What Makes Sammy Sing?
Budd Schulberg's dad ran Paramount in the 1930s, so naturally his son became a communist. Budd also wrote a book about Sammy Glick, a poor Jewish kid who makes it to the top in Hollywood by stabbing his friends in the back. The local communist cell didn't like it since it didn't give enough praise to the collective (or whatever), which led to Schulberg's break from the CPUSA, and eventually to his naming names and writing On The Waterfront, where the hero is an informant.
the Broadway musical adaptation, and have recently read the libretto. It follows the plot of the book. It seems rather cliched, though maybe because we've seen the story played out so many times since. The 1964 production was not well-reviewed. It had a decent run, but that was mostly due to the star power of lead Steve Lawrence. Still didn't make money. It was also a troubled production, with Lawrence publicly bad-mouthing the show, as well as missing many performances.
It's possible to have a show with a heel for a lead, as Pal Joey demonstrates, but this one is rarely revived. The book is dated, and not that great. But perhaps that could be overcome. What can't be is the lack of memorable songs in Ervin Drake's score.