Monday, December 28, 2015


2 On The Aisle is temporarily on hiatus!  I will be back in mid-January with enough Broadway to drive you mad.  So hum some Sweeney in the shower, rap some Hamilton in Wegmans, tap Something Rotten while you're in that line of Christmas returns, and just WAIT FOR IT!  :)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Puttin' On The Ritz, Times 3!

 Rhett Butler...I mean Clark Gable
did his first and only song and dance to this number
in Idiot's Delight, 1939,
and it only lasted 56 seconds.

 Fred (and friends)
danced to his version in Blue Skies, 1946.

Here's John Bolton and Brad Nacht in
Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein...
since this is Mel's version, it runs for over 4 minutes,
with extra choruses.  
We'll hear Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley from the original production.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Oh, Waiter!"

 "Waiting, Waiting" for her hubby, Hubie Cram...
Nancy Walker (on the right) trying to get Phil Silver's attention,
in Do Re Mi.

 Costume changes for Mary Martin
who will be "Waitin' For The Evening Train"
in Jennie, her only Broadway flop.

 Alan Jay Lerner, Cyd Charisse, Frederick Loewe and
Virginia Bosler...
on the set of Brigadoon.
Cyd is "Waitin' for My Dearie", but not really
(Carol Richards dubbed Cyd's singing voice).

Angela Lansbury (pictured here with George Hearn,
the 2nd Sweeney Todd on Broadway)
counsels "Wait." 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, December 27, 2015: Just Waitin' for that Party!

So this is Themes Gone Mad Sunday....well, not really, it just doesn't bode well for the playlists of 2016. First of all, WAIT. Really? I mean, that's a theme? Well, it's absolutely amazing how many Broadway songs have WAIT in their titles (or "waiting" or "waitin'", yeah we DO have to make a distinction there)...I mean, I picked only 7, thereby leaving another 42 for a later, wait-ier chapter.  That's right...we're waiting with Mary Martin, Angela, Cyd, and Leslie. Waiting for...

...the 2nd hour of the show, which is PARTY! Yes, Broadway party songs, which aren't Earth Wind and Fire's "Celebration", okay?  Broadway party songs are Cy Coleman, Lerner and Loewe, long cigarette holders, Doris, Fred, top hats, silk cravats and Rudy. This is an elegant crowd, okay? They have brandy in warmed snifters, champagne in tasteful amounts, they come formally dressed, and never leave a mess.  So THOSE kind of party songs!

We'll even do some "end of party" songs, with Judy singing "The Party's Over" from Bells Are Ringing (Elaine's version, too, if I can carve out an extra 1.5 minutes) and my new favorite (albeit melancholy) New Years song...Tom Wopat's "The Last Night Of The Year." His voice isn't quite as gritty as Tom Waits (hey, more Waiting!!!), but it's a helluvalot more interesting than a Buble or an Elling.  I like character.

If fact, that's my new mantra.  Above all else, Character.

Have a great 2016...and thanks for joining me for all these Broadway shenanigans. XO

Waiting, Waiting (Nancy Walker, Do Re Mi)
Waitin' For The Evening Train (Mary Martin, George D. Wallace, Jennie)
Waitin' For My Dearie (Carol Richards dubbing for Cyd Charisse, Brigadoon)
All You Have to Do Is Wait (Shawn Elliot, City Of Angels)
Waiting For The Girls Upstairs (Ensemble, Follies)
Wait (Angela Lansbury, Len Cariou, Sweeney Todd)
Wait For It (Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton)
Don't Break The Rules (Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can)
Someone Else's Skin (Aaron Tveit, Catch Me If You Can)
Jet Set (Aaron Tveit, Ensemble, Catch Me If You Can)
The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd (Company, Sweeney Todd)
Pretty Women (Len Cariou, Edmund Lyndeck, Sweeney Todd)
Johanna (Victor Garber, Sweeney Todd)
Outside Of That, I Love You (Summer Strallan, Tom Chambers, Top Hat)
He Had Refinement (Shirley Booth, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn)
There Must Be Something Better Than Love (Pearl Bailey, Arms And The Girl)
Good Girls Go To Heaven (Sally Kellerman, Breakfast At Tiffany's)
Monotonous (Eartha Kitt, New Faces Of 1952)
Top Hat, White Tie, And Tails (Fred Astaire)
Somebody's Going To Throw A Big Party (Ensemble, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
The Life Of The Party (David Wayne, The Happy Time)
The Night They Invented Champagne (Karen Wolfe, Daniel Massey,
         Maria Karnilova, Gigi)
You Go To My Head (Doris Day)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Clark Gable, Ensemble, Idiot's Delight)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Fred Astaire, Blue Skies)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Roger Bart, Shuler Hensley, Ensemble, Young
Such A Merry Party (Ensemble, Little Mary Sunshine)
Dry (Ensemble, The Wild Party)
Drum Boogie (Martha Tilton dubbing for Barbara Stanwyck, Ball Of Fire)
The Way You Look Tonight (Fred Astaire, Swing Time)
The Hookers Ball (Vernal Bagneris, The Life)
Let's Put Out The Lights And Go To Bed (Rudy Vallee)
The Party's Over (Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing)
The Last Night Of the Year (Tom Wopat, Consider It Swung)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

White Christmas...Cuz we won't have one!

 The Haynes Sisters...
gorgeous color in this movie,
thanks to Vista Vision (ooh lah lah!).
Rosemary sang Vera's part, too,
and even though she was 7 years younger,
Rosemary ended up playing the older sis.

 Several takes for this number,
and they ended up picking the one
where Danny really made Bing laugh.
 Danny was evidently worried about having the 
dancing chops for "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing."
Well, from looked like falling off a log!
 Choreography by Robert Alton and Bob Fosse 
(tho the latter was uncredited).

 That dress...that song...
those chorus boys!
"Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me"
George Charikis on the far left..
turn around, George!

The gooey ending
with all that red!
Costumes by Edith Head.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sunday Bell Ringers!

 Liza and that red "dress,"
in Liza With A Z, 1972...
"Ring Them Bells", written just for her by 
John Kander and Fred Ebb.

 Jessica Molaskey with hubby John Pizzarelli.
She'll be singing "Surabaya Santa"
from Songs For A New World.

and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."

Angela, of course,
and "We Need A Little Christmas"
from Jerry Herman's Mame, 1966.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015: NOW We Need A Little Christmas!

So it's that time of the year: The Broadway Christmas Edition of 2 On The Aisle!  But lemme tell ya, I was hard-pressed (like apples for cider) to fill 2 hours.  Although Broadway's style seems a perfect match for holiday hoopla, there really aren't that many GOOD Christmas songs in that songbook. I had to ferret out The Bad Santas, stretch the Cool Yules, and fill the gaps with good ole Standards.  But I do that anyway, right? So just quit complainin', Corky.

We have the requisites: "Turkey Lurkeys," and White Christmases, and "Have Yourself a Merrys" (2 in fact). Perennials with Angela and Rosemary, Bernadette and Babs, plus those little known, quirky diamonds in the rough like "That Man Over There" (which sounds pervy, right? From Here's Love, howz that for a meh title?), "Surabaya Santa" (with Jessica Molaskey, doing her Marlene Dietrich best, from Songs for a New World), and "Calypso Christmas" (by the Holiday in Plaid dudes. Be ready on those "Day-Os"). And then there's Christmas Pissed: "I Don't Remember Christmas" from Starting Here, Starting Now.  Christmas Depressed But Coping: "Hard Candy Christmas", from Best Little Whorehouse. The Mad at Winter and Why Am I Still Here and Not on the Amalfi Coast: "Another Winter in A Summer Town".  And then back to TAP DANCE Christmas...see, it runs the gamut (which I once heard pronounced "ga-MUTT"), just like Broadway. 

So hope you can listen in this Sunday, whilst fruit-caking and festooning. Have a Cool Yule.  :))) 

Overture (Instrumental, White Christmas)
We Need A Little Christmas (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Be A Santa (Sidney Chaplin, Subways Are For Sleeping)
Turkey Lurkey Time (Megan Sikora, Ensemble, Promises, Promises)
Happy Holiday/Let Yourself Go (Bryan D'Arcy James, Jeffrey Denman,
          Ensemble, White Christmas)
Snow (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Peggy Lee, White Christmas)
Sisters (Rosemary Clooney, White Christmas)
The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing (Danny Kaye, White
Count Your Blessings (Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, White Christmas)
Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me (Rosemary Clooney, White Christmas)
White Christmas (Ensemble, White Christmas)
Christmas Time Is Here (Ensemble, A Charlie Brown Christmas)
Pine Cones And Holly Berries (Laurence Naismith, Valerie Lee, Here's Love)
Christmas Day (Ensemble, Promises, Promises)
That Man Over There (Paul Reed, Here's Love)
A New Deal For Christmas (Ensemble, Annie)
Ring Them Bells (Liza Minnelli, Liza With A Z)
I Hear Bells (George Andrews, Starting Here, Starting Now)
Surabaya Santa (Jessica Molaskey, Songs For A New World)
Hard Candy Christmas (Pamela Blair, Donna King, Ensemble, Best Little
          Whorehouse In Texas)
I Don't Remember Christmas (George Andrews, Starting Here, Starting Now)
Christmas Is My Favorite Time Of Year (Norbert Leo Butz, Aaron Tveit,
          Ensemble, Catch Me If You Can)
Another Winter In A Summer Town (Christine Ebersole, Mary Louise Wilson,
          Grey Gardens)
Twelve Days To Christmas (Ensemble, She Loves Me)
Sounds While Selling (Daniel Massey, Nathaniel Frey, Jack Cassidy, Barbara
          Cook, Barbara Baxley, She Loves Me)
I'll Be Home For Christmas (Faith Prince, The Plaids, Holiday in Plaid)
Cool Yule (Louis Armstrong)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Bernadette Peters)
Christmas Mem'ries (Barbra Streisand)
Cool Yule (Paul Binotto, David Engel, Larry Raben, John Michael Flate,
         Holiday In Plaid)
Catered Holiday (Ensemble, Holiday In Plaid)
Calypso Christmas (Ensemble, Holiday In Plaid)
The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas (Allan Sherman, For Swinging Livers, Only!)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland, Meet Me In St. Louis)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Our Birthday Boys!

 Ira Gershwin...born Dec. 6th, 1896,
wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows with brother George
(below left).
When George passed away in 1937,
Ira went on to write with Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill,
and Harold Arlen. 

 Noel Coward (Dec. 16, 1899)
was a playwright, actor, composer, and bon vivant.
Why wouldn't he write a musical?
 "Why am I always expected to wear a dressing-gown, smoke cigarettes in a 
long holder and say 'Darling, how wonderful'?"
We'll hear 2 of his songs...
I Went to a Marvelous Party, and Later Than Spring.
 Adolph Green (left), born Dec. 2, 1914...
half the lyricist team of (Betty) Comden and Green.
They wrote lyrics AND screenplays aplenty,
like the book for Singin' In The Rain and The Band Wagon.
Later in life, Adolph returned to an early love: acting.
But, nope, Comden and Green were NOT married to each.

 Lew Brown (center), born Dec. 12th, 1893)
often wrote lyrics with Buddy Da Silva (left) for 
songs that became depression era classics,
like You're the Cream in My Coffee and Button Up Your Overcoat,
set to the melodies of Ray Henderson (right).
Composer Harold Arlen (left), Lew, and Eddie Cantor...
on the set of Baby Face.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hot, This Mikado!

 The first version of a jazzed-up
Gilbert & Sullivan Mikado
was done in 1939 and called The Hot Mikado,
with an all-black cast starring Bill Bojangles Robinson.
It was performed both on Broadway and at the 
1939 New York World's Fair.

 In 1986, a new adaptation...called Hot Mikado...
was produced with every ethnicity represented...
The character of the Mikado was dubbed the Big Cat of Japan.
It featured jitter bug, zoot suits and 
 an Andrews Sisters take on those Three Maids (below)!

 Above the Three Little Maids
from the 1995 London production:
Paulette Ivory, Alison Jiear, and Veronica Hart.
And as you can see below,
those "Maids" have been represented in a variety of ways!

David H. Bell updated the Gilbertian book and lyrics,
Rob Bowman the arrangements...
It has yet to be on Broadway,
but London, Dublin, Illinois, and community theatrical troupes
everywhere seem to love it.  :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Playlist for Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015: A Mahvelous (Birthday) Party!

Remember when you were a kid, and you let a week or two actually exist between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  You'd made big red circles all over both the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogues ("'s all between pages 42 and 57..."), the 5th grade chorus concert was 10 days away, no wrapped packages stockpiling in the closet (you checked!), no fruitcake wafts, no Chipmunk carols on the a.m. radio dial, no tree until they went on sale.  So here we are in that same time period, which is supposed to be a lull, a relaxed pause between holidays, and people are like...Did you finish your shopping? All decorated? Cards done? Tree laminated? Color wheel workin'?

Well, no, actually.  I am presently avoiding as much of this as possible.  And so we PUT THE HELL OFF everything Christmas-y for a week, okay? And we celebrate some December birthdays, the ones that are oft eclipsed...Ira! Adolph! Lew! Noel (how appropriate...I wonder if his mom...nah)! So lots of lovely song lyrics to commemorate, all classic Broadway (oh, and MGM movie classic as well). Some Gershwin Embraceables, some Comden and Green Bells, some Henderson/De Sylva/Brown Cherries and Buttons and Cream.  Coward himself sings a bawdy version of "I Went To A Mahvelous Party," and man, I wish I'd BEEN at that party (or knew how to throw one like it.  I keep trying.)!  Some Fosse to keep us less saccharine. Some Dolores Gray to thank, but no thanks.

So stay strong. Postpone the inevitable by joining me in non-holiday, non-candy-caned, restrained yet fabulous Broadway.  Oh, and could I get a refill on this eggnog? 

Overture/We Are Gentlemen Of Japan (Ensemble, Hot Mikado)
K-ra-zy For You (Bobby Short, K-ra-zy For Gershwin)
Who Cares? (Bea Arthur, Just Between Friends)
But Not For Me (Mary Martin, Girl Crazy)
Long Ago (And Far Away)(Jo Stafford)
Do What You Do (Bobby Short, K-ra-zy For Gershwin)
My Ship (Maria Freedman, Lady In The Dark)
The Man That Got Away (Judy Garland, A Star Is Born)
Come Up To My Place (Nancy Walker, Cris Alexander, On The Town)
It's A Perfect Relationship (Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing)
If (Elaine Stritch, Stritch)
Ambition (Phil Silvers, Do Re Mi)
My Own Morning (Leslie Uggams, Hallelujah, Baby!)
I Just Can't Wait (Orson Bean, Subways Are For Sleeping)
Never Never Land (Mary Martin, Peter Pan)
Three Little Maids (Paulette Ivory, Alison Jiear, Veronica Hart, Hot Mikado)
I Am So Proud (Richard Lloyd King, Ben Richards, Ross Lehman, Hot Mikado)
I've Got A Little List (Ross Lehman, Hot Mikado)
Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries (Jack Hylton and His Orchestra)
You're The Cream In My Coffee (Ruth Etting)
Button Up Your Overcoat (Helen Kane)
Birth Of The Blues (Keely Smith, Louis Prima)
Nowadays (Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago)
Bye Bye, Blackbird (Ben Vereen, Ensemble, Fosse)
Rich Man's Frug (Instrumental, Sweet Charity)
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm, High Society)
Fit As A Fiddle (Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Singin' In The Rain)
I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan (Fred Astaire, Jack Buchanan, The Band
Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks (Dolores Gray, It's Always Fair Weather)
I Got Rhythm (Gene Kelly, An American In Paris)
Last Night When We Were Young (Judy Garland, In The Good Old
You Better Love Me (Tammy Grimes, High Spirits)
I Went To A Marvelous Party (Noel Coward, Set To Music)
Later Than Spring (Elaine Stritch, Sail Away)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sunday Dreamers

 Debbie Reynolds (sans cake)
and "All I Do Is Dream Of You,"
from Singin' in the Rain,
but originally written for the movie
Sadie McKee
with Joan Crawford...yup, that singing and dancing star. 
 A young Bernadette
leading a Busby Berkeley line up
Dames at Sea.
We'll hear "Sailor Of My Dreams."
 Doris will be on hand to sing
"Dream A Little Dream Of Me"
that Mamas and Papas hit...
but written way back in 1931.

 I fall off the Broadway "Bandwagon" (again)
with Peggy Lee and "Street Of Dreams"...
It's worth the falling.

 From Disney's Tangled, released in 2010,
Brad Garrett voices a thug with musical qualities:
"I've Got A Dream."

Ilene Woods, who at the age of 15, had her own radio show,
sang for the demo recording of 3 potential Cinderella songs.
Walt Disney loved her voice and chose her (over 300 other auditioners)
to be the voice of Cinderella. 
We'll hear one of those first 3 songs,
"A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes."