Friday, April 28, 2017

On The (Wonderful) Town!

 On The Town,
based on the ballet "Fancy Free",
opened in 1944.
Leonard Bernstein, Adolph Green and Betty Comden
were the musical perpetrators, 
helped by Jerome Robbins who choreographed,
and was one of the original dancers in "Fancy Free".
The cast of On The Town above:
Top left, Betty Comden, John Battles, Cris Alexander,
Adolph Green, Sono Osato, and Nancy Walker. 
Below, the cast recording...oh, to be a fly on THAT wall. 

 Betty Comden and Adolph Green
were part of The Revuers,
which included (at top left):
Judy Tuvim (later Judy Holiday),
Adolph, Betty, John Frank, and at center Alvin Hammer.
The Revuers had a radio show on NBC Radio prior to On The Town,
and performed in Greenwich Villages bars.
Lenny would often accompany them on piano!
 Adolph Green, Cris Alexander, and John Battles...
only 24 hours, guys! 
Better get moving!

 A promotional playbill from the Boston previews...
direction by George Abbott, 
only the MOST sought after Broadway director
of the day!

 Love the above letter from the dancers,
pre- Air Conditioning!
 As Ivy Smith, "Miss Turnstiles",
Sono Osato starred.
She was American, with Japanese ancestry,
and a ballerina with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Her Broadway debut was with One Touch Of Venus,
in a secondary role.
One year later...she was Ivy.
She is presently 97 and going strong!
The cast was multi-racial,
with African Americans "holding hands" in the dance sequences.
This defied racial practices of the day.
Go George Abbot. Go Lenny. Go everybody!

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