Monday, December 31, 2018

Playlist For Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019: Hip hip huzzah!

No excuses for this playlist: just some of my favorite shows, performers, and energy!  This next week I get a new hip, and while I am only sort of freaking out about the surgery, I am rather incapable of focusing on subtle connections between songs, so don't expect any fancy/cheesy (your choice) themes, okay? Just big chunks of big shows with big Broadway voices.

Well, there IS one theme. I mean, come on! 

No matter the mood I'm in, Broadway does indeed have the power to elevate one's spirit (I'm not just kidding when I blog that, over and over), so compiling this was a wonderful distraction from visions of walkers and grabbers and the fact that I may not be driving for the next 6 weeks???  I can already tell I'll be an impatient patient.

So I'll text each and everyone of you when they release me to PT ad infinitum. Hands up, who wants gory details? Me neither. Love, and see you on the other side with a new (titanium!)(silver!)(he's not heavy, he's my HIP!) hip! :)

I Hope I Get It (Company, A Chorus Line)
Waiting, Waiting (Nancy Walker, Do Re Mi)
All You Need Is A Quarter (Ensemble, Do Re Mi)
Ambition (Phil Silvers, Nancy Dussault, Do Re Mi)
Make Someone Happy (John Reardon, Nancy Dussault, Do Re Mi)
Let's Have A Simple Wedding (David Christmas, Bernadette Peters,
      Dames At Sea)
What Do The Simple Folk Do? (Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Camelot)
It's So Simple (Fritz Weaver, Peter Sallis, Baker Street)
It's A Simple Little System (Eddie Lawrence, Bells Are Ringing)
Simple (Anita Morris, Nine)
Simple Joys (Ben Vereen, Pippin)
A Shine On Your Shoes (Fred Astaire, The Band Wagon)
Louisiana Hayride (Nanette Fabray, Ensemble, The Band Wagon)
I Love Luisa (Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabray, Oscar Levant, The Band Wagon)
Nightclub Sequence/Ya Got Me (Nancy Walker, Ensemble, On The Town)
Carnegie Hall Pavane (Do-Do-Re-Do) (Susan Steele, Sono Osato, On The Town)
Some Other Time (Betty Comden, Nancy Walker, Ensemble, On The Town)
The Real Coney Island (Ensemble, On The Town)
Not For The Life Of Me (Sutton Foster, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
They Don't Know (Harriet Harris, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
Only In New York (Sheryl Lee Ralph, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
The Speed Test (Marc Kudisch, Sutton Foster, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
Behind the Red Door (Christine Ebersole, War Paint)
Back On Top (Patti LuPone, War Paint)
Dinosaurs (John Dossett, Harry Fleming, War Paint)
Beauty In The World (Christine Ebersole, Pattie LuPone, War Paint)
Dance: Ten; Looks: Three (Pamela Blair, A Chorus Line)
Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love (Company, A Chorus Line)
What I Did For Love (Priscilla Lopez, A Chorus Line)

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cheers to the New Year!

 Gotta celebrate New Year's ALMOST Eve this Sunday,
so Shirley, up waaaaay past her bedtime,
will show up to sing "Auld Lang Syne!"

 At a High Society party,
Frank and Bing compare "Did You Evahs",
croon (a bit), and even dance (or try to)!

Clark Gable in Idiot's Delight (above), 1939,
and his one and only musical performance (on film, anyway):
"Puttin' On The Ritz"

 Another "Ritz" version
from Young Frankenstein (the film):
Above Teri Garr, Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, 
and (mastermind) Mel Brooks.
Below, the "boys" in action!

 ...and Mel's staged version,
above with Christopher Fitzgerald, Roger Bart, Sutton Foster,
and Andrea Martin.
Below, the unchanged choreography,
with Shuler Hensley doing the wings! 

 Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians
 played at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC
from 1929 ("radio's first nationwide New Year's eve broadcast")
til 1959, 
and from then until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria (below).
 His band's recording of "Auld Lang Syne"
is still the first song played in Time Square when the ball drops.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

I went to a mahvelous party...

 Such a merry party,
hosted by Angela in Mame...
"It's Today!"
When Ms. Lansbury left the production,
Janis Paige took over the role,
and Ann Miller after that.
The national touring company was headed up by 
Celeste Holme. 
In subsequent productions:
Ginger Rogers, Susan Hayward, Elaine Stritch, 
Edie Adams and Carol Lawrence all were Mame-material. 

 "Top Hat, White Tie, And Tails"
and a LOT of other Astaire goodies await us on Sunday.
Above, an "army" of Freds, one for each of us! :)

 Mandy Patinkin, Eartha Kitt, and Toni Colette 
in Michael John Lachuisa's The Wild Party, 2000.
Plenty of Tony noms for this show,
but Ben Brantley called it,
"a parade of personalities in search of a missing party."

 Be it in a tux or smoking jacket,
Noel Coward partied with Bea Lillie (above)
and Gertrude Lawrence (below).
His "I Went To A Marvelous Party" was supposedly based
on 5 parties he went to, with Bea in tow,
on the French Riviera
(of COURSE, on the French Riviera!).

 A Christmas Party with at an orphanage in England.
Noel sans gin, avec le ballon.

 And at the Carlyle Hotel,
a fabulous venue for a party,
the delightful Bobby Short with "Shall We Dance?"
Below, the cafe, with murals by Marcel Vertes.
The hotel has been called a "palace of secrets"
due to a.) the scandalous goings-on, and
b.) the hotel's reputation for discretion, at all costs! 

Another denizen of the Carlyle,
where she performed to sold out crowds
and lived for 8 years,
Elaine Stritch,
above in concert in the cafe,
and below, very much "At Home At The Carlyle."

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Playlist For Sunday, December 30, 2018: Should Auld Acquaintance Or Shouldn't It?

Right around now in the "Season", I get a little tired of the tie and tux. The party scene. The Dom Perignon. The maribou. And always the same 400! Because the bookend on this whole year looms and we gotta get out the hat and the heels, the cape and the cane, and prepare once more to jump into the breach. This social tilt-a-whirl is beginning to create agita, but are we men OR MICE?

So it's to a little Broadway New Year's "Almost Eve" soiree we go this Sunday, and we'll take inspiration from Fred Astaire (the quintessential party-goer), Noel Coward, Clark Gable, even Shirley Temple, and stiff upper lip it! I can be in the mood to throw confetti at the drop of a William Powell/Myrna Loy embrace, baby! And I intend to be. Just gimme a couple of days of no champagne or maribou.

(Side note: This is actually ALMOST the same New Years Eve show I was going to play last year, but the fates and the lack of snow plowing, kept me from it. So this thing's been grumpily sitting in a drawer for 365 days, waiting to come out and celebrate, so ix-nay on the ait-way, okay?)

Meetcha on the dance floor, cue Guy, and we'll party hardy on Sunday, k? You Can Do This. :)

It's Today (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Top Hat, White Tie, And Tails (Fred Astaire, Top Hat)
The Life Of The Party (David Wayne, The Happy Time)
I Went To A Marvelous Party (Noel Coward)
Somebody's Going To Throw A Big Party (Ensemble, Fifty Million Frenchmen)
Such A Merry Party (Ensemble, Little Mary Sunshine)
Dry (Mandy Patinkin, Ensemble, The Wild Party)
Well, Did You Evah? (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, High Society)
Fasten Your Seatbelts (Lauren Bacall, Len Cariou, Applause)
They Just Keep Moving The Line (Megan Hilty, Bombshell)
With One Look (Patti LuPone, Sunset Boulevard)
Being Alive (Audra McDonald, Sing Happy)
The Way You Look Tonight (Fred Astaire, Swing Time)
I Want To Be Seen With You (Sydney Chaplin, Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
Shall We Dance (Bobby Short, K-RA-ZY For Gershwin)
Shall We Dance (Gertrude Lawrence, Yul Brynner, The King And I)
Let's Face The Music And Dance (Fred Astaire, Follow The Fleet)
The Music That Makes Me Dance (Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
Dance A Little Closer (Len Cariou, Liz Robertson, Dance A Little Closer)
I Could Have Danced All Night (Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady)
There's No Business Like Show Business (Elaine Stritch, Elaine Stritch At
That's My Boy (Elaine Stritch, Stritch)
You Took Advantage Of Me (Elaine Stritch, On Your Toes)
If (Elaine Stritch, Two On The Aisle)
The Ladies Who Lunch (Elaine Stritch, Company)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Clark Gable, Idiot's Delight)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Young Frankenstein)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Fred Astaire, Blue Skies)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Roger Bart, Shuler Hensley, Young Frankenstein)
The Party's Over (Judy Garland, Judy Garland Live!)
The Party's Over (Judy Holiday, Bells Are Ringing)
The Party's Over (Leslie Odom, Jr., Leslie Odom, Jr.)
The Party's Over (Elaine Stritch, Elaine Stritch At Liberty)
Last Night Of The Year (Tom Wopat, Consider It Swung)
Auld Lang Syne (Shirley Temple)
Auld Lang Syne (Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians)

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Broadway Fa La La!

 Plaid Tidings/Holiday in Plaid,
the sequel/the Son Of Forever Plaid...

 Angela Lansbury leading her tribe
(Sab Shimono, Jane Connell, and Frankie Michaels)
in Mame...
We Need a Little Christmas!

 From She Loves Me...
"12 Days To Christmas"
sung by the 3 Cs: 
Clerks, Customers and Carolers

 "Johnny, It's Cold Outside",
Tom Wopat and John Schneider's version 
of the most controversial song of the season.

"Turkey Lurkey Time" with
Baayork Lee, Donna McKechnie and Margo Sappinton,
and below Jerry Orbach
"conducting" the Promises Promises office party.

 "Be A Santa"
with Sydney Chaplin
(above with co-star Carol Lawrence)
Subways Are For Sleeping, 1961,
and below the Al Hirschfeld portrayal...

 The show also starred a "toweled" Phyllis Newman, below,
and Orson Bean.

 And of course, we have to end
with Judy Garland's rendition of a Christmas classic
from Meet Me In St. Louis.
Above with 
Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor, Joan Carroll, Harry Davenport,
Judy, Margaret O'Brien and Henry H. Daniels.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...
from Judy and 2 On The Aisle!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Best Things Happen while you're Berlin-ing!

Broadway's staged version of 
Irving Berlin's White Christmas!
There have been many reincarnations of this show,
 starting in 2000 in St. Louis, MO.
It made it to Broadway in 2008
with Jeffry Denman, Meredith Paterson, Kerri O'Malley,
and Stephen Bogardus. 
(BTW, I want that hat!!!)

Prior to its Broadway opening,
it hit San Francisco (2004)
where Brian d'Arcy James entered the cast
(as Bob Wallace).
David Ogden Stiers became General Waverly for a time.
You may remember David from M.A.S.H.
in which he played Major Charles Winchester III.
(He passed away in March of this year, age 75.)
David below with Ruth Williamson.

Brian and Jeffry share a "moment."
Broadway critics remained unimpressed,
but this staged version has had several successful tours,
in the U.S., the West End, and Australia.
Hard NOT to succeed with the great music of Berlin!

The 1954 Paramount movie musical
is a classic,
based on ANOTHER classic, Holiday Inn, 1942.
Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, above,
in gorgeous Vista-Vision/Technicolor blue!
Directed by Michael Curtiz, 
and choreography by Robert Alton 
(The Harvey Girls, Anything Goes, DuBarry Was A Lady, Pal Joey,
Robert was the one to supposedly "discover" Gene Kelly.
Irving originally wrote "A Singer, A Dancer"
when Fred Astaire was set to co-star with Bing,
but when that didn't happen
and Donald O'Connor entered the picture as Phil Davis,
he changed it to "A Crooner, A Comic."
When O'Connor left the picture, due to illness,
"so did the song!"

The "Minstrel Show" scene,
which also incorporated "Mr. Bones" and "Mandy"!
What incredible color!
That's John Brascia in green, who partnered with Vera-Ellen
in several dances.

"Snow" started out as "Free",
written originally for Call Me Madam!
Re-tooled with new lyrics,
it became a quartet on the way to Maine.
Two sound tracks were made of the movie,
and recording contracts made those sound tracks subtly different
from each other.
On the Decca version,
the "sisters" songs were sung by Rosemary and her real life sister,
On the Columbia version,
where Rosemary did NOT have a contract,
both Haynes Sisters were voiced by Peggy Lee.

A successful movie has plenty of merch, right?
White Christmas was the top money maker of 1954,
so why shouldn't there be paper dolls of 
The Haynes Sisters?
The NY Times wasn't impressed, however (are they ever?):
"The colors on the big screen are rich and luminous, 
the images are clear and sharp.
Director Michael Curtiz has made his picture look good. 
It is too bad that it doesn’t hit the eardrums 
and the funnybone with equal force."

Monday, December 17, 2018

Playlist For Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018: Finally Pine Cones. Finally Holly Berries. Finally Christmas!

It's Broadway Christmas...finally! Whew. I thought we'd never get here! I felt like I was the only DJ on Jazz 90.1 not making with the Fah La Las and the Ho Ho Hos. Otto did 3 hours of Christmas music yesterday, and he'll be playing 3 hours of it THIS Sunday. Me? Well, Broadway has less Christmas music than you'd think. I have to steal from Hollywood (there's something new!?!), and use a fair share of novelty songs (Allan Sherman, Tom Lehrer), and even then I'm lucky to get 2 hours of stuff I'll air. Standards and all that. Still, Christmas Dragnet. (I draw the line at Cheech and Chong.)

And it's starting to get Holiday Bizzy! I mean, with the drummers drumming and swans a-laying and the eggnog nogging? And having an outfit for EACH OF THESE THINGS? Man, I am booked. So I'll wish you a wonderful holiday now, so you'll be covered, okay? Tune in on the 23rd for lots of Christmas music you probably HAVEN'T been hearing on the other stations...cuz it's Broadway and only WE understand it, right?

And have yourself a merry little...well, you know THAT song! XO

Happy Holiday/Let Yourself Go (Brian d'Arcy Jeffry Denman, White Christmas
Overture (Instrumental, Irving Berlin's White Christmas)
We Need A Little Christmas (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Twelve Days To Christmas (Ensemble, She Loves Me)
Three Wishes For Christmas (Tony Yazbek, Ensemble, Gypsy)
Lovers On Christmas Eve (Joanna Gleason, James Naughton, I Love My Wife)
Be A Santa (Sydney Chaplin, Subways Are For Sleeping)
Five Pound Box Of Money (Pearl Bailey)
Surabaya Santa (Jessica Molaskey, Songs For A New World)
(I'm Spending) Hanukkah In Santa Monica (Tom Lehrer, The Remains Of Tom
Sisters (Rosemary Clooney, White Christmas)
The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing (Danny Kaye, White Christmas)
Snow (Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Trudy Stevens, White
Count Your Blessings (Instead Of Sheep)(Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney,
      White Christmas)
White Christmas (Company, White Christmas)
Merry Christmas (Ensemble, Plaid Tidings)
Christmas Is My Favorite Time Of Year (Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can)
Hard Candy Christmas (Pamela Blaire, Delores Hall, Ensemble,
      Best Little Whorehouse In Texas)
Christmas Day (Ensemble, Promises Promises)
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Karen Morrow, Bryan d'Arcy James,
      Jeffry Denman, Meredith Patterson, White Christmas)
Holiday Season (Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Home For Christmas)
A Christmas Carol (Tom Lehrer, More Of Tom Lehrer)
The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas (Allan Sherman, For Swinging Livers Only)
Talk Christmas, Cool Yule (Ensemble, Plaid Tidings/Holiday In Plaid)
Nothin' For Christmas (Eartha Kitt)
Turkey Lurkey Time (Donna McKechnie, Margo Sappington,  Baayork
      Lee, Promises Promises)
Johnny, It's Cold Outside (Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Home For Christmas)
Pine Cones And Holly Berries (Laurence Naismith, Janis Paige, Fred
      Gwynne, Here's Love)
Catered Holiday (Ensemble, Plaid Tidings/Holiday In Plaid)
Christmas Dragnet (Stan Freberg, Daws Butler)
I'll Be Home For Christmas (Leslie Odom, Jr., Simply Christmas)
Christmas Mem'ries (Barbra Streisand, Christmas Memories)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Bernadette Peters, Sondheim, Etc.,
      Etc. Live At Carnegie Hall, The Rest Of It)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland, Meet Me In St. Louis) 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

See Ya At The Prom!

 Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann
wrote "He's Sure The Boy I Love" in 1962
and the Crystals ran with it...
but wait!
It was first recorded by The Blossoms,
featuring Darlene Love,
but Phil Spector pulled a fast one and credited it to the Crystals.

Clockwise from the top:
Fanita James, Jean King, and Darlene Love...
The Blossoms
of "He's A Rebel" fame.

 The Brill Building songwriters,
Cynthia, Barry, Carol King and Gerry Goffin,
and their compositions
were brought to Broadway "life" 
in Beautiful: The Carol King Musical.
Jessie Mueller starred as Carol,
and we'll hear that show's version of 
"He's Sure The Boy I Love" with Jessie.
Jake Epstein played Goffin,
Anika Larson was Cynthia,
and Jarrod Spector as Barry.

 Darlene Love (back to sing that Blossom song)
 and Bette Midler doing
another take on Bette's 2015 release,
It's The Girls!

 "Alone At A Drive-in Movie",
from Grease...with the original Broadway stars above,
Carole Demas and Barry Bostwick.
They chucked the song from the movie version,
below with Olivia Newton-John and 
John Travolta 
in favor of "Sandy." 
Grease started out raunchy (back in Chicago in 1971)
and has progressed all the way to a sanitized "Jr." version.

 The Prom is getting some decent write-ups currently...
above the "world premiere" pre-Broadway version done in Atlanta,
and below a pic of Isabelle McCalla and 
Caitlin Kinnunen, appearing NOW at the Longacre Theatre.

 Love this shot with Brooks Ashmanskas 
wearing a tiara!

 Zombie Prom, above...the movie version!
Zombie Prom, below...the staged version,
which has remained popular with community theatre groups,
like the Mississippi Bend Players.
It began "life" in 1993 in Key West,
lurching its way Off-Broadway three years later.
Dana P. Rowe and John Dempsey were the musical perpetrators.  
The short film (36 minutes) was produced in 2006
and starred RuPaul as Principal Delilah Strict.
Enrico Fermi High School, natch!