Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mames (Count'em: 1, 2, 3...)

 Jerry Herman's Mame, 1966...

 and Angela Lansbury was the first...
of the musical Mames!
She was followed in that role by Celeste Holm, Ann Miller,
Janis Paige, Dee Hoty, Christine!

Lucille Ball tried her hand at the movie version,
in 1974. "Tried" being the definitive word here.
And then of course, Rosalind Russell, in the 1958 movie,
"Auntie Mame," based on the novel by Patrick Dennis...
Here she is, throwing that delightful dinner party with 
Fred Clark as Dwight Babcock...
Rattlesnake, anyone?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clive Revill's Fagin...and Oliver's Workhouse Boys

 Clive Revill, born in 1930, in New Zealand...
performed in several British films, sitcoms, debuting on 
Broadway in The Pickwick Papers as Mr. Pickwick, 1952.
He also did voice-over work, most famously for
Emperor Palpatine, in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Clive "in action"as Fagin, 1963.
The Broadway version changed the character of Fagin
from villain to comic relief.

The Workhouse boys and Willoughby Goddard (Mr. Bumble) 
making the original cast album.

And "Food, Glorious Food" in the 1968 movie. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hair: Long, Greasy, Money-Making!

 Gerome Ragni (standing center), one of the show's lyricists, played the original Berger in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions.

 James Rado and Gerome Ragni (lyricists), and
Galt McDermot (composer).

 Ragni and Rado threw themselves into East Village life,
back in the 60's, in hopes of writing authentically about the
hippy culture they found. 
McDermot, on the other hand,
 lived in New Jersey, wore ties, and had a family.  
He'd take their lyrics home...and write the melodies in 
deepest, darkest Suburbia.

 The original production, 1967...
done off-Broadway at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre,
the first non-Shakespearean production
ever done at that venue. 

...and a recent revival.

Playlist for Sunday, November 2, 2014: Over. The. Top.

Sometimes you just have to go BIG, you know? Like Jerry Herman BIG...with his spectacular opening numbers, complete with beads, feathers, and too much rouge.  He makes even introspective ballads sound over the top HUGE.  Or "Dance At the Gym" (not MY gym! Rats.) by Leonard Bernstein, or "Razzle Dazzle," the height of Fosse "show," or Mel Brooks and his dancing Nazis in The Producers...So this Sunday is BIG. 

Next Sunday, however, who knows!? Because next week, November 9th, 2014, 2 On the Aisle expands, like Mary Poppins' carpetbag, to 2 full hours!  Yup, Broadway at its Best will be broadcast from 3 - 5pm, so there will be even more time to bombard you with Broadway!

So send me a request (or 7!) for that premiere show, okay?  Meanwhile, hope you enjoy Herman and Fosse and Bernstein, singin' and dancin' their hearts out...:)

Mame (Ensemble, Mame)
Food, Glorious Food (Ensemble, Oliver)
You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two (Clive Revill, Oliver)
Ain't Misbehavin' Medley (Ensemble, Ain't Misbehavin')
Dance at the Gym (Instrumental, West Side Story)
Say Liza (with a "Z") (Liza Minelli, Liza with a Z)
All I Need (Liza Minelli, Flora the Red Menace)
Aquarius (Ensemble, Hair)
Corner of the Sky (John Rubenstein, Pippin)
We Are What We Are (Ensemble, La Cage Aux Folles)
Razzle Dazzle (Jerry Orbach, Chicago)
Bless Our Show (Ensemble, Sister Act)
Springtime for Hitler (Ensemble, The Producers)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Funny Fanny: Babs and her Breakaway Role

On Broadway, Streisand's co-star was Sydney Chaplin...

 The movie came 4 years later, in 1968...
this is a still from You Are Woman.
Note the chop livv...I mean, pate.

Don't Rain on My Parade, on an NYC tugboat!
 What number this was, I have no idea...
but I like the colors!

 Omar Sharif was her co-star in the

And then there was The Bride of Funny Girl...
Funny Lady, 1975.
Let's not go there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gypsy Recording Session, 1959

 The 1959 original cast recording of Gypsy,
from left: Sandra Church (Louise), Lane Bradbury (Baby June),
Jule Styne (composer), Goddard Lieberson (Pres. of Columbia Records),
and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics).
Rehearsing "If Mamma Were Married."

 Ethel Merman was 50 years old when she took on the role of Mamma.

 Sandra, Stephen, Jule, the studio.

Even Ethel needed down time.

Pal Joey: Gene vs Frank!

 Gene Kelly was the first to play Joey Evans, Heel,
in the original Broadway musical, Pal Joey.
It was also Gene's first leading role...1940.

 He starred with Vivienne Segal as Vera Simpson.
(Get a load of that "fancy" backdrop!)

 Couldn't pass of up this fantastic shot of 
Gene and the show's chorines...

 They waited til 1957 to make the movie,
and Frank Sinatra was cast as a much
nicer Joey...he even had a dog!

 Rita Hayworth received top billing (as Vera Simpson),
then Frank, followed by Kim Novak. 
Frank didn't object, saying 
"That's a sandwich I don't mind being
stuck in the middle of."

The musical perpetrators,
Richaard Rodgers (at the piano) and Lorenz Hart (at the cigar!).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Playlist for Sunday, October 26, 2014: Rhythm and Rain!

Well, another week of campaigning here on 2 on the Aisle and Jazz 90.1, so I've tried to include some of those real Broadway crowd pleasers!  Like a Hello Dolly opener, a Pal Joey "Act 2" ballad and a Merman finale. Plus a mini WEATHER theme...yup, I never realized that I like so many songs with the word RAIN in the title!  Don't Rain on My Parade...Soon It's Gonna Rain...The Rain in Spain...well, you get the idea.  I mean, if we're stuck with this weather, why not sing in it, right?  (Double entendre there!)

Speaking of that parade (and Ms. Streisand), Jules Styne and his cadre of producing VIPs for Funny Girl first offered the leading role of Fanny Brice to a bevy of musical stars...first Mary Martin, then Anne Bancroft, and finally Eydie Gorme!  None of them wanted it (well, Eydie did, but she insisted that if she was going to play Fanny, her husband, Steve Lawrence, would have to be cast as her ne'er do well hubby, Nick Arnstein.  This "they" could not swallow!)...Jules found Barbra in a Village nightclub, singing in her thrift shop chic (well, it wasn't actually considered "chic" at the time) and brought that important cadre down to MacDougal Street to see Babs/hear Babs/be blown away by Babs...and of course the rest is history. She was 21 years old at the time...

My favorite in this playlist?  Gotta be Rose's Turn, from Gypsy. I should call it "Ethel's Turn." So wish I could have seen her do this one live.  A musical over-the-top break down...only Merman, only Styne, only Sondheim could do it.

Hang on to that umbrella!

Put On Your Sunday Clothes (Carol Channing, Ensemble, Hello Dolly!)
Don't Rain on My Parade (Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
The Rain in Spain (Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison, Robert Coote, My Fair Lady)
Soon It's Gonna Rain (Rita Gardner, The Fantasticks)
Look to the Rainbow (Ella Logan, Finian's Rainbow)
No One'll Ever Love You (Elaine Stritch, Don Ameche, Goldilocks)
One of a Kind (Len Cariou, Lauren Bacall, Applause)
The Rhythm of Life (Ensemble, Sweet Charity)
On the Right Track (Ben Vereen, John Rubenstein, Pippin)
You and Me (But Mostly Me) (Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon)
Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Singin' in the Rain)
There's a Small Hotel (Frank Sinatra, Pal Joey)
If Mamma Was Married (Sandra Church, Lane Bradbury, Gypsy)
Rose's Turn (Ethel Merman, Gypsy)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Heart! Ya Gotta Have It!

 Produced on Broadway in 1955,
and immortalized in the movies in 1958,
Damn Yankees had "Heart"
here with Albert Linville, Nathaniel Frey, Jimmy Komack and Russ Brown.

 Jean Stapleton (center) and Tab Hunter
in the movie version...

Two Lost Souls,
in the Broadway production...
Gwen Verdon and Stephen Douglass
(guess they thought Tab Hunter was
more of a "Heart" throb!).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The 1st (and Best!) Music Man...Robert Preston

 Robert Preston and his first "Marian," Barbara Cook,
in the original Broadway production of
The Music Man, 1957...

 ...and here with his movie co-star,
Shirley Jones, 1962. 

The "Think Method"...
from the look on Robert's face,
he doubted it would actually work!
Time Magazine cover,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Judy and Mickey...

Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, and Judy Garland,
just bummin' around together,
at the MGM studios.

Two shots (above) from
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante, 1940.

The opening of "Debutante."

 Words and Music, 1948.

And in reality...!

Playlist for Sunday, October 19, 2014: Pretty Damn Classic!

It's blockbuster Sunday on 2 on the Aisle! Jazz 90.1's semi-annual fund drive is in full swing, so we'll be "playing favorites," and hopefully some of your's!  I have a soft spot for several of these selections, don't you?

We're busting out with The Music Man (one of my listeners is a Shipoopi Nut!), Camelot and South Pacific (for those Rodgers and Hammerstein fans), a couple of Sondheim 18 year old Judy Garland hummer, even Shirley Temple is showing up! And hopefully we'll have time for Rich Man's Frug at the end, a great dance piece so wonderfully choreographed by Bob Fosse, from Sweet Charity.  So I'll try not to talk TOOOO much, so we can fit that in.

Anyway, it's good to be back LIVE, though my jaunt to Chicago this past weekend was marvelous.  Now it's back to the Broadway Grind, and I mean that in a good way! 

Seventy-Six Trombones (Robert Preston, The Music Man)
Iowa Stubborn (Ensemble, The Music Man)
Til There Was You (Barbara Cook, Robert Preston, The Music Man)
Shipoopi (Iggy Wolfington, Ensemble, The Music Man)
Camelot (Richard Burton, Camelot)
If Ever I Would Leave You (Robert Goulet, Camelot)
I'll Go Home with Bonnie Jean (Van Johnson, Gene Kelly, Brigadoon)
I'm Nobody's Baby (Judy Garland, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante)
When I'm with You (Shirley Temple, Poor Little Rich Girl)
Heart (Ensemble, Damn Yankees)
Two Lost Souls (Gwen Verdon, Stephen Douglass, Damn Yankees)
Johanna (Victor Garber, Sweeney Todd)
Send in the Clowns (Glynis Johns, A Little Night Music)
Honey Bun (Mary Martin, South Pacific)
There is Nothin' Like a Dame (Myron McCormick, Ensemble, South Pacific)
If My Friends Could See Me Now (Gwen Verdon, Sweet Charity)
Rich Man's Frug (Instrumental, Sweet Charity)

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Sunday Off!

This coming Sunday, October 12th, is my daughter's 21st birthday...and in keeping with that event, I am traveling with one of 2 on the Aisle's biggest fans to see her.  So this weekend we will have a pre-recorded show, hopefully the Jerry Herman Tribute show.  I will be back with a live show the following Sunday, October 19th. 

Thanks for checking in, and posts and photos will follow upon my return! 

Happy Broadway, Baby! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014


 Lena, age 24...born in Brooklyn,
began working at the Cotton Club in 1933.

 Singing in a Paris nightclub, 1947

With Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
in Cabin in the Sky, 1943.

 Two shots from Stormy Weather,
above with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Cab Calloway.

 Visting the Tuskegee Airman,
of WWII.

1917 - 2010
Singer, Actress, Dancer, 
Civil Rights Activitist...
and Legend.