Henry James’s seemingly misplaced fascination with the theater has long been recognized: so much so that two recent novelistic treatments of his life (David Lodge’s Author, Author and Colm Tóibín’s The Master) choose to begin with the pathetic tableau of the author on stage after the 1895 première of Guy Domville, the bewildered target of catcalls and jeers from a disappointed house. Less appreciated, however, is the theater’s (sometimes misplaced) fascination with Henry James. While a handful of successful adaptations of James’s works have been analyzed by scholars—The Heiress (stage 1947; film 1949), for example, drawn from Washington Square; or The Innocents (stage 1950; film 1961), based upon “The Turn of the Screw”—the spectacular failure of the most astonishing of them has gone unremarked. The fantastic notion of employing The Ambassadors as the platform for a Broadway musical originated with no less a figure than James Thurber; but the ill-fated task of fulfilling that dubious dream was left to others now forgotten. This lecture/presentation resurrects their remarkable ambition, their fleeting success, and their ultimate failure.