Saturday, November 26, 2016

Seesawing, Hollywooding...and a Bear

 Seesaw leading lady, Michelle Lee,
although this Cy Coleman/Dorothy Fields show
 WAS to star Lainie Kazan, 
that is before Le Michael Bennett took over the helm.
MB called "rewrite" on the book and the score,
chucked Lainie, and crowned himself the new director/choreographer.
Below, a 70s styled Tommy Tune,
who also starred and assisted in the choreography. 

 When you want a rewrite,
your go-to guy in 1973 was Neil Simon,
above on the right,
with Cy Coleman at the keys.
Despite their best efforts at an overhaul and some decent reviews,
the show ran less than a year and never made back its investment.

 Couldn't resist one more heel-clicking shot 
of Tommy...all 6.5 feet of him.

 Tommy went on to direct and choreograph
A Day In Hollywood/A Night In The Ukraine,
which came to Broadway in 1980.
It was a 2 act mash-up:
Act 1...An ode to Hollywood movies of the past,
Act 2...Chekov's The Bear, as done by the Marx Brothers.
"A musical grab bag," with songs by 
everybody on the planet, including Jerry Herman and Richard Whiting.

The cast included Priscilla Lopez (as Harpo), 
David Garrison, Peggy Hewitt, Kate Draper, Albert Stephenson, 
Stephen James and Frank Lazarus.
It lasted almost 2 years on Broadway,
with Priscilla and Tommy winning Tonys.

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