Monday, August 31, 2015


Suffer me one more quick "hurrah"...dashing out to Chicago for the Labor Day Weekend. So this Sunday will be a prerecorded oldie goldie. I promise, LIVE shows again, starting September 13!  Visualize Broadway while I'm away. It's there...kicking! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sunday Snippets

Anita Gillette in "Nightlife" 
(note baby dolls and fluffy slippers)
in All-American.
A Charles Strouse/Lee Adams musical
with a book by Mel Brooks...
it didn't last long.
Tamara Long (left) recording the cast album
for Dames At Sea.
Look right and see a young Hal Linden.
We'll hear "Wall Street" sung by Tamara this Sunday.
Love the 60s look, Tamara (w/headband).
Bob Holiday as Superman,
catching his breath during 
It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman,
another Strouse/Lee also-ran.
Another Superman shot...
Jack Cassidy, Linda Lavin, and Michael O'Sullivan
at the cast album recording.
We'll hear Linda and "Possibilities", 
and Michael doing "Revenge". 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Belated Birthdays...Carolyn and Lee

 Carolyn Leigh and her collaborator for Peter Pan,
Mark "Moose" Charlap...
it was thought that the score needed "goosing",
so Jules Styne and Comden/Green were brought in for additional music.
So without a "map" it's difficult to find out who wrote what.
We'll hear "I'm Flying"...which is FOR SURE a Leigh/Charlap creation.

Always with the pearls.
Carolyn was born in the Bronx in 1926, went to Hunter College,
Queens College AND NYU, which makes you wonder if she had a PhD. 
or was thrown out. Hmmm....let's think the best, shall we?
Above, working with composer Cy Coleman on Little Me.

 Here with Elmer Bernstein, her musical partner on 
How Now Dow Jones...
I tried to find a song to play from this show,
but I have a hard time playing stuff I don't like, 
so we will hear NOTHING from this show.
Elmer (no relation to Leonard) was known for his movie scores,
notably westerns, like The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape.
But getting back to Carolyn, she also wrote the lyrics for "Young At Heart" 
for the movie of the same name.

 Our other birthday lyricist, Lee Adams, 
who wrote primarily with Charles Strouse.
Ohio born and bred, with a Master's Degree from Columbia.

 Lee's collaborator of choice was Charles Strouse,
and together they wrote a bevy of popular musicals.
Above, the recording session for one of their lesser known works,
It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman.
Goddard Lieberson (producer), Bob Holliday (the man of steel),
Lee and Charles.

 Bye Bye Birdie was the team's first success...
Lee with Marijane Maricle and Paul Lynde, recording the cast album.

And then Golden Boy...
Lee with glasses, standing with Clifford Odets,
upon whose short story the plot was based.
Charles Strouse at the piano.
Sammy Davis Jr. made it a challenging musical to make,
demanding solos that would echo his nightclub style.
Billy Daniels' number, "While The City Sleeps" was more indicative
of the musical's tone.
The show featured a mixed race romance and an urban, jazzy score,
a far cry from Hello Dolly and Funny Girl, just down that 
Great White Way. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, August 30, 2015: Back in the Saddle Again...

Okay, the vacation is over...the laundry is in full swing, the mail is getting slowly sorted, the lawn needs A LOT of attention, and my flowers may never be the same like everyone else lucky enough to "get away from it all," I have now to "get BACK to it all" and pay the price for my umbrella drink sipping. And that is to be swamped with the fall out.  Lucky for me, most of this week's playlist was carved in clam dip before said departure, so YUPPERS, I'll be back live to foist Broadway at its...well, eccentric, weird, failed, over the top, pinch-me-it's-so-good, BEST!

Two lyricists' birthdays zipped by me unnoticed: Lee Adams and Carolyn Leigh! So we'll dabble in some of their selections, notably Bye Bye Birdie and Little Me.  Then a "Street" theme, cuz why not? Some Gershwin to make us feel all romantic in a classy sort of way.  And representing the off-Broadway, 4 people, "we've got a piano, let's put on a show" kinda production...I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.  That's the eccentric bit, I guess.

That's all for now.  No more hammock swinging. Gotta get back to the grind.  But...hey, there's clam dip left!!!

Overture to Crazy for You (Instrumental, Crazy for You)
I'm Flying (Mary Martin, Peter Pan)
Hey, Look Me Over (Lucille Ball, Paula Stewart, Wildcat)
Witchcraft (Frank Sinatra)
I've Got Your Number (Swen Swenson, Little Me)
Goodbye (The Prince's Farewell) (Sid Caesar, Little Me)
Gay Paree (Robert Preston, Victor/Victoria)
Chicago, Illinois (Lesley Ann Warren, Victor/Victoria)
Le Jazz Hot (Julie Andrews, Victor/Victoria)
The Telephone Hour (Susan Watson, Ensemble, Bye Bye Birdie)
A Lot of Livin' To Do (Dick Gautier, Bye Bye Birdie)
Nightlife (Anita Gillette, All-American)
The Real Me (Eileen Herlie, All-American)
Fasten Your Seat Belts (Len Cariou, Lauren Bacall, Applause)
Applause (Lee Adams, Applause)
On the Street Where You Live (John Michael King, My Fair Lady)
Easy Street (Elaine Stritch, Stritch)
Wall Street (Tamara Long, Dames At Sea)
Christopher Street (Warren Galjour, Wonderful Town)
Don't Forget 127th Street (Johnny Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Ensemble,
        Golden Boy)
While the City Sleeps (Billy Daniels, Golden Boy)
Everything's Great (Kenneth Tobey, Paula Wayne, Golden Boy)
You've Got Possibilities (Linda Lavin, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman)
It's Superman (Patricia Morand, ...It's Superman)
Revenge (Michael O'Sullivan, ...It's Superman)
Always a Bridesmaid (Melissa Weil, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change)
Why? 'Cause I'm a Guy (Ensemble, ...Now Change)
On The Highway of Love (Danny Burstein, Jennifer Simmard, ...Now Change)
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Cast, ...Now Change)
K-Ra-Zy For You (Harry Groener, Crazy For You)
The Real American Folk Song (Tripp Hanson and the Cowboy Trio, Crazy
                 For You)
Someone To Watch Over Me (Jodi Benson, Crazy For You)
Slap That Bass! (Harry Groener, Ensemble, Crazy For You)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Vaca time! You'll have to be content with old...old playlists, old photos, old shows. Sorry, but everybody's gotta get some hammock time in. I'll be back with a new LIVE show on August 30, 2015. May the Broadway gods bless and keep you and find you cheap ticket prices.  XO

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sunday Snippets!

 Sherie Rene Scott and John Lithgow...
"The More We Dance" from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Dr. Shuffhausen does a mean tango!

2004 revival of Pacific Overtures...

 1776...with Ken Howard, Howard DaSilva,
composer/lyricist Sherman Edwards,
and William Daniels.

A "chorus line" of delegates...
in fly-ridden Philadelphia.

 A Hirshfeld drawing of Flahooley, 1951,
a wacky puppet-ridden/Yip Harburg snark at Big Business...

...and one of its stars,
Yma Sumac.
She calls the Genie the picture?
40 performances for this bagel!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Park, okay? On Sunday!

It opened in 1984...with a book by James Lapine,
words and music by Stephen Sondheim.
After his flop, Merrily We Roll Along (1981),
Sondheim almost left musical theatre, and thought about becoming
a mystery writer.
James Lapine helped lead him back "to the fold",
with a  viewing of Georges Seurat's masterpiece.
Lapine noted that the only one who wasn't in that painting was the artist himself.
 And that was it...Sondheim was at it again.
Above, Bernadette Peters as Dot, and Mandy Patinkin as Georges.

 At the original cast recording,
Mandy, Bernadette and Stephen.

 The set design by Tony Straiges,
featured a huge version of the Seurat painting...
and won both a Drama Desk and a Tony.

 Both Bernadette (above) and Mandy were nominated
for Drama Desk Awards and Tonys,
but didn't win. 
However, Sondheim and Lapine were awarded
the Putlitzer Prize for Drama for their efforts.
Best Musical Tony went to La Cage Aux Folles that year.

 Frank Rich, of The New York Times, said,
  "Mr. Sondheim and Mr. Lapine have created an audacious, haunting 
and, in its own intensely personal way, touching work."
604 performances...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, August 9, 2015: Hope ya studied!

 Next week, I get a vacation! And on a last Sunday before that, I get to play my favorites...yes, I do! So let the show begin, before the hammock swinging and the "lemonade" sipping starts.

But first, a pop quiz!  Pencils ready?

1.)  Was there a real life Bloody Mary?
a.) No, that's a drink served with brunch, with big useless stalks of celery growing in it.
b.) No! She was a mere figment of Rodgers and Hammerstein's imagination. 
c.) Yes...James Michener discovered her while researching his Tales Of The South Pacific, which was based on real-life characters and their lives. She had no teeth, but that didn't stop her from incessantly chewing betel nuts and swearing like a sailor.
d.) All of the above. But I like Mimosas better.

2.)  Who did Leonard Bernstein share a flat with in the 1940s?
a.) Orson Welles
b.) Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney (they were siamese twins)
c.) Adolph Green
d.) All of the above. But I like Betty Comden better.

3.) What do Yma Sumac, Yip Harburg, and Bill Baird's puppets have in common?
a.) Nothing
b.) Everthing
c.) They all participated in a 40 performance flop called Flahooley.
d.) They all tried out for Cats.
e.) (Yes, E!) All of the above. I hate Cats. 

4.) Which composer/lyricist used to be a band leader, arranger and writer of pop songs, but quit that last job rather abruptly (gossip says he disliked having to work with Elvis Presley's manager, "The Colonel"), leaving his "pop" projects and saying he had "an idea" for a musical?
a.) Jimmy Crack Corn
b.) I don't care
c.) Betty Comden
d.) Bloody Mary
e.) (Yes, bloody E!) Mimosas
f.) Sherman Edward (whoooo?)

It is entirely possible to get all of the above questions wrong and still have a rather fine life, so please don't worry.  I mean, Broadway is nothing if all-accepting...I mean, you don't have to be able to do a buck and wing, know Jerry Herman's shirt size, or remember all the lyrics to Sondheim's Ladies Who Lunch to enjoy musical theatre immensely. So forget the questions, everybody gets an A, and summer vacation starts now.

See you next semester! :)

The Best of Times Is Now (George Hearn, Company, La Cage Aux Folles)
There Is Nothin' Like A Dame (Myron McCormick, Ensemble, South Pacific)
Bali Ha'i (Juanita Hall, South Pacific)
Bloody Mary (Ensemble, South Pacific)
We Dance (Eric Riley, Milton Craig Nealy, Ensemble, Once On This Island)
Shall We Dance? (Fred Astaire, Shall We Dance?)
The More We Dance (John Lithgow, Sherie Rene Scott, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
Sunday In The Park With George (Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Sunday In The Park With George)
No Life (Charles Kimbrough, Dana Ivey, Sunday In The Park With George)
Finishing The Hat (Mandy Patinkin, Sunday In The Park With George)
Ballet At The Village Vortex (Instrumental, Wonderful Town)
Time Square Dance (Instrumental, On The Town)
Prologue (Instrumental, West Side Story)
Pernambuco (Ensemble, Where's Charley?)
Night Of My Nights (Richard Kiley, Kismet)
BIrds/Enchantment (Yma Sumac, Flahooley)
Grasslands Chant (Ensemble, Lion King)
Sit Down, John (William Daniels, Ensemble, 1776)
Molasses To Rum (Clifford Davis, 1776)
But Mr. Adams (William Daniels, Howard DaSilva, Ken Howard, 1776)
Pretty Lady (Darren Lee, Hoon Lee, Telly Leung, Pacific Overtures)
Please Hello (Evan D'Angeles, Frances Jue, Daniel Jay Park, Scott Watanabe,
                 Pacific Overtures)
Will Power (Christian Borle, Something Rotten!)I Love The Way (Kate Reinders, John                 Cariani, Something Rotten!)
Bottom's Gonna Be On Top (Brian D'Arcy James, Christian Borle, Something Rotten!)
Professional Showbizness Comedy (Andrea Martin, Tom Mardirosian,
                My Favorite Year)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Take Me Along, Sid!

 Take Me Along, with music and lyrics by Bob Merrill 
(who was fresh from New Girl In Town with Gwen Verdon),
debuted in 1959.
It was David Merrick's idea to musicalize
Eugene O'Neill's Ahhh Wildnerness, all about a boy's coming of age.
First it was called Connecticut Summer, but the focus seemed to shift
when Jackie Gleason agreed to play slippery Uncle Sid.
Above, Jackie, Eileen Herlie, and Walter Pidgeon. 

Sid Davis' big return to his home town..."Sid, Ol Kid!" 

Walter Pidgeon and Robert Morse,
as Nat and Richard Miller.
The title song, Take Me Along, was later scarfed by
 Leo Burnett (the advertising firm) and used for 
a huge United Airlines campaign.

1960 Tony Award Winners...
Jackie got one for his performance as Sid,
(looks like the 'stache was real)
here with Mary Martin (who received her's for The Sound Of Music)
Ann Bancroft (for The Miracle Worker),
and Melvyn Douglas (The Best Man).