Thursday, January 26, 2017

Classic Corner...before I get quirky!

Mary Martin, Richard Rodgers, and Ezio Pinza...
no doubt waiting for Oscar to show up
so they make that lunch reservation at Sardis.
South Pacific opened in 1949
 and ran for almost 2,000 performances.

 Ezio was a Metropolitan Opera star at the time,
but when he heard they were casting 
for an "Emile de Becque,"
he changed sides.
His contract for the show limited his singing to only
15 minutes per performance.
Hmmmm...better cut that last chorus!

 Julie Andrews was such a hit in 
My Fair Lady,
Rodgers and Hammerstein were ecstatic she'd agreed to be part
of a new CBS musical project.
They decided on Cinderella...
Above, "My Own Little Corner."

 A lousy (FUZZY) shot of Howard DaSilva as Jud
and Alfred Drake as Curly
in Oklahoma!:
"Pore Jud Is Daid"
Below, a much better pic of a slightly maniacal Howard
and Joan Roberts as Laurey.
None of the cast was a star prior to the opening,
which is what Richard and Oscar were going for.
Mike Todd, after seeing a preview in New Haven,
had the definitive quote:
"No legs, no jokes, no chance",
although I think that version's cleaner than the original.
 Theodore Bikel,
a talented folk singer, actor and activist from Russia 
who would go on to star in Fiddler,
etc., etc., ETC!,
as the original Baron Von Trapp
(with an admiring Marion Marlowe as Elsa Schraeder)
in The Sound Of Music.
I have no doubt he played the guitar when he
sang "Edelweiss" in the production.

 Above, the original On Your Toes,
which Richard wrote with the OTHER "H"...
Lorenz Hart, back in 1936,
originally starring Ray Bolger (above with Doris Carson).
Below, two pics from the 1954 revival,
with Bobby Van, and Elaine Stritch.

 Bobby and Kay Coulter
and "There's a Small Hotel"....
The same Bobby who danced in the movie version
of Kiss Me, Kate,
as one of those Tom, Dick or Harry's
(with Tommy Rall and Bob Fosse).

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