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. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Playlist For Sunday, October 1, 2017: To (Messy) Life!

I'm glad I'm not organized. I'm not one to take my summer clothes out of the closet, pack them tidily away, and supplant them with my pumpkin-spiced plaids, woolly-mammoth sweaters, and argyle knee (there's a loaded word!) socks. Nope, I have every season's items at the ready. 90 degrees, no problem. Negative 2? Three hangers down. Some would call this a jumble; I call it Joie.De.Vivre. (Especially helpful with present weather. I would never close my pool!)

Of course, disorganization doesn't necessarily work all the time. I remember forgetting (remember forgetting?) that I had ordered a CD. Twice. Re-ordered. Twice. See, it actually can cost you money, when you get down to it. Living life like a shuffled deck of cards creates serendipity, fostered by damn stupidity.

And if you think my play lists are grand compilations puzzled together with interior themes and a connectedness born on the wings of profound thought, I think you should just fuggedaboutit. Like me and The Drowsy Chaperone, they're stumbled, bumbled, and fumbled along...hopefully with the serendipity part (not the stupidity) winning the day.

SO...we'll get Drowsy and Lovesick, Zero-ed out and Foster-ed in. A tribute to Syd Chaplin (like Frank Sinatra, Jr., right? Son of a... ), some Good News, some Yankees from Connecticut, and Harry in his PJs. Just push the Frappe button, and out pours 2 On The Aisle.

Hello/Fancy Dress (Bob Martin, Georgia Engel, Edward Hibbert,
      Company, The Drowsy Chaperone)
Prologue/Tradition (Zero Mostel, Company, Fiddler On The Roof)
Matchmaker (Julia Migenes, Tanya Everett, Joanna Merlin, Fiddler On The
To Life (Zero Mostel, Company, Fiddler On The Roof)
It Never Entered My Mind (Shirley Ross, A Connecticut Yankee)
Thou Swell (Dick Foran, Julie Warren, A Connecticut Yankee)
You're The Cream In My Coffee (Kim Huber, Michael Gruber, Good News)
Button Up Your Overcoat (Ann Morrison, Scott Schafer, Good News)
Lovesick (Sherie Rene Scott, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown)
Invisible (Patti Lupone, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown)
Model Behavior (Laura Benanti, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous
I'm Just Taking My Time (Sydney Chaplin, Subways Are For Sleeping)
I Want To Be Seen With You (Sydney Chaplin, Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
On My Own (Sydney Chaplin, Bells Are Ringing)
Long Before I Knew You (Sydney Chaplin, Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing)
Comes Once In A Lifetime (Sydney Chaplin, Carol Lawrence, Subways Are
      For Sleeping)
Our Finest Dreams (Sutton Foster, Megan McGinnis, Jenny Powers,
      Amy McAlexander, Little Women)
Astonishing (Sutton Foster, Little Women)
Small Umbrella In The Rain (John Hickok, Sutton Foster, Little Women
Steam Heat (Joyce Chittick, Vince Pesce, David Eggers, The Pajama Game)
A New Town Is A Blue Town (Harry Connick, Jr., The Pajama Game)
Hernando's Hideaway (Company, The Pajama Game)
Show Off (Sutton Foster, The Drowsy Chaperone)
I Am Aldolpho (Danny Burstein, The Drowsy Chaperone)
Toledo Surprise (Jason, Kravits, Garth Kravits, Company, The Drowsy
As We Stumble Along (Bob Martin, Company, The Drowsy Chaperone)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Classic Barbara, Mary, and Maria...

 Yup, that's Barbara Cook
in one of her first Broadway shows,
Plain and Fancy, 1955,
with ANOTHER bra and Shirl Conway below.
It had the music of Albert Hague, lyrics Arnold Horwitt,
and it lasted about a year...
Barbara, age 28,  played an Amish farmer's daughter,
with what looks like an obsession with undergarments.
We'll hear one of the only songs to survive the show,
"This Is All Very New To Me."

 "Civilization" from Angel In The Wings
(Elaine Stritch's Broadway debut)
by the Sisters Andrews and Danny Kaye...the 1947 version!
Below, a photo I couldn't resist:
Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny and Danny.

 Young radio star, Mary Martin,
who we'll hear sing "Bidin' My Time" from Girl Crazy.
Below, Mary (center) with Frances Langford and Judy Garland.

 ...and with son,
Larry Hagman.

 Maria Friedman,
an English actress born in 1961,
appeared in the London cast of Lady In The Dark
in 1997...
that Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin creation of 1941.
We'll hear her rendition of "My Ship" on Sunday.
 Maria, with a face reminiscent of Christine Ebersole,
has garnered several Olivier Awards
for her work primarily on the London stage.
 Below with Barbara, Stephen Sondheim, and Josh Groban.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Delays, Divas, and (really high) Belts!

 The NYC Subway System serves
as a microcosm for lives "between stations"...
in In Transit, touted as the first Broadway a Capella musical.
It opened on Broadway in December of 2016.
11 New Yorkers who aren't quite "there yet."
 The reviews were all over the place,
with the Times finding the characters sterotypical,
and the gritty subway venue underused.
The cast album, however, was praised,
thanks to the exceptional arrangements of Deke Sharon.
 The show went "out of service" in April of 2017.

 Mariand Torres, Moya Angela (in a one of a kind MetroCard dress)
and Gerianne Perez.

 Margot Seibert (seated)
receiving "A Little Friendly Advice"
from Moya Angela.

 Erin Mackey and
"Saturday Night Obsession"

 An Evening With Sutton Foster: 
Live At The Cafe Carlyle
was recorded in 2011,
and features songs from her star turns 
on Broadway,
along with some juicy jazz standards.

 We'll hear a medley of Sutton's Broadway hits,
plus the nifty "Air Conditioner" written by Christine Lavin
(see her Future Fossils album for one of her
crazier songs!).

 War Paint wars on!
Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersole...
with "Beauty In The World",
the meeting of minds that "never happened."
The music of Scott Frankel, lyrics Michael Korie.
That song in particular brings me back to that writing team's
 earlier work, Grey Gardens.

 We'll also hear
with John Dossett and Douglas Sills
(the "partners" of Arden and Rubenstein)
comparing notes and trading pterodactyl screams...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Playlist for Sunday, September 24, 2017: En Garde, I say!

I sit here with a fat lip. That is actually attached to me. No, I wasn't out late at the bars, trading fisticuffs with non-Broadway types, attempting to convert them the old fashioned way. ("What? You don't like Sondheim? Why, I'll teach you a thing or 7!!!") Nah, it was just a boring dental procedure (the only way a dame like me can end up with a battle scar. Well...other than bike blow-outs, curse the gods), which has left me looking a bit like a duck, bill and all, with an ice pack at the ready, ibu-something next to that, and a very large bill (of the financial kind) to pay off. Jazz 90.1 knows nothing of dental insurance.

But all swelling aside, I must concentrate on our playlist for Sunday. Gotta get the Broadway out! And man, 2 on the Aisle is very WITH IT this week, with THIS season's shows...well, okay...there is a Classic Corner and a Sondheim Corner and a couple of old revues...but MOSTLY we'll be hearing stuff that is on Broadway now (well, a couple of them have closed already), but still. In Transit (that a capella goodie), War Paint, Bandstand...see, I'm current, dammit! Plus some Sutton Foster gems, and for the folks who like those Broadway parodies, we'll Spamilton, we'll Upstairs At O'Neals, and we'll Scrambled Feet.

Something for everyone. See you at "the Broadway bar" and I'll prove it to you, bub!

Deep Beneath The City (Company, In Transit)
Nobody (Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Company, Bandstand)
I Know A Guy (Corey Cott, Bandstand)
A Band In New York City (Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Brandon J. Ellis,
      Alex Bender, Ensemble, Bandstand)
Back On Top (Patti Lupone, War Paint)
Dinosaurs (John Dossett, Douglas Sills, War Paint)
Beauty In The World (Patti Lupone, Christine Ebersole, War Paint)
Bidin' My Time (Mary Martin, Girl Crazy)
My Ship (Maria Friedman, Lady In The Dark)
This is All Very New To Me (Barbara Cook, Plain And Fancy)
Civilization (Danny Kaye, The Andrew Sisters, Angel In The Wings)
Nothing (Priscilla Lopez, A Chorus Line)
Something (Douglas Bernstein, Upstairs At O'Neals)
What'd I Miss? (Daveed Diggs, Ensemble, Hamilton)
What Did You Miss? (Nicholas Edwards, Chris Anthony Giles, Spamilton)
Not For The Life Of Me/NYC/Astonishing (Sutton Foster, Live At The Cafe      Carlyle)
Air Conditioner (Sutton Foster, Live At The Cafe Carlyle)
My Heart Was Set On You (Sutton Foster, Live At The Cafe Carlyle)
Finishing The Hat (Mandy Patinkin, Sunday In The Park With George)
Someone In A Tree (Alvin Ing, B.D. Wong, Telly Lung, Evan D'Angeles,
      Pacific Overtures)
Pretty Little Picture (Zero Mostel, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way
      To The Forum)
Ladies In Their Sensitivities (Edmund Lyndeck, Jake Eric Williams,
     Victor Garber, Sarah Rice, Sweeney Todd)
Have You Ever Been On Stage (Evalyn Baron, Hermoine, Scrambled Feet)
Funny/The Duck Joke (Andrea Martin, Lannyl Stephens, My Favorite Year)
Saturday Night Obsession (Erin Mackey, In Transit)
But, Ya Know (James Snyder, Margo Seibert, In Transit)
A Little Friendly Advice (Moya Angela, Company, In Transit)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gavin Creel. In Everything.

 Gavin Creel is presently playing
Cornelius Hackl (above with Kate Baldwin)
in Hello Dolly!
But before that he was in...

 Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2002,
with Sutton Foster
(above with his TONY award, which he just this year
received for Dolly!) 
We'll hear him sing
"What Do I Need With Love?"

 ...and he was in 
The Book Of Mormon...
(2013 and 2015)

 and Eloise at Christmastime (2003)
for television, with Sofia Vassilieva...

 ...She Loves Me, in 2016
(above with Jane Krakowski)...

...and Hair, in 2009.
Plus a ton of other stuff.
I just thought you'd like to know. :)