Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Playlist for Sunday, October 22, 2017: Be Kind, Rewind!

While I'm off gallivanting the globe (hither and yon, over the river and through the woods, toast and jam, Mike and Ike, Sacco and Vanzetti), it doesn't mean you can't have your weekly dose of Broadway. A pre-recorded show, yes, but still meant to zing the strings of your musical-addicted heart...This is a show from July 2017, back when we still had tans.

I'll return LIVE on October 29, alive that is if I have survived another superlative vacation. Life's tuff at the top. A bientot!

Billie/Push Me Around In My Push Cart - Ring To The Name Of Rose
      (Jamie Donnelly, Joel Grey, Ensemble, George M!)
Mary's A Grand Old Name (James Cagney, Yankee Doodle Dandy)
Little Mary Sunshine (Eileen Brennan, Ensemble, Little Mary Sunshine)
Bloody Mary (Ensemble, South Pacific)
Mary (Jacqueline Alloway, George M!)
Rosemary (Robert Morse, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying)
Second Hand Rose (Fanny Brice)
Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You? (Barbara Cook, The Buffalo Bills,
       The Music Man)
Honeysuckle Rose (Ken Page, Nell Carter, Ain't Misbehavin')
Arthur In The Afternoon (Karen Ziemba, And The World Goes Round)
Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry (Betty Hutton)
Just One Step (Jessica Molaskey, Songs For A New World)
It Was Her (Jeff Blumenkrantz, Murder For Two)
They Call The Wind Mariah (Rufus Smith, Paint Your Wagon)
Mira (Anna Maria Alberghetti, Carnival)
With Anne On My Arm (John Weiner, Gene Barry, La Cage Aux Folles)
Johanna (Victor Garber, Len Cariou, Merle Louise, Sweeney Todd)
Tom, Dick Or Harry (Lisa Kirk, Harold Lang, Ensemble, Kiss Me Kate)
Sam And Delilah (Louise Carlyle, Girl Crazy)
Miss Marmelstein (Barbra Streisand, I Can Get It For You Wholesale)
My Attorney Bernie (Jessica Molaskey, At The Algonquin)
Bill (Anita Darian, Show Boat)
Alice Blue Gown (Debby Reynolds, Irene)
I Love You, Samantha (Bing Crosby, High Society)
Suddenly Seymour (Lee Wilkof, Ellen Greene, Little Shop Of Horrors)
My Name Is James (Paul Terry, James And The Giant Peach)
Drop That Name (Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing)
Miss What's Her Name (Debbie Gravitte, Miss Spectacular)
His Name Is Lancelot (Christian Borle, Hank Azaria, Spamalot)
Give My Regards To Broadway (Joel Grey, George M!)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Bold and the Beautiful: The Block and the Busters.

 Foreseeing the existence of "A Musical"
are Bryan d'Arcy James and Brad Oscar,
in Something Rotten!, 2015.
"Broadway's Big, Fat Hit," The Post called it. 
Still running (albeit with a replacement cast),
in the best boots in town. 

 We'll hear from Chicago, too...
"Cell Block Tango"
(aka "He Had It Comin'"),
a tour de force by Kander/Ebb/and FOSSE!
It landed on Broadway in 1975
and eventually became the 2nd longest running musical,
with over 8,000 performances.

 Marissa Jaret Winokur,
the original Tracey Turnblad,
in the opening number of Hairspray,
the creation of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
"Good Morning, Baltimore" was one of the 
first 3 songs the team wrote for the show,
"on spec",
and it gotta 'em hired!
 We'll hear 3 versions of George and Ira Gerswhin's
"I Got Rhythm"...
originally part of the musical Treasure Girl (1928)
in which it was first sung at a slow tempo
(hence the beginning tempo in An American Paris...
the Broadway version, above,
with Max Von Essen, Brandon Urbanowitz, and Robert Fairchild).
However, by the time it landed in Girl Crazy (1930),
Ethel Merman got to rock it!
Below, the Gene Kelly "take" with French (?) children.
(Yes, I now doubt everything.)
 Elaine Stritch as Joanne in Company...
one of her (many) stories goes something like this:
When asked if she knew, even at the first read-through of the show,
how great it would be and what it would mean
to work with Sondheim and have THAT song
and how all of it would help launch her...and she said,
"All I could think of as I sat at that table was how
I'd be able to pay my rent for a few months." 
"The Ladies Who Lunch"

 And hopefully we'll have time for these 2 Over-The-Top Numbers:
Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou,
holding the tools of their trades from Sweeney
 in "God That's Good",
and Miss Carol Channing,
in the over-played, over-joyed, Jerry Herman-ed
"Hello, Dolly!"

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Whatever. You. Want!

 Gwen Verdon (with the flower...I know, WHAT flower?)
and Tab Hunter
in the movie version of Damn Yankees.
She'll get "Whatever Lola Wants" on Sunday...

 In The Bandwagon,
Fred Astaire got to dance with Cyd Charisse (above)
and this great dancer below...Leroy Daniels
(in the Hawaiian shirt!), who was paired up with Fred
for a wild "Shine On Your Shoes".

 The Bandwagon gang:
Jack Buchanan, Nanette Fabray, Oscar Levant (front and center),
and Fred, of course.

 Stanley Holloway
as Alfred P. Doolittle,
above with beer.
Below, with Robert Coote and Rex Harrison
in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady, 1956.

 Popular in the UK prior to "Lady"
as a humorist and character actor,
the role of Alfred (in the Broadway, West End, and movie versions)
brought Stanley a Tony "nod", an Oscar,
and Stardom (with a capital S)! 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Playlist For Sunday, October 15, 2017: Broadway "Top 40"

When the leaves turn, the swallows leave for Capistrano, the frost is on the pumpkin, and I consider plaid a color, 'tis time for the Jazz 90.1 Fall Pledge Drive. It's here, folks; time to dig deep into your coffers (you have coffers, right? I keep mine next to the coffEE) to support this little station that could, that can, that will again! 44 years of existence, all brought to you by a handful of volunteers, loyal underwriters, and YOU (you sassy listeners, you:))))...A bit of incredible, that. No corporate sponsors, no government subsidies like those other BLOATED non-profits. Nope. Just you, me, and the lamp post, nudging us all along for that many years, and growing us into a pretty damn good station.

And even tho 2 on the Aisle isn't exactly a jazz program on a jazz radio station, this Broadway thing they let me do speaks to Jazz 90.1's eclectic taste. They let me come in and spin Comden and Green, Liza, Cell Block Tangos, and (for lord's sake) Ethel Merman! What other station would allow that? Encourage that? This is one niche market, this Broadway stuff, not your usual "go-to" Top 40, and Jazz 90.1 risks something here. The least I can do is BLOCKBUSTER BROADWAY this Sunday, to get your attention, to get you up and humming (if not tapping), and to get you DONATING!

Plus it'll be a great excuse to call me! We can chat about Bette vs Carol, were Comden and Green an "item", and did you REALLY like School of Rock? We can trade notes while I write down how much you wanna give to a wild and wooly radio station that flies in the face of big business. Go us, man.

So get ready for Top 40 Broadway...And Call!!!  585 966 5299!

Lullaby Of Broadway (Wanda Richert, Jerry Orbach, Company, 42nd Street)
Good Morning Baltimore (Marissa Jaret Winokur, Hairspray)
Whatever Lola Wants (Gwen Verdon, Damn Yankees)
You Deserve It (Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Ensemble, Bandstand)
A Shine On Your Shoes (Fred Astaire, The Band Wagon)
Embraceable You (Jodi Benson, Harry Groener, Crazy For You)
Get Me To The Church On Time (Stanley Holloway, My Fair Lady)
Mein Herr (Liza Minelli, Cabaret)
The Ladies Who Lunch (Elaine Stritch, Company)
Big Spender (Ensemble, Sweet Charity)
The Schuyler Sisters (Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas
      Jones, Hamilton)
Cell Block Tango (Catherine Zeta Jones, Ensemble, Chicago)
I Got Rhythm (Gene Kelly, An American In Paris)
I Got Rhythm (Mary Martin, Girl Crazy)
I Got Rhythm (Max Von Essen, Brandon Urbanowitz, Rob Fairchild,
      An American In Paris)
The Pinstripes Are All That They See (Tom Wopat, Aaron Tveit, Catch Me
      If You Can)
Lovely (Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To
      The Forum)
A Musical (Bryan d'Arcy James, Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!)
Fugue For Tin Horns (Stubby Kaye, Johnny Silver, Douglas Deane,
      Guys And Dolls)
Brush Up Your Shakespeare (Charles Wood, Harry Clark, Kiss Me, Kate)
Rose's Turn (Ethel Merman, Gypsy)
God, That's Good (Ken Jennings, Angela Lansbury, Len Cariou,
      Ensemble, Sweeney Todd)
Hello, Dolly! (Carol Channing, Hello, Dolly!) 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Follies, a la London

 Ah, yes...the Follies London Debacle.
Seems that while the original production (1971)
had won 7 Tony awards (not Best Musical),
audiences didn't "flock".
Closed after 500 and some performances,
despite a stellar cast:
Yvonne DeCarlo, John McCormack, Alexis Smith, Gene Nelson.
It lost a lot of money, and even the cast album was a bomb.
The 1985 concert version,
done with Barbara Cook, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Newman,
Elaine Stritch, Mandy Patinkin, Lee Remick....
sparked more interest, and certainly a GREAT CD! 
The 1987 London version featured (above)
Daniel Massey, Julia McKenzie, David Healey and Diana Rigg.
 The pressure was on to rewrite the book,
and make it more positive?
James Goldman leapt at the chance;
Sondheim was less airborne.
But rewrite they did,
and SS went and wrote 4 new songs.
Above, a bubbled trio, Diane hopefully not mid-pop. 

 Supposedly because she couldn't dance,
Diane didn't have to do "The Story of Lucy and Jessie";
for her, Stephen wrote "Ah! But Underneath".

 Dolores Gray was persuaded to come out of retirement
(personally persuaded by Sondheim, who says no to that?)
to play Carlotta. 

Julie McKenzie, Lynda Baron, and Diana Rigg
mid-Jazz Hands!

A photo that seems to have inspired it all:
Gloria Swanson photographed in the ruins of 
the demolished Roxy Theatre in 1960.
And the synopsis...Older show girls, come for a 
reunion (of sorts) and "last look"
at the theatre they performed in,
moments before its destruction.
Just for fun,
a look back at Alexis Smith
in the original production. :)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Random Brain Droppings...all your's come Sunday!

 Legally Blonde (the musical)
opened on Broadway in 2007,
six years after the movie, 
with Laura Bell Bundy as Elle (in pink of course, above)
and as Hairdresser Paulette...Orfeh.
Opposite Orfeh was the hunky UPS dude, below,
played by none other than Orfeh's hubby (in "real life"),
Andy Karl. 

 We'll hear "Paulette" sing "Ireland"
and "dance with my arms at my side".

And of course, Hubby Andy Karl
 is now starring in Groundhog Day, as Phil Connors
(wry weather dude, stuck in Punxsatawney, PA).
We'll hear an encore performance of "Day One" 
(and BTW that B&B looks mighty familiar).

 And one more song from LB,
"There! Right There!"
Above, the London cast doing a "J'accuse!"

 We'll also witness a baptism,
from The Book Of Mormon,
with Josh Gad, Nikki James, and Andrew Rannells.
Best Musical Tony Award Winner of 2011,
and a Grammy for Best Cast "Album".
 Our themes this Sunday require plenty of 
Heres and Theres.
Jane Russell gives us both with
"Ain't There Anyone Here For Love?"
from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The original music for the Broadway ed-ish (1949)
was written by Jule Styne and Leo Robin,
but for the movie, which birthed in 1953,
Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson 
were brought in to write additional tunes,
and this was one of 'em.
(Down, Girl!)

 Sherie Rene Scott, in the role of Christine Colgate
(The American Soap Queen?)
in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,
offers "Here I Am"...
Zut Alors! Just look at those coffered ceilings...:)

 Who'd a thunk a "puppet show"
would win Best Musical?
Well, Avenue Q did, in 2008, and it ran on Broadway for 6 years!
Above, Stephanie D'Abruzzo and her page-boy-ed partner,
Kate Monster,
singing "There's A Fine, Fine Line."

What a trio!
Madeline Kahn, Stevie Sondheim, and The Bern
(before the other Bern)
at the 1995 Anyone Can Whistle Benefit Concert,
at Carnegie Hall.
The female bookends performed 
"There's Always A Woman"...
or two! :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Playlist For Sunday, October 8, 2017: Lucy, Jessie, Diana...and Me

Wednesday mornings aren't pretty around here. An unmade bed, smudged mascara, cat snores, laundry piles, and tepid coffee...well, that's pretty much EVERY morning, but on Wednesdays I am supposed to get this blog done, the playlist set, the pithy comments considered, and some semblance of effing order around here! I feel like the "Man In The Chair" (See last week's Drowsy): Blue, and shuffling thru my records (yes, records!)...

One of the DJs at the station recently handed me a CD he found for like 50 cents in the reject pile at the library, didn't know if I'd be interested, "but here ya go!" Seems he had never heard of Follies. (I'll forgive him, he's a jazz aficionado, whatta they know past their niches?) Now I already own 2 versions at present, but I DID NOT OWN this one, the London cast recording, done in 1987. This is the one where Old Stevie Sondheim wrote 4 new songs, chucked 4 old songs, and he and James Goldman reworked the book. Quelle horror. Isn't this something like what George Lucas did to old Star Wars movies? They added a fricking intermission, for god's sake. (Shakes head, it can't be.) Diana Rigg couldn't dance (yup, she was Phyllis) and because of that (THAT?), SS yanked out the Story of Lucy and Jessie and wrote Ahhhh! But Underneath!?? (Extra h's all mine.) It's a good song, don't get me wrong, but as I'm listening, every fiber is hearing ..."Jessie wants what to be what Lucy was" ...which is sorta my anthem!

But hey, we'll listen, we'll experience, we'll judge, right? Meanwhile, 2 cheesy themes (Here. There. But not Everywhere), present-day flops, The Esoteric, The Pithy, The Overly Sentimental. And Diana. Not dancing.

Putting away the records now. No more BLUE! :)

Beautiful Girls (Paul Bentley, Company, Follies)
I'm Still Here (Elaine Stritch, Elaine Stritch At Liberty)
Happy Days Are Here Again (Ben Selvin and The Crooners)
Our Love Is Here To Stay (Bobbie Short, K-RA-ZY About Gershwin)
Long As I'm Here With You  (Sheryl Lee Ralph, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
Here I Am (Sherie Rene Scott, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
I Was Here (Marc Kudisch, The Glorious Ones)
Someone Is Here (Andrea Marcovicci, Nephrititi)
Tour De France (Phillipa Soo, Amelie)
Do What I Do (Margot Seibert, In Transit)
Day One (Andy Karl, Groundhog Day)
On The Right Track (Patina Miller, Pippin)
Ireland (Orfeh, Legally Blonde)
Baptize Me (Josh Gad, Nikki M. James, The Book Of Mormon)
There's No Business Like Show Business (Keenan Wynn, Betty
      Hutton, Howard Keel, Louis Calhern, Annie Get Your Gun)
There'll Be Some Changes Made (The Boswell Sisters)
Ain't There Any One Here For Love? (Jane Russell, Gentlemen
      Prefer Blondes)
There's A Small Hotel (Frank Sinatra, Pal Joey)
There But For You Go I (Gene Kelly, Brigadoon)
Look Over There (Gene Barry, La Cage Aux Folles)
There's Always A Woman (Madeline Kahn, Bernadette Peters, Anyone
      Can Whistle)
There's Something About You (David Christmas, Bernadette Peters,
      Dames At Sea)
There's A Fine Fine Line (Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Avenue Q)
There (Sally Mayes, Brent Barrett, Closer Than Ever)
There! Right There! (Laura Bell Bundy, Christian Borle, Michael
      Rupert, Legally Blonde)
Could I Leave You? (Diana Rigg, Follies)
You're Gonna Love Tomorrow/Ah! But Underneath (Simon Green,
      Deborah Plogett, Diana Rigg, Follies)
Too Many Mornings (Daniel Massey, Julia McKenzie, Follies)

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Chaperone, A Zero, and A Jo

 Fiddler On The Roof,
with Zero Mostel, opened on Broadway in 1964,
a Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick smasheroo.
It became the longest running musical...3000 performances
a 6 year run(!),
and held that record for 10 years
(when Grease, of all shows, came along and stole its crown).
Above, "To Life!"

 Above and below,
the cast album recording session.
Above, Zero and his 'stache...and below
is Maria Karnilova (left) who played Golde, Tevye's wife,
and in the center (looking a lot like a young Julia Child!) is
Bea Arthur, back when she was known as Beatrice,
in the role of Yente, the Matchmaker. 

 A wonderful Hirschfeld drawing of the show,
which used to be a "thing" back in the day... 
any show worth its salt was immortalized in The Times
with a Hirschfeld drawing.
And btw how many Ninas can you find? 
(If I'm reading the fine print at the bottom correctly,
there should be only 2?)

 The ticket line for Fiddler the day after the opening.
Looks like they felt the need to feed them.

 Replacement "daughters"
Adrienne Barbeau (on the left) and Bette Midler (at center)!
On the right, the original Chava, Tanya Everett.

 The Drowsy Chaperone
opened in 2006...
one of those madcap parody musicals,
recalling those 1920s shows.
Sutton Foster starred as Janet De Graff
(high kicking above and Charleston-ing below)
along with Georgia Engel, who played Mrs. Tottendale
 (front and center below)
and Jennifer Smith (blue dress!).

 Those pastry chefs are really gangsters
(brothers Jason and Garth Kravits),
pretending with Jennifer Smith, as Kitty.
Don't be fooled!
And below, Sutton with her "drowsy" (tipsy)
played by Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel.

LIttle Women, which opened in 2005,
had the music of  Jason Howland and lyrics, Mindi Dickstein.
It too starred Sutton, as Jo March (on the right, in pants of course!)
and Maureen McGovern as Marmee.
Reviews weren't great,
but a couple of wonderful songs, and the cast members were called
"potential rescuers", especially Ms. Foster.
Below, more high kicks, this time
with Laurie, played by  Danny Duncan.

 One reviewer wrote,
"The slim and supple Ms. Foster 
has a lot to carry on those twitchy shoulders. 
If 'Little Women' does develop the following 
of young girls and their mothers the producers have targeted,
 it will be largely Ms. Foster's doing."
The show closed after 137 performances.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Syd, we hardly knew ye...

 Sydney Chaplin was Charlie Chaplin's second son,
born March 30, 1926...
He was named after Charlie's elder brother,
but Syd's mom (Lita Grey) never liked that brother,
and so she called him Tommy.
"Tommy" was mostly raised by his maternal grandmother.
 Below, Syd (on the left) with his dad
and older brother Charles, Jr.

 Syd jumped into acting, after serving in WWII...
and by 1957, had earned a Tony 
for Best Featured Actor in a Musical,
said musical being Bells Are Ringing.
Above with co-star Judy Holliday
and below during the show's recording session,
with Adolph Green, Goddard Lieberson, and Betty Comden. 

 Of course, despite his Tony win,
Syd was passed over for the movie of Bells...and the role
went to Dean Martin.

Subways Are For Sleeping, 1961,
with Carol Lawrence,
and music (again) by Jule Styne, and that Comden/Green "machine".

 Funny Girl, 1964,
with Barbra Streisand...
a production from hell by sounds of it
(directors, songs, and stars were changed like underware),
but Syd, as gambler Nick Arnstein, managed to "stick!"
Nominations all around, 
but nobody (and I mean Nobody) got a Tony out of this one. 

Along the way to Broadway-Ville,
Syd did over 30 movies.
Limelight (above) with his father,
and Follow That Man, below
with Dawn Addams.

A Countess From Hong Kong, 1967, with
Charlie (on left), Sophia Loren, and Syd...
Charlie's last film.
About working with his father, Syd said,
  “He was generous with other people but he was tough on me. 
He’d expect me to get it right away. 
And there was a lot of pressure from him. 
With me, it was always, ‘Come on Syd, what the hell is the matter with you?!’ Which does not make it easier. We had a strange relationship."
Below, The Land of the Pharaohs, 1955,
with Joan Collins.
 (Sandal flicks were in. Then.)

Syd in a Chaplinesque pose.
He passed away in 2009,
at the age of 82.