Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Succeed, with Coffee!

 In the original Broadway production of 1962,
Charles Nelson Reilly and Claudette Sutherland led 
"Coffee Break."

In the movie version, six years later,
the song (though shot) was never used.
                                  This is a still from what might have been....

Bernedette Peters, A Dame Rarely at Sea

 Dames at Sea, 1968

 At the Dames at Sea recording session...
I'm digging her aviators.

 As Dot, in Sunday in the Park with George,

 With Steve Martin, in "Pennies from Heaven,"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sammy Davis Jr., Golden Boy of 1964

 Sammy, opening night of Golden Boy with 
Lyricist Lee Adams (on the left) and Composer Charles Strouse.
According to Strouse, Sammy was hell on wheels to work with.

 Backstage with Sammy

On stage with Paula Wayne.
Audiences had trouble with the show's urban-sounding score
and the interracial relationship.
Despite the grumblings, Golden Boy ran for 
over 500 performances, and garnered 5 Tony nominations.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playlist for Sunday, August 3, 2014: Summer Beverages...uhhh, can I get that iced?

Well, here we are in the middle of summer...presently out my window, bees are buzzing and the corn (not cotton. Hey, I live in the northeast!) is high. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't rise and shine, and for that we need COFFEE.  Hence, the trio of caffeination (is that a word?), with "Coffee, Black" from Big, "Quiet Coffee" with Sally Kellerman's sleazy alto-esque, and Charles Nelson Reilly's nervous breakdown without it! I've played this triumvirate before, but they remain favorites.  Hopefully, they're your's, too!

Other favorites are Sammy Davis Jr.'s "Night Song" from Golden Boy, which has a very urban jazzy score.  Folks had a problem with this new-to-Broadway sound, back in 1964, along with an interracial kiss.  Well, SOMEBODY had to start both of these well-needed trends.  Also, that wonderful Leslie Uggams' take on "My Own Morning" from Hallelujah, Baby...newly divorced and independent as I am, I can relate!

I've also included 3 Elaine Stritch numbers that I couldn't fit into last week's tribute show...yeah, I know, stop with the Elaine stuff.  But, you see, I can't! Especially love "If," which was from Two on the Aisle, my show's namesake.  Those Comden and Green lyrics get me every time!  

Whew.  I need more coffee....:)

Blow, Gabriel, Blow (Eileen Rodgers, Ensemble, Anything Goes)
Coffee, Black (Daniel H. Jenkins, Ensemble, Big)
Quiet Coffee (Sally Kellerman, Breakfast at Tiffanys)
Coffee Break (Charles Nelson Reilly, Ensemble, How to Succeed)
Pretty Women (Len Cariou, Edmund Lyndeck, Sweeney Todd)
Pretty Lady (Ensemble, Pacific Overtures)
Not a Day Goes By (Bernadette Peters, Merrily We Roll Along)
Night Song (Sammy Davis, Jr., Golden Boy)
My Own Morning (Leslie Uggams, Hallelujah, Baby!)
That's My Boy! (Elaine Stritch, The Milkman)
If (Elaine Stritch, Two on the Aisle)
The Beast in You (Elaine Stritch, Goldilocks)
Raining in My Heart (Bernadette Peters, Dames at Sea)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And just a few more...

 Elaine Stritch in "Goldilocks," 1958...I think she played

 With buddy Noel Coward, 
circa "Sail Away."
With Sal Mineo in the 1965 movie, "Who Killed Teddy Bear?"
With "30 Rock" stars, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin
With Alvin Epstein, in Beckett's End Game, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We need 17 more photos of Elaine...

 Elaine was ticketed back in the 50's for going shirtless in
Central Park...the judge said, “A beautiful girl like you could cause a small riot and cause a large crowd to collect by removing your shirt.” 
“Well,” she replied, “I was there all day and nothing happened.” 

A PR shot from "Two's Company," 
the British sit-com she did, 1975-79.

With Liz Smith in NY, 1950's.

 In Dracula, with Bela!!?!?

...and of course with buddy, Noel,
"Sail-ing Away."

Playlist for Sunday, July 27, 2014: Ode to Elaine

 So Elaine Stritch had to go and die on me.  She loved her audiences, I know she did, but still she had to leave us, run all the way to Detroit for god's sake, and then die. Living in a world without an Elaine to lean on, I mean how in hell are we supposed to do that? She was our piss and vinegar, our little old fashioned thumb-your-nose at the world grande dame.  Dieing shouldn't even be an option for those types!

So now all we have are these recordings, to keep us going at 3am when we need either a scotch or a bromide or both. "She was at her best when she was sour and seething," said somebody...and in the past week, we have noticed that anybody who was/is anybody has an Elaine quote, an Elaine witticism, an Elaine story to tell in the locker room.  Well, she was like that: Acerbic, salty, sexy, shocking, and story-inspiring. Wasn't she great?

This show is an ode to hour of Stitch-iness.  If I didn't include your favorite, my apologies...just know that I shoe-horned as many as possible into this short little hour.  I'll play more.  For the rest of my life.

There's No Business Like Show Business (Elaine Stritch at Liberty)
Are You Having Any Fun? (Stritch)
Civilization (Angels in the Wings)
Why Do the Wrong People Travel? (Sail Away)
Useless Useful Phrases (Sail Away)
I Never Know When (Goldilocks)
Broadway Baby (Elaine Stritch at Liberty)
I'm Still Here (Elaine Stritch at Liberty)
Easy Street (Stritch)
Later Than Spring (Sail Away)
You Took Advantage of Me (On Your Toes)
The Ladies Who Lunch (Company)
The Party's Over (Elaine Stritch at Liberty)

Saturday, July 19, 2014


 Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith as...

Glinda and Elphaba...

and the cast, including Joel Grey (center)
as the Wizard.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Elaine Stritch...1925-2014

Imogene Coca...1908-2001

One of a kind....Imogene started her entertaining career
as a dancer in revues, cabaret and summer stock,
before her comic talent led her to a 
little show with Sid Caesar.

 Playing opposite Sid Caesar on "Your Show of Shows"
earned Imogene 5 Emmy nominations, 
a Best Actress win in 1951,
and a Peabody Award in 1953 for Excellence in Broadcasting.
With second husband, actor King Donovan
(he's the one on the right).

In the 1979 production of "On the Twentieth Century,"
in which Imogene played Letitia Primrose,
and received a Tony nomination.

At the recording session for "On the Twentieth Century,"
when she was 71.  Imogene continued to work well into her 80s,
doing TV, movies and voice overs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Eartha Mae Keith: 1927 - 2008

 "I Want to be Evil," from the album That Bad Eartha, 1954.
Please note tiger.  

 New Faces of 1952...

 Eartha replaced Julie Newmar on TV's Batman, 1967.

Orson Welles called her "the most exciting girl in the world."

Playlist for Sunday, July 20, 2014: Eartha ...a go go!

Well, I got on an Eartha Kitt spree this week...That Bad Eartha album of 1954 and "I Want to Be Evil."  Man, I never heard that song before!  I know I'm cheating again, but at least we'll frame those song entries with her Broadway "Monotonous" from New Faces of 1952, and if we have time, "The Wild Party." Can't help myself...

And  what else is on the agenda? Two from "On the Twentieth Century," with Imogene Coca and John Cullum leading "Five Zeros" and a diva-esque Madeline Kahn singing "Never!"  This is a relatively new find for me, which is absurd, as I love Cy Coleman and was actually living in NYC when this show opened (1978).  And yet I had to wait almost 40 years to discover it?  Shame, shame. Evidently Cy almost refused to work on the thing, thinking it would end up being "a 1920's pastiche," and he didn't like that idea.  However, he came up with a comic opera to fit the over-the-top characters...a silent movie director, Oscar Jaffe, down on his luck but with a "cunning plan," his creation and now megaSTAR, Lily Garland who hates everything about him, and escaped mental patient Letitia Primrose, who has pledged her money to Jaffe's next movie....all heading to the coast aboard The Twentieth Century Express!

And stick around for our "Legally Blonde" finale..."Blood in the Water." It's not just on the train!  :)

We Dance (Ensemble, Once on This Island)
Popular (Kristin Chenowith, Idina Menzel, Wicked)
Seasons of Love (Ensemble, Rent)
I'm Not That Smart (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling
Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now (Marissa Jaret Winokar, Harvey Fierstein, Ensemble,
Uptown, Downtown (Craig Lucas, Marry Me a Little)
What More Do I Need? (David Campbell, Lauren Ward, Ensemble, Saturday Night)
Since You Stayed Here (Rebecca Luker, Brownstone)
Five Zeros (John Cullum, Imogene Coca, George Coe, On the Twentieth Century)
Never! (Madeline Kahn, George Coe, On the Twentieth Century)
Monotonous (Eartha Kitt, New Faces of 1952)
I Want to Be Evil (Eartha Kitt, That Bad Eartha)
C'est Si Bon (Eartha Kitt, That Bad Eartha)
Blood in the Water (Michael Rupert, Ensemble, Legally Blonde)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Davy Jones...The Artful Dodger! 1945 - 2012

 Appearing on the Ed Sullivan show, 
performing a song from Oliver!
(It was the same night that the Beatles appeared on 
that show.)
 The year was 1964, and "Oliver!" was Davy Jones'
first Broadway musical.
He received a Tony nomination.
Two years later...he was a Monkee.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Alan Alda...Before and After Hawkeye

These top 2 photos are from "The Apple Tree," with Larry Blyden
and Barbara Harris, 1966

 "Mash," of course...1972 - 1983

In a Broadway production of 
"Glengarry Glen Ross,"
with Liv Schreiber

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dame Angela...

 Born Angela Brigid Lansbury, 1925,
in Regents Park, London

 In MGM's movie musical, "Till the Clouds Roll By," 1946

  As Em, the saloon hall gal, in "The Harvey Girls," 1946

 In "The Court Jester," with Danny Kaye, in 1955

 As Lawrence Harvey's mom, in "The Manchurian Candidate,"
pictured here with James Gregory, 1962

"Dear World," 1969