Thursday, April 30, 2015

Speaking of "The Dreams"....

 Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Loretta Devine,
the original Dreamettes, and later "The Dreams."
Dreamgirls opened on Broadway in 1982.

 Ben Harneyf as Curtis Taylor, Jr. and Sheryl as Deena Jones.
The show ran for over 1,500 performances,
and was nominated for Tonys, Grammys, and Drama Desk Awards.

 The 30th Anniversary of Dreamgirls brought the original cast together:
Obba Babatunde, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Michael Bennett (director/choreographer),
Jennifer Holliday, Ben Harney and Cleavent Derricks.

The movie version was released in 2006...
with Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles, and Anika Noni Rose,
as Effie, Deena, and Lorrell.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Bohemian Girl...Where Those Marble Halls Dwelt!

The Bohemian Girl was first produced at the Drury Lane Theatre
in London in 1843, and stayed in the repertoire into
the 1930s.
The music was composed by Michael William Balfe,
lyrics by Alfred Bunn.
The aria, I Dreamt That I Dwelt In Marble Halls,
was first sung by Elizabeth Rainforth.

 Three movies were made:
The first, a silent picture in 1922 
and a shortened version of the opera in 1927, both British.
In 1936, a Hollywood version was created, starring Laurel and Hardy! 
It was credited as "A Comedy Version of The Bohemian Girl."
 Jacqueline Wells starred as Arline,
with her singing dubbed by Rosina Lawrence.

 Laurel and Hardy played 17th Century Austrian peasants...
and co-starring was Darla Hood
(of Our Gang fame)!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, May 3, 2015: Just Dreamy!

You may notice by perusing the playlist that YES, this is a show with a theme!  And that theme is DREAM!  Have a dream, dream a little dream, I could use a dream, I guess I'll have to name it, it's dreamy.  This Dream Land of a show pulls from Broadway musicals, movie musicals, and standards old and new. A couple of them may be soporific enough to induce actual dreaming...but try to stay awake, okay? 

Favorites?  "I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls"...from (gulp) 1843, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It's actually from an opera, The Bohemian Girl, and it has found its way into soundtracks, literature, and covers by Joan Sutherland, Enya, Celtic Women and more...but I know it from a little movie called "An Apartment for Peggy" with Jeanne Crain.  Wonderful and old and sappy, so we're doing it!

I also love Liza and "You Stepped Out Of A Dream", which was recorded live in 1996, which is snazzy and sleazy and other "s" adjectives.  "I'll Never Have to Dream Again" with Connie Boswell (after she jettisoned her sisters, or they jettisoned her, depending on the rags you read)....and two Glenn Miller offerings, "I Guess I'll Have to Dream the Rest" and "As Long as I'm Dreaming."

Standard-wise, we have Doris and Tony, Frank and Dean...a little Peggy, a little Bobby...and all with one thing in mind: Sweet Dreams! 

 All I Do Is Dream Of You (Ensemble, Singin' In The Rain)
Baby, Dream Your Dream (Helen Gallagher, Thelma Oliver, Sweet Charity)
The Sailor Of My Dreams (Bernadette Peters, Dames At Sea)
Out Of My Dreams (Joan Roberts, Ensemble, Oklahoma)
All I Needed Was The Dream (Isabel Keating, The Boy From Oz)
I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls (Rosina Lawrence, The Bohemian Girl)
I Could Use A Dream (Tony Martin, Alice Faye, Sally, Irene And Mary)
I'll Never Have To Dream Again (Connie Boswell, Pennies From Heaven)
I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest (The Glenn Miller Orchestra and Ray Eberle)
I'll See You In My Dreams (Django Reinhardt)
A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes (Ilene Woods, Cinderella)
Have A Dream (Fritz Weaver, All American)
First You Dream (Daniel McDonald, Karen Ziemba, Steel Pier)
I Dreamed A Dance (Alice Ripley, Aaron Tveit, Next To Normal)
The Dream (Zero Mostel, Maria Karnilova, Fiddler On The Roof)
All I Do Is Dream Of You (Gene Kelly, Singin' In The Rain)
Dream A Little Dream Of Me (Doris Day, Day And Night)
As Long As I'm Dreaming (Tex Beneke, Garry Steven, The Glenn Miller Orchestra)
Street Of Dreams (Peggy Lee, Dream Street)
Dream Lover (Bobby Darin)
Dream Girls (Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, Dream Girls)
When I First Saw You (Ben Harney, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dream Girls)
Steppin' To The Bad Side (Ben Harney, Cleavant Derrick, Dream Girls)
And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going (Jennifer Holliday, Dream Girls)
If You Are But A Dream (Frank Sinatra)
Smoke Dreams (Jo Stafford and The Starlighters)
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (Tony Bennett)
Dream (Dean Martin)
You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Liza Minnelli, Gently)
I Dreamed A Dream (Randy Graff, Les Miserables)
The Impossible Dream (Richard Kiley, Man Of La Mancha)
I Have Dreamed (Julie Andrews)
Once Upon A Dream (Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Sleeping Beauty)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, April 26, 2015: A Re-Run, in the nicest way possible!

I'm taking a break this Sunday, and repeating a 2 On The Aisle show from February 8th, 2015. This is the one with Chicago, My Fair Lady, Applause, and our Oldie But Goodie Section (with Judy, Ethel, Marlene, and Annette) hopefully you won't suffer. Much!

I'll be back on May 3rd, with a brand new show. See you then! 

Overture & All That Jazz (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago)
Backstage Babble (Ensemble, Applause)
Who's That Girl? (Lauren Bacall, Applause)
Fasten Your Seatbelts (Lauren Bacall, Ensemble, Applause)
Applause (Bonnie Franklin, Applause)
The Slice (Robert Hooks, Ensemble, Hallelujah, Baby!)
My Own Morning (Leslie Uggams, Hallelujah, Baby!)
Feet Do Yo' Stuff (Ensemble, Hallelujah, Baby!)
Talking to Yourself (Leslie Uggams, Robert Hooks, Allen Case, Hallelujah, Baby!)
I Can't Do It Alone (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago)
Nowadays (Rene Zellwegger, Chicago)
When You're Good to Mama (Queen Latifah, Chicago)
Good Mornin' (Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Babes in Arms)
Singin' in the Rain (Judy Garland, Little Nellie Kelly)
We Just Couldn't Say Goodnight (Annette Hanshaw)
Make It Another Old Fashioned, Please (Ethel Merman, Panama Hattie)
A Guy What Takes His Time (Marlene Dietrich)
I'm Tired (Madeline Kahn, Blazing Saddles)
Welcome to the Night (John Lithgow, Ensemble, Sweet Smell of Success)
I Cannot Hear the City (Brian D'Arcy James, Sweet Smell of Success)
Don't Look Now (John Lithgow, Sweet Smell of Success)
Dirt (Ensemble, Sweet Smell of Success)
Why Can't the English? (Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady)
With a Little Bit of Luck (Stanley Holloway, My Fair Lady)
Wouldn't It Be Lovely? (Julie Andrews, My Fair Lady)
You Did It (Rex Harrison, Robert Coote, My Fair Lady)
Haben Sie Gehort Das Deutsche Band? (Brad Oscar, The Producers)
When You've Got It, Flaunt It (Cady Huffman, The Producers)
Betrayed (Nathan Lane, The Producers)
Prisoners of Love (Nathan Lane, Mathew Broderick, Ensemble, The Producers)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

All That Fosse Jazz

 2 On The Aisle's opener this week comes from
the opening number of All That Jazz...
"On Broadway,"
a cattle call audition for a dozen dancers in 
"Joe Gideon's new musical."

 Roy Scheider got raves for his portrayal of Joe,
based on Bob Fosse...the creator/director/choreographer of the film.
Despite Roy's inability to dance, he wowed the critics.
The movie is "a semi-autobiographical fantasy" of Fosse's life,
with Fellini-esque elements.
And it's frickin' great.

 Playing Roy's girlfriend,
Bob's REAL girlfriend...Ann Reinking (top).
Leland Palmer (bottom) played Roy's ex-wife,
based on Bob's ex-wife, Gwen Verdon,
who also helped on this movie.
Confused yet?

"Bye Bye Life," the film's finale,
with Ben Vereen, Roy, and what looks to be the circulatory system
dancing with a mirror ball.
The reviews were all over the place...
Leonard Maitlin called it "self indulgent and buried in pretension."
Stanley Kubrick said it was "the best movie I have ever seen."

Friday, April 17, 2015

Matilda: El Smash!

 Matilda debuted in the West End in London in 2011...
and on Broadway in 2013.
A record breaking 7 Olivier Awards, and 5 Tonys,
and Best Musical awards on both "sides of the pond."
Above, "When I Grow Up."
The sets are astonding!
 So many little girls have played Matilda!
Casts usually have 3-4 young ladies rotating in the role.
Above, Adrianna Bertola's "turn."

 Bertie Carvel as the definitive Miss Trunchbull.
(Note: His headshot looks entirely different!)

 "Bruce" in in Cake...front and center.

 Paul Kaye, Josie Walker, and Peter Howe
as the Wormwood Family.
Paul sings "Telly" on our show this week.

 Lauren Ward (seated) as Miss Honey...
and Bertie as the Trunchbull towering over her!

Composer/Lyricist Tim Minchin.
Working on the film!?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mancini...not just a pink cat!

  Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini was born in Cleveland, raised in Pittsburgh...
and began playing flute with his dad in the 
"Sons of Italy" band at the age of 12.

Later, he entered Julliard, but was drafted after only one year.
After working with Ted Beneke as a pianist and arranger,
he joined Universal Picture's music department,
writing music for several movies, like
Creature From the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space...
and Touch of Evil.

By 1958, Henry was scoring the television series,
Peter Gunn,
created by Blake Edwards.
It starred Craig Stevens and Lola Albright.
Mancini's big break: Not only the connection with Edwards,
but 2 Grammys, and Best Jazz Record of the Year.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) with Audrey Hepburn,
and other Edwards/Mancini films followed...
here's Audrey "playing" Moon River.

The Pink Panther in 1963, with Peter Sellers...
Henry and Blake (under the panther!) would collaborate
on 30 films, over the course of 35 years.

Peggy Lee and Henry, Grammy-laden. 
He received 20 of these babies over the course of his career
(nominated for 72!),
and a special Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

 One film, Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972), didn't go so well...
Hitch eventually rejected Mancini's score for the movie,
and replaced him with Ron Goodwin.

"Painting pictures with music"...for 70 years.
1924 - 1994

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, April 19, 2015: Henry and George and Peggy and Sid...and BRUCE!

Robert Preston isn't sending roses, Bruce Bogtrotter can't quite finish that cake, Sid Caesar is the Prince, and Peggy Cass is the Queen, but merely of Terre Haute...yes, we've got quite a range on 2 On The Aisle this Sunday.  Sometimes you just have to mix things up!

Highlights:  A bunch from Matilda (7 Olivier Awards? 5 Tonys?)....George Benson's rendition of "On Broadway" (that opening number of Fosse's All That Jazz), three (count 'em, 3) goodies from I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change...and a mini-tribute to Henry Mancini.

Henry died way too early for me; he was only 70 when he passed away in 1994.  I mean, all those movie soundtracks and TV themes...lush and perfect for the 1950s through the 80s...and a few even later. It's his birthday on Thursday, April 16th, so I thought maybe we'd feature a few (of his very many) creations, like Charade, the theme from Peter Gunn, Moon River, Victor/Victoria, and of course the theme for the Pink Panther. Blake Edwards was his partner in crime for several movies, as well as Stanley Donen and Howard Hawks, and he recorded over 90 albums.  No slouch, he. 

Oh, and our Flop Corner is back.  You wouldn't wanna miss THAT, would you? :)

On Broadway (George Benson, All That Jazz)
Look What Happened To Mabel (Bernadette Peters, Mack & Mabel)
Movies Were Movies (Robert Preston, Mack & Mabel)
Wherever He Ain't (Bernadette Peters, Mack & Mabel)
I Won't Send Roses (Robert Preston, Mack & Mabel)
Quiet (Adrianna Bertola, Matilda)
Telly (Paul Kaye, Matilda)
When I Grow Up (Adrianna Bertola, Lauren Ward, Matilda)
Bruce (Bertie Carvel, Matilda)
I Was Here (Marc Kudisch, The Glorious Ones)
Steady, Steady (Michele Lee, Bravo Giovanni)
When Love Arrives (Steven Pacey, Diana Morrison, By Jeeves!)
Miss What's Her Name (Deborah Gravitte, Miss Spectacular)
Moon River (Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's)
Crazy World (Instrumental, Victor/Victoria)
Charade (Shirley Bassey, Charade)
The Pink Panther Theme (Instrumental, The Pink Panther)\
The Peter Gunn Theme (Instrumental, Peter Gunn)
Let's Step Out (Susan Powell, Karen Ziemba, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
The Queen Of Terre Haute (Peggy Cass, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
Find Me A Primitive Man (Kim Criswell, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
You've Got That Thing (Jason Graae, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
A Stud And A Babe (Robert Roznowski, Jennifer Simard, I Love You, You're Perfect,
                   Now Change)
Waiting Trio (Robert Roznowski, Jennifer Simard, Melissa Weil, I Love You...)
Marriage Tango (Robert Roznowski, Melissa Weil, I Love You...)
70, Girls, 70 (Ensemble, 70, Girls, 70)
Do We? (Gil Lamb, Lucie Lancaster, 70, Girls, 70)
Coffee In A Cardboard Cup (Lillian Hayman, Goldye Shaw, 70, Girls, 70)
Little Me (Virginia Martin, Nancy Andrews, Little Me)
I've Got Your Number (Swen Swenson, Virginia Martin, Little Me)
Real Live Girl (Male Ensemble, Little Me)
Goodbye (The Prince's Farewell) (Sid Caesar, Ensemble, Little Me)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Billy Rose's Jumbo!

 Jumbo first appeared on Broadway,
a huge circus show starring Jimmy Durante,
music by Rogers & Hart,
and staged at the New York Hippodrome in 1935.
Paul Whiteman's orchestra provided the instrumentation.

 It was the last musical produced at the Hippodrome,
which was torn down just three year's later.
At the end of every Jumbo performance, 
Jimmy would lay down on the stage and allow an elephant
to place its foot on his head.

 In 1962, Jimmy Durante again starred in the MGM movie version,
though the plot was much different.
He played Pop Wonder, and Doris Day, his daughter Kitty.

 Additional Rogers & Hart songs were added,
like "This Can't Be Love".  Despite the luscious tunes
and impressive choreography/stunts staged by Busby Berkeley,
the movie lost almost $4 million, due to the cost of production.

 Stephen Boyd played opposite Doris,
though his singing voice was dubbed by James Joyce.
(Not THEE James Joyce.  I mean, I don't think HE could sing.)

 Martha Raye (right) joined the cast as Lulu,
Pop's long-suffering fiancee.

Jumbo was Doris' last movie musical...
she would go on to do movies with
Rock Hudson, James Garner and Rod Taylor.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dody: That Tweetie Bird!

 Born Dolores Goodman, in Columbus, Ohio, in 1914,
Dody started out in dance...
and landed a spot in the ballet troupe of Radio City Music Hall,
when she arrived in NYC.
From there, it was an easy jump to dancing in Broadway musicals,
like Call Me Madam, High Button Shoes, and Wonderful Town.

 Thanks to Imogene Coca and George Abbott,
Dody started doing comedy...appearing on talk shows,
like Jack Paar's Tonight Show, 
touring in Once Upon A Mattress, and Fiorello!
 Above, a return to Broadway in 1974,
with Carol Channing in Lorelei.
(That's Dody on the right.)

 In 1976, she played Louise Lasser's mom in
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman...
(that's her, seated on the left in green)...
along with Mary Kay Place (in pink!).

 In 1978 and 79, Dody portrayed Blanche,
Eve Arden's secretary in Grease 1 and 2.

 And later, she played Tom Hank's secretary in Splash.

 Someone once described Dody's voice as sounding like 
"a Tweetie Pie cartoon bird strangling on peanut butter." 
Later in life, she used that voice for cartoon characters in
"Alvin and the Chipmunks,"
singing (and dancing) in Nunsense and its sequel Nuncrackers...
and passed away at the age of 90.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Charles Aznavour...the way France does a Sinatra!

 Born in 1924 in Paris, Shanour Aznavourian dropped out of school
at age 9, and began performing in plays and singing and dancing in nightclubs.
His stage name, Charles Aznavour.

 Charles began writing songs in 1944 with Pierre Roche,
and their first attempts became popular in Canada and Europe, 
but some like "Hier Encore"
("Yesterday When I Was Young") 
jumped across the pond!

 Dancing with Edith Piaf,
who was instrumental in starting his career as a singer.
His big break came in 1946, when Edith named Charles as
the opener for her tour.

One of Charles' MANY songs, "She" (that he wrote with Herbert Kretzmer) 
reached the Number 1 spot on the UK charts in 1974.  
He has written hundreds of songs, 
duetted with all the greats,
performed at Carnegie Hall...
and is presently Armenia's Ambassador to Switzerland, where he lives.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, April 12, 2015: Some People, Some Spring!

What is this? I'm still wearing a winter coat, LL Bean socks and and my Aunt Gen muffler. I still have my snow tires on, my ice scraper in the front seat and my hot water bottle in my bed. I'm still thinking soup, not SALAD... hot buttered rum, not PINA COLADAS. We are mired in 30 degrees for another frickin' month, while even Chicago has been broiling along in the 60s and 70s. I know this because in every communication with my daughter, who now lives there, she says stuff like, "Oh, just needed a sweater today..." or "We had our coffee in our bathrobes on the fire escape this morning."  Shut up. 

Well, we have to get thru this! Let's hope Broadway can lighten our load and warm our freezer-burned hearts! We have Bullets Over Broadway (by request!), The Book of Mormon, On The Town, and Hairspray to move and groove to...along with solos by Mary Martin, Judy Garland, and Liza...and Spike Jones (Spike was on Broadway, Kim? Really? busted...), Dody Goodman, and Charles Aznavour. The later is one of my all time favorite singers, dubbed the "French Sinatra." He's written more than a thousand songs, performed since the 1950s, and if you've never heard of him, you've got some catching up to do!

I recently saw a montage of Mama Roses singing "Some
People" (go to YouTube and search for Supercut - Some People)...and of all the cast of characters who tried singing that anthem, I have to say Judy, Liza and Ethel still trumped 'em....I never knew that Angela Lansbury took a turn at Rose, and she and Bernadette and Patti and Bette all seemed to show a good share of grit, but my heart belongs to those 3 divas.  They can really "put it over."  And if they asked ME for 88 bucks, I'd sure as hell give it to 'em!

Runnin' Wild (Ensemble, Bullets Over Broadway)
Three Dance Episodes (Instrumental, On The Town)
I Can Cook, Too (Nancy Walker, On The Town)
Lucky To Be Me (Cris Alexander, On The Town)
Nightclub Sequence/You Got Me! (Ensemble, On The Town)
The Big Dollhouse (Harvey Fierstein, Jackie Hoffman, Ensemble, Hairspray)
I Can Hear The Bells (Marissa Jaret Winokur, Hairspray)
Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now (Marissa Jaret Winokur, Ensemble, Hairspray)
This Can't Be Love (Doris Day, Jumbo)
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (Stephen Boyd, Jumbo)
Over And Over Again (Doris Day, Jumbo)
Stick Around (Sammy Davis, Jr., Golden Boy)
Everything's Great (Ken Tobey, Paula Wayne, Golden Boy)
Golden Boy (Paula Wayne, Golden Boy)
This Is The Life (Billy Daniels, Sammy Davis, Jr., Golden Boy)
Some People (Judy Garland)
Some People (Liza Minelli)
Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland)
Que C'est Triste Venise (Charles Aznavour)
Cocktails For Two (Spike Jones, Classic Spike Jones)
Someone's Been Sending Me Flowers (Dody Goodman, Shoe String Revue)
Sara Lee (Jim Walton, And The World Goes 'Round)
Arthur In The Afternoon (Karen Ziemba, And The World Goes 'Round)
Flaming Agnes (Mary Martin, I Do! I Do!)
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair (Mary Martin, South Pacific)
I'm A Stranger Here Myself (Mary Martin, One Touch Of Venus)
I've Gotta Crow (Mary Martin, Peter Pan)
I Am Here For You (Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad, The Book Of Mormon)
Baptize Me (Nikki M. James, Josh Gad, The Book Of Mormon)
Here Comes The Hot Tamale Man (Instrumental, Bullets Over Broadway)
I've Found A New Baby (Betsy Wolf, Zach Braff, Bullets Over Broadway)
Taint A Fit Night Out For Man Nor Beast (Male Ensemble, Bullets Over Broadway)
The Hot Dog Song (Helene Yorke, Bullets Over Broadway)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Bad First Impression!

 In our Flop Corner this week is
First Impressions, from 1959, a musical version of Pride and Prejudice.
The book was done by Abe Burrows (Guys and Dolls?)
and music by George Weiss, Robert Goldman, and Glenn Paxton.

 Starring as Mr. Darcy, Farley Granger...
who knew he could sing?

 as Elizabeth Bennet, Polly Bergen...

 Hermoine Gingold played Mrs. Bennett...

 and as Jane Bennett, Phyllis Newman.
The show lasted 84 performances,
and despite its short run, a cast album was made
(that used to be a tradition! Even those 6 day wonders were recorded!).
These photos were all take at that recording session.

One more look at those sideburns!
By the end of the production,
Gingold, Bergen and Farley weren't speaking to each other.
Jules Styne was brought in, to juice up the music,
but for naught. 
Poof! It disappeared!