Friday, February 3, 2017

A Taste, A Sample, A Soupcon!

 Baker Street,
the musical, not the address,
opened on Broadway in 1965,
loosely based as it was on "Scandal In Bohemia."
Fritz Weaver starred as Holmes, Martin Gabel as Moriarty,
and Inga Swenson as Irene Adler.
The songwriting team of Marian Grudeff and Raymond Jessel
were helped out by their friends, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick,
who contributed additional songs. 
Tommy Tune and Christopher Walken had their 
Broadway debuts in the chorus!

 No, this ISN'T from the original Broadway production,
but it's nice to know this thing still gets performed!
We'll hear "It's So Simple" and "Leave It To Us, Guv."

 Fritz Weaver died just this past year, at the age of 90.
Despite his impeccable British accent (and air),
he was actually born and raised in Pittsburgh.
He received a Tony for his work in Child's Circle (1970),
did plenty of films (Marathon Man, The Thomas Crown Affair, etc.)
and television 
(The Twilight Zone, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hawaii Five-O,
YOU NAME IT...he was in it!).

 Irma La Douce began life in France...
with music by Marguerite Monnot and Alexandre Breffort,
back in 1956.
By 1960, it was being produced by David Merrick on Broadway.
Elizabeth Seal, Keith Michell (no T!) and Clive Revill starred.
The story of a prostitute and the pimp who loves her
was made more palatable for innocent American ears
by the use of the French labels:
poule (prostitute), mec (pimp), and grisbee (money).
 LIFE magazine called it,
"a French fairy tale for wicked grownups."
Below, Elizabeth (who received a Tony for her work)
and Clive (soon-to-be Fagin in Oliver!)
at the cast album recording.

By 1963, they'd made the movie version,
with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon.
The movie was not a musical,
tho it did tout a score by Andre Previn.
Marilyn Monroe was originally thought of 
for the role of Irma,
but she passed away before the movie could be made.

Diahann Carroll and Richard Kiley in 
No Strings,
a Richard Rodgers creation...he did both music and lyrics.
Diahann played a fashion model, Richard a writer.
 Rodgers won the Tony that year for best score,
Diahann for best actress...
and kudos for the casting, right?
(It was 1962!)
We'll sample "Loads of Love".

 The movie of On The Town,
with Betty Garrett and Frank Sinatra...1949.
We'll hear "You're Awful!"
Nancy Walker originally played the Betty Garrett part on stage.
Love Betty, but LOVE NANCY!

Vera-Ellen, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, 
Betty and Frank.

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