't: King Arthur in
- As an actor, it must be nice to know that your "favorite" role is also
one you are supremely good at, and such was the case with Mr. Horton's
portrayal of Billy Bigelow in Carousel. A review by Carl
Apone, in The Pittsburgh Press said, "To Robert Horton go the bows.
His performance not only measured up to the requirements for Bigelow, it
went beyond. Horton's 'Soliloquy' was loaded with emotional
substance. In fact, the song not only carried the intended conviction,
for me it was more impressive than Robert Goulet's version of the same
song in the Carousel opener. (Horton's) 'If I Loved You' in
the second act was a thing of beauty. Horton's brilliant bombardment of
the role from every direction brought power and poignancy to the part."
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