Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playlist For Sunday, November 5, 2017: Broadway IS a treat. There.

Okay, so when did Halloween become a thing? A thing for adults? My students are asking me "Whattaya gonna be for Halloweeeeeen?" Nothing. I'm an adult, kid. That's it. I's the one who buys the candy, puts up a dumb Halloween wreath (!?!?!) on my front door, and stays INSIDE that night. Since when do 60 year olds become mummies or sluts or mummy sluts? This I do not get. So no scarey Broadway, okay? No Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, okay? (Although if you do have a bootleg DVD of that, see me later, k?). No Frankenstein The Musical. (Does that exist? It must!) Just Broadway. Broad. Way. K.

And to that end, we have old...Face the Music, Louisiana Purchase (the show, not the land mass), On Your Toes. We have new... Swing!, From Here To Eternity (minus Burt minus his shirt. Oh well, can't have everything.) We have Taking Care of Business (How to Succeed! City of Angels!), and even some Day Care (revolting children from Matilda. Hey, they said it, I didn't!). Just a good old-fashioned melange of all things Musical. Like candy corn, popcorn balls and hot cider, without the calories or cavities. Sweet, right?

And in case you do feel the treacle scoring away at your molars, 2, 2, 2 mints in one: Elaine Stritch (twice in the same show) being all acerbic and snatching those treats away! Go you, ES!

Oh, it's the damn doorbell. Here, kid. Have a ....SNICKERS!

Brotherhood of Man (Robert Morse, Sammy Smith, Ruth Kobart, Ensemble,
      How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying)
Apologia (George S. Irving, Debbie Gravitte, The New York Voices,
      Louisiana Purchase)
She Didn't Say Yes (Elisabeth Welch, The Cat And The Fiddle)
Change Your Luck (Walter Bobbie, Face The Music)
Spinach (Judy Kaye, Lee Wilkof, Face The Music)
What You Don't Know About Women (Randy Graff, Kay McClelland,
      City Of Angels)
The Buddy System (Rene Auberjonois, City Of Angels)
You're Nothing Without Me (Gregg Edelman, James Naughton, City
      Of Angels)
When I Grow Up (Bailey Ryon, Lauren Ward, Matilda)
Day One (Barrett Doss, Groundhog Day)
Revolting Children (Ensemble, Matilda)
On Your Toes (Joshua Shelley, Bobby Van, Kay Coulter, On Your Toes)
You Took Advantage Of Me (Elaine Stritch, On Your Toes)
It's Got To Be Love (Kay Coulter, Bobby Van, On Your Toes)
Swing, Brother, Swing (Company, Swing!)
Marking Time (Darius Campbell, From Here To Eternity)
Harlem Nocturne (Instrumental, Swing!)
Run Along Joe (Siubhan Harrison, From Here To Eternity)
In The Mood/Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree (Ensemble, Swing!)
Wall Street (Tamara Long, Dames At Sea)
On The Sunny Side Of The Street (Judy Garland)
Christopher Street (Warren Galjour, Ensemble, Wonderful Town)
Henry Street (Ensemble, Funny Girl)
Easy Street (Dorothy Loudon, Robert Fitch, Barbara Erwin, Annie)
Easy Street (Elaine Stritch, Stritch)
On The Street Where You Live (John Michael King, My Fair Lady)
On The Street Where You Live (Harry Connick, Jr., 25)
The Company Way (Robert Morse, Sammy Smith, How To Succeed In
      Business Without Really Trying)
Been A Long Day (Robert Morse, How To Succeed)
I Believe In You (Robert Morse, Bonnie Scott, Ensemble, How To Succeed)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

I Can Still Smell The Croissants

 Hermoine Gingold and Maurice Chevalier
"remembering it well"
in Lerner and Loewe's Gigi, 1958,
directed by Vincent Minnelli.
Hermoine won a Golden Globe award for her performance,
playing Madame Alvarez.
She's quoted as saying: 
  "It was my first American film and I was very nervous.
I had to sing and I hadn't got a great voice, 
but with Maurice, I felt the greatest prima donna in the world."

 What a quintet!
Kirk, Maurice, Simone Signoret, Yves Montand and Gary Cooper.

 Ben Franklin In Paris
had Robert Preston, Ulla Sallert, big balloons,
and the music of Mark Sandrich, Jr.
(with a little help by Jerry Herman).
Below, Susan Watson, who also starred,
tho the only pics I could find of her were from 
her portrayal as Luisa in The Fantasticks...

 as Julie in Carousel (below)...

  ...and Kim in Bye Bye Birdie!
 We'll hear "Ahh Paris!" 
sung by the fabulous Liliane Montevecchi
in the 1985 version of Follies
(tho admittedly the above shot is from her
one woman show!).
 Above and below,
Frehel (born Marguerite Boulc'h)
French music hall singer of the early 1900s,
who we'll hear sing 
"Si Tu N'etais Pas La".

 The marvelous "Sinatra of France",
Charles Aznavour.
He has written over 800 songs,
acted, performed, and in 2009 became
the Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland,
where he currently resides. 
(Yup, still around at the age of 93.)

 Hit songs brought to you by Charles:
"Yesterday When We Were Young," "She",
"Dance In The Old Fashioned Way" and
"Que C'est Triste Venise".
He wrote 'em and he can sing 'em, in 8 languages. :)

 Charles, Edith Piaf,
and a game of boules.
Edith was instrumental in helping Charles
start a singing career,
when she took him on tour with her 
to the UK and America in 1946.

 Yves Montand and Edith Piaf,
the "Sonny and Cher" 
(but more talented and MUCH classier)
of France...
She supposedly broke off their relationship
when he became as popular as she!

We'll hear one of Edith's 
signature songs,
"La Vie En Rose",
which she wrote, tho there is a bit of a controversy about that,
having "officially" been registered to composer
Louis Guglielmi.
Ahh, well. Now it's all her's.

Friday, October 27, 2017

It's about time, it's about space...well, no, not space.

 "No Time At All"
with Irene Ryan, front and center, as Berthe,
in Stephen Schwartz's original production
of Pippin, 1972.

 The many faces of Irene,
from young deb to old Grannie
on The Beverly Hillbillies.
Born in 1902, Irene had a stroke during a performance 
of Pippin, and passed away in 1973.

 HAD to include the above Geisha girls:
Irene and of course Nancy Kulp.
Was this a Hillbillies' Halloween epi??

 Robert Morse, as young Richard,
and Susan Luckey as Muriel,
in Take Me Along, which had the music of Bob Merrill,
and starred Jackie Gleason, Walter Pigeon and Eileen Herlie.
It was 1959, and in just 2 years
Robert would find himself starring 
(and Tony winning!) in 
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
(Below, a window-washing JP on Broadway)  

Below, Morse as J. Pierrpont Finch and Bertram Cooper
(Morse's alter ego on Mad Men).

 Al Hirschfeld's ode to All American,
with music by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams,
and starring Ray Bolger,
caught in mid-leap via illustration and reality (below).
Ray could stop a show (and did)
back in the days of Where's Charley?,
("Once In Love With Amy").
 Over 6 decades in "the biz".

 At the cast recording of All American,
with Eileen Herlie, Ray, and recording maestro...Goddard Lieberson.

 A bit of whimsy
from Pinocchio!
A "timely" Clock-strumental.

 "When It's Sweet Pea Time In Georgia"
from Radio Gals,
which appeared off-Broadway back in 1997,
with the music of Mark Hardwick (Pump Boys, Oil City Symphony,
and a cameo in Broadway Danny Rose)
and Mike Craver.
While not an El Smasherino,
this show remains popular with small community groups,
like the one above from Sweet Jesus, Arkansas (yeah, right!).
Below, a New Yorker blurb...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Playlist For Sunday, October 29, 2017: Juste A Temps!

 Well, now my coffee tastes REALLY bad. That's what I get for crossing the foam (hah! I made une jeste!), and enjoying "formidable" (that means Awesome) joe in all its many forms. And croissant and cheese and duck and...well, of course this had to be la tour gastronomie along with the requisite museums and walks, right? And I jumped on that Metro like a ...well, like a newbie, true, but I did not put a pied wrong! Well, once, but that was only one stop in the wrong direction, which a lovely French woman was (very) quick to point out. BUT...c'est pretty damn wonderful, that's what it was.

JFK slapped me down of course, with a homeward (aka back to Rochester) flight cancellation, which left me bereft in Terminal 5 limbo for 12 hours. But hey, Karma was just tres pissed about me having such a good time, is all. Home now, back in upstate reality, and now that Wegmans morning haf-caf sucks royally. I gotta trade up. :)

So...the playlist! Yes! A little time, a lot of time...juste a temps! Avec le chansons Francais, which will get me all (and maybe y'all) all melancholic and yearning for Seine vues, correctly tied scarves, and amuse-bouches. Amuse a LOT of things.

P.S. On the train to Charles DeGaulle Airport, leaving France: 2 musicians singing a Hamilton "song", rapping in French. How effing fitting. :)

No Time At All (Irene Ryan, Pippin)
Maybe This Time (Liza Minnelli, Cabaret)
Nine O'Clock (Robert Morse, Take Me Along)
About A Quarter To Nine (Tammy Grimes, 42nd Street)
I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Doris Day)
Cactus Time In Arizona (Louise Carlyle, Girl Crazy)
It's High Time (Yvonne Adair, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
Once Upon A Time (Ray Bolger, Eileen Herlie, All American)
Just In Time (Sydney Chaplin, Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing)
Think Of The Time I Save (Eddie Foy, Jr., The Pajama Game)
Clock Sequence (Clock-strumental!, Pinocchio)
When It's Sweet Pea Time In Georgia (Mike Craver, Radio Gals)
If It's Time To Go (Rebecca Luker, Bryan d'Arcy James, Liz Calloway,
Suppertime (Bill Hinnant, Gary Burghoff, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown)
Our Time (Jim Walton, Lonny Price, Ann Morrison, Merrily We Roll Along)
Some Other TIme (Betty Comden, Nancy Walker, Cris Alexander, On The
Time Heals Everything (Bernadette Peters, Mack & Mabel)
Springtime For Hitler (Ensemble, The Producers)
Paris Original (Bonnie Scott, Claudette Sutherland, Ruth Kobart,
      How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying)
Paris Loves Lovers (Fred Astaire, Carol Richards, Silk Stockings)
The Last Time I Saw Paris (Noel Coward)
Sous Le Ciel De Paris (Yves Montand)
Ah! Paris (Lilianne Montevecchi, Follies)
You're In Paris (Susan Watson, Ben Franklin In Paris)
I Remember It Well (Maurice Chevalier, Hermoine Gingold, Gigi)
Paris La Nuit (Charlelie Couture, The Moderns)
Comptine d'Un Autre Ete (Instrumental, Amelie)
Hier Encour (Charles Aznavour)
Si Tu n'Etais Pas La (Frehel)
Le Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf)
The Best Of Times (George Hearn, Company, La Cage Aux Folles)

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. :)