Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tribute to Eli Wallach: 1915 - 2014

 As Tuco, in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," 1966.

 In "Baby Doll," with Carroll Baker, 1956.

 "The Misfits," with Marilyn....1961.

 With Cloris Leachman, in "New York I Love You," 2008.

With his wife of 66 years, Anne Jackson.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cholly Atkins and Honi Coles...Tap Greats!

 At the recording session for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,
Honi, left...and Cholly on the right.

 Atkins and Coles performed together with many of the great jazz bands from 1945 to 1949. Most consider them the last of the "class acts," tap duos that performed from the late 1920's to the late 1940's.

 Cholly working with a 19 year old Aretha Franklin.

 Charles (Honi) Coles, a virtuosic tap dancer who won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical "My One and Only." Lena Horne once described as him as making "butterflies look clumsy."

Not only was Charles (Cholly) Atkins an incredible tap dancer, he was also a choreographer for groups like the Temptations and the Shirelles...
 so they didn't think up those steps themselves!  
It was Cholly...even those "Stop in the Name of Love" moves of the 
Supremes were his!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Betty Garrett, 1919-2011

 With Frank, Esther, and Gene in Take Me Out to the Ball Game, 1949.

 Winning over a skinny Francis Albert was just a matter of time...

 Betty was paired with Sinatra again in the movie On The Town, also 1949!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Georges Guetary...French Climber!

 Georges and his climb up those stairs!
I think he actually reached paradise...
An American in Paris

Georges (left), with Oscar Levant, and Gene...
what a lunch date! 

Barbra...and Fanny!

 The rollerskating number...Funny Girl, 1964.
Love the color combo!

More Funny Girl, a contemplative profile...

The REAL Funny Girl, Fanny Brice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Playlist for Sunday, June 29, 2014: In the Nicest Way Possible!

Fresh off our Cy Coleman show of last week, we have a verrrry varied hour for you of classic musical theatre, with just a sprinkling of quirky cult numbers...from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  to that old warhorse, Hello Dolly, to my new favorite, "Just One Step," from Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World, an off-Broadway production from 1995.  That last one is all about a woman literally on the edge, of her apartment building, yelling at her husband (and of course his name is MURRAY!)...fantastic. Will she jump?  Listen and see!

I've added a Movie Musical Corner to this week's show, and we'll hear George Guetary sing "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" from An American in you remember the pink steps he walked up BACKWARD and WHILE SINGING?  What a talent.  Betty Garrett battles a skinny Frank Sinatra in "It's Fate, Baby, It's Fate," and Marilyn and Jane sing that iconic "Little Rock" ditty. 

Hope you can listen in, and tap along! 

Don't Rain on My Parade (Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
Bye Bye Baby (Carol Channing, Jack McCauley, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
Mamie is Mimi (Cholly Atkins, Honi Coles, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady)
Sarah Brown Eyes (Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Ragtime)
Not Every Day of the Week (Bob Dishy, Liza Minelli, Flora the Red Menace)
It's Today (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Hello, Dolly! (Carol Channing, Hello, Dolly!)
I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise (Georges Guetary, An American in Paris)
It's Fate, Baby, It's Fate (Betty Garrett, Frank Sinatra, Take Me Out to the Ball Game)
A Little Girl from Little Rock (Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Gentlemen Prefer   
I Just Can't Wait (Orson Bean, Subways are for Sleeping)
Just One Step (Jessica Molaskey, Songs for a New World)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cy at Work...

 Recording Little Me, with lyricist Carolyn Leigh (with the pearls!)

Center, with Goddard Lieberson (recording producer), 
and Gwen Verdon, Sweet Charity
 Cy worked with Betty Comden and Adolph Green on both
On the Twentieth Century and The Will Rodger's Follies

 And a record cover...Cy wrote the theme song used for 
all the Playboy TV shows and specials.  
He actually may not be working in this last photo. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

City of Angels, that Cy Coleman goodie!

James Naughton, as Detective Stone, in the original Broadway production of
City of Angels, 1990.

And two photos from the Goodspeed Opera's production....

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sweet Charity, Broadway...and the Screen!

 Gwen Verdon, and If My Friends Could See Me Now

Big Spender, the movie version,
with Chita Rivera and Paula Kelly, center
(Single click on the photo for an enlarged view)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lucille Ball...Look out, world, here she comes!

 With Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers, in Stage Door, 1937

 With Bob Hope, in Fancy Pants, 1950
(Something makes me wonder if that's a real bird in that cage!)

 In a photogenic clinch with Desi

 With Keith Andes, in Wildcat, 1960

Glamour shot!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cy Coleman: 1929-2004

Playlist for Sunday, June 22, 2014: I Sigh for Cy!

 Despite the fact that Cy Coleman is one of my most favorite musical composers, this show was tough to come up with, because it meant having to choose WHICH of his delightful songs to fit into this short little hour!  From Sweet Charity (which so many folks love) to City of Angels (which I love) to Wild Cat, I Love My Wife, Seesaw, and all the, what about the standards Cy wrote, with Carolyn Leigh...surely I should include some of those!? You can see my conundrum. 

What I like best about the Coleman "songbook" is the jazz...the slick city feel to his melodies.  His music became a perfect Bob Fosse match (who directed and choreographed several of the shows/films Cy did), where there was always a burlesque sleeeeeze going on. And Cy worked with lots of different lyricists, including Dorothy Fields, Comden and Green, Ira Gasman, David Zippel, and others...each one complementing Coleman's music with that ever present syncopated innuendo.

The only musical I chose NOT to include is Barnum, which has none of the slickness Cy's other works do.  Sorry, but Join the Circus, with its oompahs and Jim Dale-isms, makes me run the other way.... But I've loaded up the hour with sexy horns, blondes who drape themselves panther-like across the grand piano, and "Witchcraft."  You're welcome. 

Prologue: Theme from City of Angels (James Naughton, Ensemble, City of Angels)
Hey, Look Me Over! (Lucille Ball, Paula Stewart, Wild Cat)
I've Got Your Number (Swen Swenson, Little Me)
If My Friends Could See Me Now (Gwen Verdon, Sweet Charity)
Big Spender (Ensemble, Sweet Charity)
Welcome to Holiday Inn (Michele Lee, Seesaw)
Seesaw (Ensemble, Seesaw)
Witchcraft (Frank Sinatra, The Best of the Capital Years)
The Best is Yet to Come (Tony Bennett, The Essential Tony Bennett)
I Love My Wife (James Naughton, I Love My Wife)
Mine (John Cullum, Kevin Kline, On the Twentieth Century)
Lost and Found (Rachel York, City of Angels)
Ev'ry Body's Gotta Be Somewhere (Ensemble, City of Angels)
No Man Left for Me (Dee Hoty, The Will Rogers' Follies)
Use What You Got (Sam Harris, The Life)
It's Not Where You Start (Tommy Tune, Ensemble, Seesaw)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

They're both Too Darn Hot!

 Lisa Kirk, the original Lois Lane/Bianca, from Kiss Me Kate...

...and then there's Ann Miller's version.
One definitely looks a bit other "hotter" than the other!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Elaine and her Stritch-iness...

 1956, Elaine with Ray Bolger...Ray played the original Junior in 
the first go round of "On Your Toes," in 1936,
and Elaine was in the 1954 revival.
Here they are together on the set of Washington Square, 
a TV show from the 50s.

 With Bobby Van, in the 1954 re-do of On Your Toes.

 Sort of like "make my day"....and Elaine doesn't need a gun.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Raul Julia...

 With Karen Akers, in Nine

 As Gomez, in The Addams Family

 The Tempest


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bibi Osterwald, from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to As Good As It Gets

 As Lovey Mars, in The Golden Apple...By the Goona Goona Lagoon

From character roles on Broadway to television and movies
from 1940 into the 70's,
with appearances on "The Love Boat," "As the World Turns," 
"Three's Company"  and a LOT more....

Playlist for Sunday, June 15, 2014: Goona Goona!

We have a combination of Classic and Cult this coming Sunday...some real back to back favorites, with a dose of those peculiar also-rans so dear to my heart!

Can't resist The Golden Apple, for one...which was a musical based on the Illiad, with an updated traveling salesman of a Paris, who comes to town to judge a pie-baking contest.  Oh yeah, that fits! Its one popular song was "Lazy Afternoon," sung by Kaye Ballard, which I've played before...but one I haven't played is By the Goona Goona Lagoon, with Bibi Osterwald.  Bibi understudied Carol Channing in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, worked along side her in The Vamp...and besides theatre, did a lot of sitcoms and soap operas from 1940 thru the 70s. A great character actress, and I love the name! In fact, I may change mine to Bibi! 

A few more favorites, like Robert Goulet (The Happy Time), Raoul Julia who I saw in Nine several years ago, Elaine Stritch taking advantage of everyone...and then of course Zero, doing his Rich Man dance.  Shirley Booth, with her (shall we euphemistically call it a...) distinctive voice, singing Coney Island Boat, as well, so hope you can give them all a listen come Sunday!

If I Were a Rich Man (Zero Mostel, Fiddler on the Roof)
On Your Toes (Bobby Van, Kay Coulter, Joshua Shelley, On Your Toes)
You Took Advantage of Me (Elaine Stritch, On Your Toes)
(Walking) Among My Yesterdays (Robert Goulet, The Happy Time)
Guido's Song (Raul Julia, Nine)
You're Getting to be a Habit with Me (Tammy Grimes, 42nd Street)
Dames (Lee Roy Reams, Ensemble, 42nd Street)
People Will Say We're in Love (Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts, Oklahoma)
Ya Got Trouble (Robert Preston, The Music Man)
Too Darn Hot (Lisa Kirk, Kiss Me Kate)
Coney Island Boat (Shirley Booth, Ensemble, By the Beautiful Sea)
By Goona Goona Lagoon (Bibi Osterwald, The Golden Apple)
Let's Step Out (Karen Aiemba, Susan Powell, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
Me and My Girl (Robert Lindsay, Maryann Plunkett)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mary Martin: APP (After Peter Pan!)

 As Nellie in South Pacific...and her nightly shampoo!

 WIth Theodore Bikel, in the original Broadway production of 
The Sound of Music...

And a glamour shot from 1947...