Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Sondheim Threesome...

 The 1999 revival cast of Putting It Together,
a revue of Sondheim creations that drew its name from 
the song in Sunday in the Park with George.
From the left, Carol Burnett, George Hearn, Bronson Pinchot, 
Ruthie Henshall and John Barrowman.
From this show, we'll hear "There's Always a Woman" with
Carol and Ruthie.

 Bernadette in concert,singing "Sooner or Later", 
a Sondheim tune from Dick Tracy.
There must be some sort of glue involved here.
Millicent Martin, of the BBC show "That Was The Week That Was,"
singing "The Boy From..."
This was a song from The Mad Show, with music by
Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Sondheim.
(Millicent had her Broadway Debut with Julie Andrews in
The Boyfriend, in 1954.)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Brig O' Doon: A Town. A Bridge. A Cookie.

 The 1954 MGM movie of Brigadoon
(which hoped to be filmed in Scotland, in the heather!)
was actually shot on MGM's sound stages.
It starred Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Van Johnson,
got panned by the critics
(The New York Times review called it "pretty weak synthetic Scotch")
and lost over a million bucks at the box office.

 Cyd was dubbed by Carol Richards...
here she is (center) with a lot of "lasses" 
(that's Scotish for "dames")
in "Waitin' for My Dearie."

 The original Broadway version opened in 1947,
and starred David Brooks and Marion Bell (front and center).
Agnes De Mille choreographed, the reviews were A LOT better,
but still no real heather.

 The original Broadway poster...

Frederick Loewe (left) and Alan Jay Lerner,
the creators of Brigadoon, their first Broadway hit.
They would go on to write Paint Your Wagon, Gigi,
My Fair Lady, and Camelot.
They also contributed music for the musical film,
The Little Prince.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Phil Silvers, "King of Chutzpah"

 Born Philip Silver, in 1911, and raised in Brooklyn, 
Phil sang in movie theatres starting at the age of 11.  
Whenever the projector would break, he was hired to stand up and sing.  
Vaudeville and Burlesque stints follow on apace!

 A shot from Cover Girl, 1944, where Phil's dancing skills shone,
here with a semi-startled Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth.

 Goofing around off-screen with
Robert Cummings and Doris Day,
during the filming of Lucky Me, 1954.

1955 brought the "Phil Silvers Show" to television,
playing Sergeant Bilko for 3 years.

 He returned to the stage in Do Re Mi, 1960...
playing Hubie Cram, here with his partners in juke-box crime,
George Mathews, George Givot, and David Burns. 

 Here with his co-star in the show,
Nancy Walker. 
Two incredible comedic actors...sharing a stage/bed.
This musta been some show.
Phil guested on several TV shows,
including Gilligan's Island, which his production company financed.
Here he is as Harold Hecuba, the director,
playing all the parts of Hamlet (Ophelia, too!) 
in a "musicalized" version.

As Pseudolus, in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum...
the 1972 Broadway Revival.
The part was written for him, though he initially turned it down, 
when they said he couldn't wear his glasses.
Guess he talked them into it!
(And won the Tony for lead actor that year...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, March 1, 2015: Classic, Cult, and Cuirky...I mean, Quirky.

Back from Chicago, that toddlin' town. They have no snow out there, guys. Just prehistoric piles of black ice left over on the curbs, and skating ponds have replaced the sidewalks. That city really needs more salt shakers. (They could give them out inside all the deep-dish pizza they sell, sorta like prizes in Cracker Jacks?) At least our upstate version (drifts, icicles and ice DAMS, dammit) is picturesque, right? Hmmmm...

Well, during this limbo of being THIS close to spring, and only 1 week from changing the time back (another hopeful harbinger, right?), I'm throwing together a couple of classics, like Birdie and Finian's and Brig-A-Doon, in the musical blender along with lots of my favorite Cult and Quirky:  Do I Hear a Waltz?, Pacific Overtures, and Flora the Red Menace.  There's also a few new-to-me renditions of Sondheim songs...featuring Carol ("There's Always a Woman"), Bernadette ("Sooner or Later"), and one I've played before, Millicent ("The Boy From...").  Do Re Mi also makes an appearance, with Nancy "Waiting" and Phil doing his tough guy impressions in "The Late Late Show."  So I'm really indulging my inner (and often outer) Quirk this week.  Apologies to all those R&H fans...there ain't an Oklahoma in the bunch!  :)

Waiting, Waiting (Nancy Walker, Do Re Mi)
A Lot of Livin' to Do (Dick Gautier, Bye Bye Birdie)
How Lovely to be a Woman (Susan Watson, Bye Bye Birdie)
Put on a Happy Face (Dick Van Dyke, Bye Bye Birdie)
Hymn for a Sunday Evening (Paul Lynde, Ensemble, Bye Bye Birdie)
Do I Hear a Waltz? (Elizabeth Allen, Do I Hear a Waltz?)
No Understand (Carol Bruce, Stuart Damon, Fleury D'Antonakis, Do I Hear a      
Someone Woke Up (Elizabeth Allen, Ensemble, Do I Hear a Waltz?)
Brigadoon (Ensemble, Brigadoon)
Waitin' for My Dearie ("Cyd Charisse", "Dee Turnell", Brigadoon)
Necessity (The Lyn Murray Singers, Finian's Rainbow)
How Are Things in Glocca Morra? (Ella Logan, Finian's Rainbow)
Not Every Day of the Year (Bob Dishy, Liza Minnelli, Flora the Red Menace)
Express Yourself (Bob Dishy, Cathryn Damon, Flora the Red Menace)
Sing Happy (Liza Minnelli, Flora the Red Menace)
There's Always a Woman (Carol Burnett, Ruthie Henshall, Putting It Together)
Everybody Says Don't (David Kernan, Julia McKenzie, Side by Side by Sondheim)
Sooner or Later (Bernadette Peters, In Concert with Bernadette Peters)
The Boy From...(Millicent Martin, The Mad Show)
Welcome to Kanagawa (Ensemble, Pacific Overtures)
A Bowler Hat (Isao Sato, Pacific Overtures)
Someone in a Tree (Mako, James Dybas, Mark Hsu Syers, Gedde Watanabe,
                 Pacific Overtures)
Lie to Me (Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a
                 Nervous Breakdown)
Invisible (Patti Lupone, Women on the Verge...)
Model Behavior (Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge...)
The Late Late Show (Phil Silvers, Do Re Mi)
Make Someone Happy (John Reardon, Nancy Dussault, Do Re Mi)
Adventure (Phil Silvers, Nancy Walker, Do Re Mi)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cabin in the Sky...Life's Full O'Consequence

 Ethel Waters starred as Petunia in both
the original Broadway production of 1940 
and the movie, done in 1943.

 Ethel, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson,
John William Sublet, and Lena Horne...

 Lena and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson...

And a great poster from the movie...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Playlist for February 22, 2015: Pre-Recorded Gold

I'm off to Chicago this coming weekend...wait, isn't it actually COLDER in Chicago? There's something wrong with this picture. Anyway, 2 on the Aisle will feature a pre-recorded show from November 16, 2014, which includes Bullets Over Broadway (with its infamous Hot Dog Song), Anything Goes, City of Angels, and Cabin in the Sky. I've reprinted the playlist from that date below.

Back LIVE on March 1! Stay bundled!

Overture/Tiger Rag (Company, Bullets Over Broadway)
Another Op'nin', Another Show (Ensemble, Kiss Me Kate)
Where is the Life that Late I Led? (Alfred Drake, Kiss Me Kate)
Always True to You (Lisa Kirk, Kiss Me Kate)
We Open in Venice (Ensemble, Kiss Me Kate)
We Sail the Seas (Ensemble, Ben Franklin in Paris)
I Invented Myself (Robert Preston, Ben Franklin in Paris)
You're in Paris (Susan Watson, Ben Franklin in Paris)
God Bless the Human Elbow (Robert Preston, Ben Franklin in Paris)
I Hope I Get It (Company, A Chorus Line)
At the Ballet (Kelly Bishop, Kay Cole, Nancy Lane, A Chorus Line)
Sing! (Don Percassi, Renee Baughman, A Chorus Line)
What I Did for Love (Priscilla Lopez, A Chorus Line)
Take Me Back to Manhattan (Eileen Rodgers, Anything Goes)
It's De Lovely (Hal Linden, Barbara Lang, Anything Goes)
The Heaven Hop (Margery Gray, Ensemble, Anything Goes)
Pet Me Poppa (Vivian Blaine, Ensemble, Guys and Dolls)
Abracadabra (June Havoc, Mexican Hayride)
Little Girls (Carol Burnett, Annie)
The Three B's (Liza Minelli, Kay Cole, Renee Winters, Best Foot Forward)
Stay With Me (Scott Waara, Ensemble, City of Angels)
The Tennis Song (James Naughton, Dee Hoty, City of Angels)
You Can Always Count on Me (Randy Graff, City of Angels)
Taking a Chance on Love (Ethel Waters, Cabin in the Sky)
Life is Full O' Consequence (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Lena Horne, Cabin in the
Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe (Ethel Waters, Cabin in the Sky)
Honey in the Honeycomb (Lena Horne, Cabin in the Sky)
Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You (Nick Cordera, Helene Yorke, Bullets Over Broadway)
The Hot Dog Song (Helene Yorke, Bullets Over Broadway)
Finale (Yes, We Have No Bananas) (Company, Bullets Over Broadway)

Friday, February 13, 2015

And just a few more...Anti-Lovers!

 Beth Howland (the one in the veil) Stephen Sondheim's Company, 1970.


 Two from Goldilocks, 1958,
with Don Ameche and Elaine Stritch. real life, Don?

 David Burns (Horace Vandergelder),
Charles Nelson Reilly (Cornelius) and Jerry Dodge (Barnaby)
recording "It Takes a Women," for the 
original cast album of Hello Dolly, 1964.

The original cast of Pump Boys and Dinettes, 1982.
There's Debra Monk, third from the right.

Patricia Morison and Alfred Drake
in Kiss Me, Kate...1948.
Can you see why she hates men?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

And then there's these experts...

 Marilyn, and
"I'm Through with Love"...

 A young Tony Bennett,
"I Wanna Be Around"...

 Julie London,
"Goody Goody"...

and Chet,
who legit doesn't care...
"But Not for Me."

Anti-Valentine Specialists!

 Doris Day...Romance on the High Seas...
and "Put 'Em in a Box"
(Doris was 24!).

 Bobby....and "After You're Gone."

 Peggy... and "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me,"
that Irving Berlin classic.
Frank..."You'll Get Yours,"
one of the only songs of "that" type 
that he recorded.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015: Not Your Average Valentine!

 Last Valentines Day?  Yup, I did the prerequisite hour of love songs...all the big Rodgers and Hammerstein ballads, the Lerner and Loewes, the "don't throw bouquets at me's," the "if I loved you's," the stuff you have to see your dentist right after (because of the sugar and all)....and it was pretty dang sappy.  I'm just not that type a gal, okay?  I've always preferred the acerbic anti-love character song...the "No Way Are You Gettin' Away With That" tune, the "Never Wear that Purple Tie Again, if You Want to Live" anthem, the "You're Nuts if You Think I'm in..." love song.  So that's what we're doing, 2 hours of Anti-Valentines Day Songs on 2 on the Aisle!

We've got stuff from The Pajama Game, Promises Promises, Goldilocks (3 from that one!  Banner!), and Hello Dolly! Solo stuff from Darin, Lee, Day, Sinatra, Bennett...and even some Harry James.  Everybody recorded this stuff, so I am evidently not alone in my regard for it....Just wait til you hear Audra get all outta sorts with "Down with Love!"  And you thought I was bitter!?

Which leads me to my last point: Don't read in.  Not everything a DJ plays has extra special meaning, okay?  I mean, that's what my therapist said, anyway.


Lovesick (Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)
I'm Not at all in Love (Janis Paige, The Pajama Game)
I'm Glad I'm Single (Ensemble, The Gay Life)
No One'll Ever Love You (Elaine Stritch, Don Ameche, Goldilocks)
I Hate Men (Patricia Morison, Kiss Me, Kate)
She's Not Enough Woman for Me (Richard Kiley Leonard Stone, Redhead)
I Resolve (Barbara Baxley, She Loves Me)
Shakespeare Lied (Hiram Sherman, Brenda Vaccaro, How Now Dow Jones)
She is Not Thinking of Me (Daniel Massey, Gigi)
Thinking of No One But Me (Dee Hoty, George Irving, Me and My Girl)
It Takes a Woman (David Burns, Ensemble, Hello, Dolly)
You'll Get Yours (Frank Sinatra)
Put 'Em in a Box, Tie 'Em with a Ribbon, and Throw 'Em in the Deep Blue Sea
                   (Doris Day, Romance on the High Seas)
Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me (Peggy Lee, Black Coffee)
After You've Gone (Bobby Darin)
I Wanna Be Around (Tony Bennett)
Down with Love (Audra McDonald)
That'll Be the Day (Ensemble, The Happiest Girl in the World)
Abracadabra (June Havoc, Mexican Hayride)
I Can't Be in Love (Don Ameche, Goldilocks)
What You Don't Know About Women (Kay McClelland, Randy Graff, City of Angels)
I'm Through with Love (Marilyn Monroe, Some Like it Hot)
Moon Song (Annette Hanshaw)
Who's Sorry Now (Harry James and His Orchestra featuring Willie Smith)
Goody Goody (Julie London)
But Not for Me (Chet Backer)
I'm All I've Got (Michele Lee, Bravo Giovanni)
It's a Helluva Way to Run a Love Affair (Shirl Conway, Plain and Fancy)
The Beast in You (Elaine Stritch, Goldilocks)
Single Man Drought (Melissa Weil, Jennifer SImard, I Love You, You're Perfect,
                     Now Change)
Be Good or Be Gone (Debra Monk, Pump Boys and Dinettes)
Getting Married Today (Beth Howland, Company)
I'll Never Fall in Love Again (Kristin Chenowith, Promises Promises)
Safe, Sane and Single (Ensemble, Five Guys Named Moe)
I'll Be Glad When You're Dead (You Rascal You) (Ensemble, Bullets Over Broadway)
So Long, Dearie (Carol Channing, Hello Dolly)  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Producers: If You've Got It...Flaunt It, Baby! Flaunt It!

 The Producers opened in 2001, 
and proceeded to run for over 2,500 performances.
Nathan Lane, as Max Bialystock and Mathew Broderick, as Leo Bloom.

 Cady Huffman as Swedish Bombshell Secretary,
Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson.

 "Prisoners of Love,"
from the 2005 movie version.

Nathan, Director/Choreographer Susan Stroman,
Mathew, and Creator Mel Brooks.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

All About Applause...

 Lauren Bacall as Margo Channing,
in the original 1970 Broadway production...
she snagged a Best Actress Tony for her efforts.

 The backstage scene (In a caftan! It really was 1970!)
with Brandon Maggart, Ann Williams, and Len Cariou on the right.

 Directed and Choreographed by Ron Field,
who would go on to do the original Broadway version of Cabaret,
Zorba, Rags and several television specials.
Costumes... Ray Aghayan.

And a still from the 1950 movie...All About Eve.
Gary Merrill, Bette Davis, Celeste Holm, and Hugh Marlowe.
Missing from the shot, but rarely from the plot,
Anne Baxter as Eve.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chicago: It's a Looooong Story

 Back in 1926, Maurine Dallas Watkins wrote a play called "Chicago"...
based on two unrelated crimes of 1924,
involving Beulah Annan and Belva Gaetner.
It reached Broadway, and proved popular enough to be turned
into a silent movie, called "Roxie Hart," 
starring Phyllis Haver (above).

 In 1942, they did it again!
A movie with Ginger Rogers, as a brunette...

 and a rather distraught looking Adolphe Menjou
as Billy Flynn.

Bob Fosse entered the "picture" when Gwen Verdon
came across the 1926 play and thought it might make a good musical.
The original 1975 production starred
Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera and...

 Jerry Orbach, as Billy Flynn.

 In 2002, another movie...
with Rene Zellwegger and Catherine Zeta-Jones,
NOT dubbed.  
(Can ya tell?)
Queen Latifah as Mama Morton...
This movie had a $45,000,000 budget.
Makes you wonder about that first silent movie version
and its budget...$300?