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!"

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