Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Forever Plaid Originals...1990.

Photo on left:  Jason Graae (Sparky), Stan Chandler (Jinx), David Engle (Smudge) and Guy Stroman (Frankie)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stubby Kaye....

as Nicely Nicely Johnson, Guys and Dolls, 1950.

Playlist for Sunday, December 1, 2013: Classic Moments

Iconic wins out this Sunday!  We'll hear from a lot of classic musicals, from Bye Bye Birdie and Oklahoma to Cinderella and The Music Man. Only a couple of eccentric "newbies," like one from Brownstone (The Musical), 1986...a Liz Callaway number called "Since You Stayed Here." This show never hit Broadway, better scaled perhaps to smaller theatres, and it didn't last long.  But this number was subsequently covered by Bette Midler, Michael Crawford and Dionne Warwick (remember her?), so how bad can it be?

Greenwillow, Frank Loesser's less than successful foray of 1960 (yes, one reviewer did call it Lesser Loesser), starred Anthony Perkins (rehearsing in this musical WHILE filming Psycho)...and from that show we'll hear "Could've Been a Ring," which features Pert Shelton.  You know her!  She played Marion Paroo's mother in The Music Man, both the film and the staged version, aaaaannnnd she was the first to play Ralph Cramden's wife (yes, the first Alice) in the Honeymooners.

We'll close with a little trip to the 50's and "Heart and Soul," which was actually written by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser (when he was MORE!)....

The Telephone Hour (Ensemble, Bye Bye Birdie)
Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat (Stubby Kaye, Guys and Dolls)
Pass That Football (Jordan Bentley, Wonderful Town)
When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love (David Wayne, Finian's Rainbow)
Wendy (Mary Martin, Peter Pan)
Goodnight My Someone (Barbara Cook, The Music Man)
Pore Jud is Daid (Albert Drake, Howard Da Silva, Oklahoma)
Could've Been a Ring (Pert Shelton, Lee Cass, Greenwillow)
T'morra T'morra (Joan McCracken, Bloomer Girl)
Since You Stayed Here (Liz Callaway, Brownstone)
I Cannot Hear The City (Brian D'arcy James, Sweet Smell of Success)
Ice Cream (Barbara Cook, She Loves Me)
In My Own Little Corner (Lea Salonga, Cinderella)
Heart and Soul (Jason Graae, Forever Plaid)
Doo-Waa Doo-Wee (Jason Graae, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really
                                    Reflect Up?)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kaye Ballard, circa 1950

She played Helen in the The Golden Apple, 1954...A great musical theatre star and comedienne...Later she starred with Eve Arden on television's The Mothers In Law. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

(You gotta have) Heart...

Original Broadway cast of Damn Yankees, 1955....featuring Albert Linville, Nathaniel Frey, Jimmy Komack and Russ Brown.

Playlist for Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013: From Buffalo to Siberia

Geographically speaking, there's a pretty wide range in this week's show...from Gigi's Paris to 42nd Street's Shuffling off to Buffalo, from deepest, dankest Russia to the Bronx River Parkway, we run the gamut from marvelous to mundane.

A couple of my favorites:  The Music that Makes Me Dance, sung by Ms. Streisand, from Funny Girl...and another standard that I'd always wondered about, Lazy Afternoon.  Well, that one's from The Golden Apple, which was a musically updated take on The Iliad and The Odyssey (why do one, when you can have both?), and sung by Kaye Ballard who played Helen who runs away with a traveling salesman named...Paris.  Barbra Streisand covered it back in the 70s, and I think a few other singers did as well, because I've known that song forever and never knew where it came from. 

Added extra:  Siberia, sung by Jules Munschin, Peter Lorre, and Joseph Buloff, the Russian Commissars in Silk Stockings, the movie.  An original Broadway cast album of the 1955 musical was never released, so we'll have to content ourselves with this.  Well, I'M content!

Heart (Ensemble, Damn Yankees)
Shuffle Off to Buffalo (Ensemble, 42nd Street)
You've Got That Thing (Jason Graae, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries (Ensemble, Good News)
I'm All I've Got (Michele Lee, Bravo Giovanni)
We've Got It (Ken Howard, Seesaw)
Lazy Afternoon (Kaye Ballard, The Golden Apple)
The Music That Makes Me Dance (Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
The Heart is Quicker Than the Eye (Elaine Stritch, Bobby Van, On Your Toes)
I'd Rather Wake Up By Myself (Shirley Booth, By the Beautiful Sea)
Do You Love Me? (Zero Mostel, Maria Karnilova, Fiddler on the Roof)
I Remember It Well (Alfred Drake, Maria Karnilova, Gigi)
Siberia (Jules Munschin, Peter Lorre, Joseph Buloff, Silk Stockings)
Stuck with Each Other (Margery Gray, Byron Blu Mitchell, Tovarich)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'd Do Anything...for Oliver!

Georgia Brown as Nancy, Michael Goodman (The Artful Dodger), Bruce Prochnik (Oliver) and Clive Revill (Fagin)...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Family Photo: On the Twentieth Century, 1978

Kevin Kline, Madeline Kahn, Cy Coleman (Composer), Adolph Green and Betty Comden (Lyricists), John Cullum, Imogene Coca, and Paul Gemignani (Musical Director. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vivien Leigh...Tovarich!

 With her co-star Jean Pierre Aumont...1963.
And being all her younger days.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Playlist for Sunday Nov. 17, 2013: Out of the Broadway Box...a bit!

A couple of weirdos this week! A couple???  (Just can't help myself...)

First, I found Bravo Giovanni, a 1962 flop, starring Cesare Siepi (an opera star) and Michele Lee, that survived 76 performances.  All about a restaurant owner who decides the restaurant next door is better, and tunnels into the basement of said kitchen to steal its food and sell it as ... well, you get the idea. In fact, the idea seems awfully familiar.  Didn't Woody Allen...well, I guess not.  The only song I found worth sharing is "Steady Steady" sung by Miss Lee, so BRAVA Michele!

Second, I unearthed (okay, enough tunneling) Subways are for Sleeping, and found "Subway Directions - Ride Through the Night" with Sydney Chaplin (yes, Charlie's son) giving pretty plausible instructions on how to get "uptown," and Carol Lawrence rather romantically viewing her future train ride.  "Subways" had a very rocky start back in 1961, as the IRT/BMT refused to run ads in their trains, thinking that "sleeping" in their subway cars wasn't a great thing to advocate.  David Merrick (The Producer) then decided to find people with the same names as the important theatre critics of the day, and publicize their "opinions" in ads, billboards and the like.  No one was fooled (for long), but it meant the show WENT ON to run over 200 performances.

I've rambled too long, but be sure to listen for that Vivien Leigh number from Tovarich!  She's no Janis Paige, but then neither am I.  :)

Prologus, Invocation, and Instructions to the Audience (Nathan Lane,        
                                                 Roger Bart, The Frogs)
I'd Do Anything (Georgia Brown and company, Oliver!)
Veronique (Madeline Kahn, On the Twentieth Century)
Subway Instructions - Ride Through the Night (Sydney Chaplin, Carol
                                                 Lawrence, Subways are for Sleeping)
Christopher Street (Warren Galjour, Wonderful Town)
The Glamorous Life (Audra McDonald, A Little Night Music)
You Could Drive a Person Crazy (Ensemble, Company)
Lady's Maid (Ensemble, Titanic)
We're Alive (Ensemble, Juno)
Steady, Steady (Michele Lee, Bravo Giovanni)
I Know the Feeling (Vivien Leigh, Tovarich!)
The Beguine (Tamara Long, Steve Elmore, Dames at Sea)


Friday, November 8, 2013

Walter Chiari, Leading Man!

A Hirschfeld drawing of The Gay Life...Walter Chiari is front and center, posed with Barbara Cook, the bride. 1963

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Are you from "Big D"?

Susan Johnson and Shorty Long, the original Cleo and Herman, from The Most Happy Fella...

Playlist for Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013: Iconic, Eccentric, and all that stuff in Between

Well, no matter how I try, I just cannot do a show that is stuffed with only BIG, award-winning, audience-pleasing musicals.  I can add two or three, like an Oklahoma, maybe something from Carousel, and then I have to break loose and throw in some cult classics, some weird flop that nobody but Broadway geeks (like myself, and I must say I am honored to be part of that group) know about.  Sorry, but that's the way I roll.

But that's a good thing, because if I play the also-rans, the peculiar little musicals that never had a chance, then you'll hear them and love them like I do.  I just know it.

So here, for example...after we hear a bit of Kismet and South Pacific and The King and I, we ascend (okay, some would say descend) into It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman, and then Fade Out Fade In, and then ....well, you get the idea.  This show runs the gamut.  One newbie is Marie Christine, a 1999 creation of Michael John LaChiusa, with Audra McDonald.  It didn't do well at the starting gate, but I think we'll be seeing this show produced as a well-respected opera someday.  Remember I said that, okay???

Thanks for joining me on Sunday, at 3, at Jazz 90.1FM! 

Big D (Susan Johnson, Shorty Long, The Most Happy Fella)
There is Nothin' Like a Dame (Myron McCormick, Ensemble, South Pacific)
I Never Had a Chance (Walter Chiari, The Gay Life)
Night of My Nights (Richard Kiley, Kismet)
I Have Dreamed (Larry Douglas, Doretta Morrow, The King and I)
The Woman for the Man (Jack Cassidy, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman)
My Fortune is My Face (Jack Cassidy, Fade Out - Fade In)
Love Sneaks In (John Lithgow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
Too Soon (Lillian Roth, I Can Get it For You Wholesale)
The World Goes 'Round (Brenda Pressley, The World Goes 'Round)
Island (Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)
Way Back to Paradise (Audra McDonald, Marie Christine)
The Late, Late Show (Phil Silvers, Do Re Mi)
Muqin (Harriet Sansom Harris, Thoroughly Modern Millie)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013