Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Playlist For June 3, 2018: Summa Time!

I know, I's not really summer yet. But doesn't it FEEL like summer? My curtains are wafting in the breeze, I'm reaching for ICED coffee, not the Turkish, hotter than hot, cut with a knife kind, myriad insects are trying to crawl into my house, and my finger is 2 cms. away from the AC button. I think it's time for some summery Broadway, doncha think?

Lazy Afternooning with Kaye Ballard, and long Summer Nights with Barry Bostwick, and gritty city simmering with Night Song and Sammy. But then my brain fried with the sudden heat, and I went off on a themed rampage: Why! Sweet! Swing! Yup, that's what happens when the electrolytes evaporate and this dizzy dame actually gets dizzy. A fun, if eclectic, show!

And to celebrate Summer, and its nearness (to you AND me), I'm presently having my car decaled with pink and black bubbles. By a professional. You know how it would look if I did it myself! So I hired. It will look magnificent. So if you see a silver Subaru, with hombre eyelashes, foaming down 390, you'll know it's me! The wacky 2 On The Aisle lady.  :)

Night Song (Sammy Davis, Jr., Golden Boy)
Lazy Afternoon (Kaye Ballard, The Golden Apple)
The Girls Of Summer (Suzanne Henry, Marry Me A Little)
Summertime (Lena Horne, Porgy and Bess)
Summer Nights (Barry Bostwick, Carol Demas, Grease)
A Summer In Ohio (Sherie Rene Scott, The Last Five Years)
The Song Of Purple Summer (Lauren Pritchard, Company, Spring Awakening)
Just One Step (Jessica Molaskey, Songs For A New World)
Baltimore (Audra McDonald,Go Back Home)
Rumble, Rumble, Rumble (Betty Hutton, The Perils Of Pauline)
Why Am I Me? (Chip Ford, Joseph Shapiro, Shenandoah)
Why Me? (Danny Kaye, Two By Two)
Why Can't You Behave? (Lisa Kirk, Harold Lang, Kiss Me Kate)
Two And Four/Hit Me With A Hot Note And Watch Me Bounce (Laura
      Benanti, Casey MacGill, Swing!)
Rhythm/Throw That Girl Around (Casey MacGill, Michael Gruber,
      Everett Bradley, Swing!)
Blues In The Night (Ann Hampton-Callaway, Caitlin Carter, Edgar
      Godineaux, Swing!)
Why Don't They Leave Us Alone? (Chuck Cooper, Sam Harris, Pamela
      Isaacs, The Life)
Why? 'Cause I'm A Guy! (Robert Roznowski, Jordan Leeds,
      I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change)
Why Does The Whole Damn World Adore Me? (Nathan Lane, Sherry!)
Let Me Call You Sweetheart (Carl Switzer, Our Gang)
Sweet Georgia Brown (Instrumental, Some Like It Hot)
When It's Sweetpea Time In Georgia (Mike Craver, Radio Gals)
Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale (Rhoda Williams, Elene Woods, Cinderella)
Sweeten' Water (Chuck Cooper, Wendell Pierce, Vanessa Williams,
      St.Louis Woman)
One Track Mind (Jack Noseworthy, Sweet Smell Of Success)
I Cannot Hear The City (Bryan d'Arcy James, Sweet Smell Of Success)
Don't Look Now (John Lithgow, Sweet Smell Of Success)
Rita's Tune (Stacey Logan, Sweet Smell Of Success)
The Sweetest Sounds (Diahann Carroll, Richard Kiley, No Strings)
Ah! Sweet Mystery Of Life/Falling In Love With Someone (Marc Kudisch, 
      Angela Christian, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
Blues My Naughty Sweetie Taught Me (Zach Braff, Betsy Wolfe, Bullets
      Over Broadway)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Some more and some Loesser!

 Where's Charley?, done on stage in 1948
(the movie came 4 years later)
with Ray Bolger starring as said Charley AND his aunt!
Every night of the show, he'd lead the audience thru 
15 choruses of "Once In Love With Amy!"
Audiences adored him.

 The film of Red Hot And Blue (1949)
had absolutely nothing to do with the
Broadway musical of the same name.
Hollywood just stole the name, not a problem!
Betty Hutton and Victor Mature 
("fresh" from his sword and sandaled role in Samson and Delilah)
were paired.
(Looks like they got on well!)
Frank Loesser wrote 4 songs for this pic,
and even got a role;
he played Hair-Do Lempke, a gangster.
From this pic, we'll hear that story of "Hamlet".

 Danny Kaye (center) and with flower (below)
played Hans Christian Andersen in
the movie of the same name, 
with songs by Frank, and 
written by Moss Hart and Ben Hecht (1952).
Above, Farley Granger and Zizi Jeanmaire as ballet divas,
and with Joseph Walsh singing "Inchworm".
Frank's "Thumbelina" from this movie
 was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award.

 Listen in tomorrow to 2 On The Aisle
for the Frank Loesser/Isabel Bigley story!
I won't ruin it here...
but suffice it to say, fisticuffs!!!

 Isabel won the Tony for her role as Sarah Brown
in Guys and Dolls.
Above with her Sky Masterson, Robert Alda,
and below, with Adelaide, played by Vivian Blaine.
Isabel was born in the Bronx, studied at Julliard,
was nixed by Hollywood, but Broadway loved her.
Post "Guys", she starred in Me & Juliet
with Joan McCracken. 

 From Thank Your Lucky Stars, a WWII fundraiser from 1943,
Ann Sheridan, pegnoired and snooded, 
for Love Isn't Born (It's Made)
with a grinning Teresa Wright at right!
This movie also included "They're Either Too Young Or Too Old"
(another Loesser/Schwartz tune)
sung by that canary, Bette Davis.
Note the star-studded poster for this flick below.

And last but HARDLY Loesser/Least:
Christmas Holiday starring  a killer named Kelly,
and torch singer (?) Deanna Durbin...
Deanna got to sing "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year"
 ...or in Gene's case, it's not comin' at all!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Frank, meet Andrea....Andrea, Frank.

 I have been corrected!
107th Street, the WEST side...
Frank Loesser was a West Side Story man.
AND let's take a finer look at one of my favorite pics of Mr. L:
a.) the upholstery!
b.) the phone...does it have a dial? If not, is this a hotel phone?
Hotels in the 50s had interesting upholstery?
and c.) that thing on his chest...
is it a coaster or an ash tray?
Truth be told, I'm so out of the cigarette culture
that I no longer recognize an ash tray when I see one.
Another trivia nugget from said friend who provided West vs East info:
young Frank was a harmonica champion,
in a city-wide competition (3rd place "finish").

 I have this funny feeling that Frank wasn't nuts about
the casting of Brando as Sky Masterson in the film version of 
Guys And Dolls.
Gene Kelly was first considered for this role,
but MGM refused to "lend" him.
Frank Sinatra wanted the role of Sky, not Nathan,
but he was bounced in favor of Marlon, 
as he had been when they were casting 
On The Water Front.
Relations between the 2 were icy during filming;
Sinatra's nickname for Brando was "Mumbles".
 Frank with is 2nd wife, Jo Sullivan,
and children.

 With first wife, Lynn Garland, above,
a relationship that lasted 21 years.
Lynn was one of the producers of
The Most Happy Fella,
where Frank would meet Jo Sullivan (below) 
who starred as Rosabella,
and later marry her.
 With Danny Kaye,
recording "Hans Christian Andersen",
a film from 1952,
which also starred Farley Granger,
Zizi Jeanmaire, and Peter Walsh.

 Looks like war time, right?
Frank and Frank,
one in uniform with a pipe,
one in beach mode with milk.
Which one's cooler?

 I love Andrea Marcovicci,
the Queen of Cabaret...
having performed for 22 years at the Oak Room 
in the Algonquin Hotel.
I remember her from her appearances on 
The Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas Shows.
She had a recurring role on Hill Street Blues...
and of course that interesting (okay, a flop!) musical of the early 80s,
Her voice reminds me a bit of 
Betty Buckley,
fragile one moment, belty and strong the next.
But the charm is there. 

Andrea recorded her live tribute to Frank Loesser
in the Oak Room in 2004...
it was unfortunately "remodeled"
(as in decimated) in 2012.
It was christened the Oak Room in 1939,
but prior to that it was the Pergola Room,
where the Algonquin Round Table first began to meet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Playlist For Sunday, May 27, 2018: Let's Be Frank!

They called him The Jewish Leprechaun. He grew up on 107th Street (I'm guessing the East Side?) and despite the fact that his father was a classical musician and gave piano lessons for a living, Frank Loesser taught himself to play that instrument. He flunked out of high school. He flunked out of college. He sang in a night club called the Back Drop on 52nd Street for a time. And then he wrote songs. With Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Jimmy McHugh, Arthur Schwartz, Jule Styne and 1,700 more. And then he graduated from song writing school and composed them himself.

I haven't done a Loesser show in about 4 years. And I am inspired to do one now, thanks to a live Oak Room act by Andrea Marcovicci. For some reason, I remember Andrea from television appearances in the 70s, and from Nefertiti, a bagel of a musical from the 80s. Her voice seems Buckley-esque, fragile sometimes, over-strident in others, but she's charming and fun and we'll wander back and forth from her stories and tin pan alley tunes to some original Broadway examples. We'll "Get Lost", stand on a corner, kiss some boys, and dissect Hamlet. Quirky character songs, gorgeous ballads, all Loesser. The Leprechaun.

 If I Were A Bell (Isabel Bigley, Guys And Dolls)
Let's Get Lost/On A Slow Boat To China (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Doesn't That Mean Anything To You? (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Once In Love With Amy (Ray Bolger, Where's Charley?)
No Two People (Danny Kaye, Jane Wyman, Hans Christian Anderson)
Could've Been A Ring (Pert Kelton, Cecil Kellaway, Greenwillow)
Moments Like This (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Kiss The Boys Goodbye/I Don't Want To Walk Without You (Andrea
      Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)             
Guys And Dolls (Johnny Silver, Stubby Kaye, Guys And Dolls)
Marry The Man Today (Isabel Bigley, Vivian Blaine, Guys And Dolls)
Murder, He Says (Betty Hutton, Happy Go Lucky)
I Said "No" (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Hamlet (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Hamlet (Betty Hutton, Red Hot And Blue)
I Said "No" (Yvonne King and The Alvino Rey Orchestra)
Standing On The Corner (Shorty Long, Ensemble, The Most Happy Fella)
Joey, Joey, Joey (Art Lund, The Most Happy Fella)
Sposalizio (Ensemble, The Most Happy Fella)
Say It (Over And Over Again)/Heart And Soul (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were
      A Bell)
Lovelier Than Ever (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm (Bonnie, Scott, How To Succeed In
      Business Without Really Trying)
Inchworm (Danny Kaye, Hans Christian Anderson)
My Heart Is So Full Of You (Robert Weede, Jo Sullivan, The Most Happy Fella)
Rosemary (Robert Morse, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying)
I'll Know (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Love Isn't Born (It's Made) (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Two Sleepy People (Andrea Marcovicci, If I Were A Bell)
Brotherhood Of Man (Robert Morse, How To Succeed In Business Without
      Really Trying)

Sunday, May 20, 2018


 Broadway duets...
I could spend a month playing them!
Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells
in The Book Of Mormon...
"I Am Here For You."
 Bea and Angela
recreating a Mame number...
"Bosom Buddies."

 Syd Chaplin and Babs,
in Funny Girl...
"I Want To Be Seen With You."

 Bernadette and David Christmas,
in Dames At Sea,
with "Let's Have A Simple Wedding."

 John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey,
with a "Cloudburst/Getting Married"...

...and "We Should Be Together",
with Shirley and George Murphy in
Little Miss Broadway.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sexy and Warm, but Posh!

 Sylvia Dolores Finkelstein,
who, luckily for us, tweaked her name
to Dolores Gray...
Dolores made 6 movies,
including Designing Women (with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall)
Kismet (with Howard Keel)
and It's Always Fair Weather
(with Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse and Michael Kidd).
Broadway shows included
Sherry!, Annie Get Your Gun, Destry Rides Again, 
and the London production of Follies.
She was even on an episode of Doctor Who.
So how come she wasn't a household name in MY household?
 Dolores' one solo album,
Warm Brandy was recorded in 1951,
and what a cover!
Her voice was called "a freight-train slathered in honey",
or so said one theatre critic.
Below with Bert Lahr in 
Two On The Aisle. 
Despite the matching hounds tooth,
there was no "match" (or love lost)  between these 2 titans.

 Somebody gave me a free ticket to see Nine
back in 1982, and Raul was wonderful.
Ditto all the ladies in his life.
Based on Fellini's 8 1/2, but Maury Yeston figured
his music added (.5) to the equation. 

Barbara Baxley and Barbara Cook
in the original production of 
She Loves Me,
and below, Ms. Baxley with Jack Cassidy (that cad)
in the same production.
Barbara's Broadway credits included
plays by Chekhov, Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon...
and film-wise, 
East of Eden, Nashville and Norma Rae.
We'll hear her more comical side,
with "A Trip To The Library".

 Billy Porter as the original Lola,
wearing his Kinky Boots,
a Cyndy Lauper musical from 2013.
Below, the cast with Cyndy at center,
and second from the left, 
Harvey Fierstein, who provided the book,
next to Stark Sands who played Charlie Price.
Best Musical award winner!
Ben Brantley said it had a  "love- and heat-seeking score",
and that the boots were "big red scene stealers", 
but he found the book to be 
sticky and sermonizing.
Well, it IS a Broadway Musical! 

  Pomping it up at the Ascot,
in the movie version of My Fair Lady...
Truth to tell, I am not a "get up at 4am to watch"
the Brit-Hitch sorta gal.
Nope, but I do enjoy perusing, post-mortem-like,
 all the fashions.
I can only hope that Meghan and her flock do it up like
the movie's art directors did:
Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton and George James Hopkins
won an Academy Award for Best Production Design.
Hats were by Paulette, a Parisian milliner.

 Robert Coote, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, and Julie Andrews,
the sublime cast.
Noel Coward was first sought for the role of Professor Higgins,
but rejected the offer, suggesting it would be perfect for Rex.
Mary Martin was similarly the first choice for Eliza,
but when she declined,
Julie was "discovered" playing (and scoring!)
 just down the block in The Boyfriend.

 Meeting Princess Margaret,
who seems to be wearing a bedsheet.
(Maybe it looks better from the front.)
Stanley in front of the Professor's painted library.
He played Alfred P. Doolittle on Broadway, in the West End,
 and in the movie (an Oscar for that!).
 This role, coming to him at the age of 66,
brought him international fame
(plus a lot more work and a lot more $$$).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Playlist for Sunday, May 20, 2018: Pomp For Two

I like Pomp. I'm not too sure about Circumstance, but Pomp really gets me. And there is a helluva lot of Pomp about to happen across the pond. Carriages. Epaulets. Lace. Tiaras. Dangerously tilted chapeaux (to x or to s, that is the question). Gloves on guys. That sorta thing gets But it took a fan/mentor to remind me that all that filagreed fluff was happening THIS SATURDAY! Meghan and Harry's big Do only days away, and why wasn't I celebrating this Royal Wedding on air? Well, tear up that old fogey of a playlist and attempt to get with the times!

Duets! Weddings! Sex! Ascot Gavottes (that's where those dangerous hats come in)! Some distractions (Dolores Finkelstein, remember her?)! And of course me, souping it all up into some sort of deliberate package. Which is debatable, but hey! Throw some rice (not done anymore, right?), tie some shoes (what?) on the bumper (what?) of a car, dust off your epaulets and tiaras (no problem there!), toss down some champagne (always) and celebrate Pomp.

Let's Have A Simple Wedding (David Christmas, Bernadette Peters,
      Dames At Sea)
Guido's Song (Raul Julia, Nine)
I Want To Be Seen With You (Sydney Chaplin, Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
Barcelona (Dean Jones, Susan Browning, Company)
Sue Me (Sam Levene, Vivian Blaine, Guys And Dolls)
Strange Duet (Orson Bean, Phyllis Newman, Subways Are For Sleeping)
I Don't Need Anything But You (Andrea McArdle, Reid Shelton, Annie)
Bosum Buddies (Angela Lansbury, Bea Arthur, Mame)
I Am Here For You (Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells, The Book Of Mormon)
Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me Tight (Dolores Gray, Two On The Aisle)
Klenzrite/Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks (Dolores Gray, It's Always Fair
If You Hadn't, But You Did (Dolores Gray, Two On The Aisle)
Sex Marches On (Merwin Goldsmith, Michael McGrath, George S. Irving,
      Louisiana Purchase)
Quartet Erotica (Christopher Fitzgerald, Brad Oscar, Graham Rowat,
      Philip Chaffin, Life Begins At 8:40)
Sex Is In The Heel (Billy Porter, Stark Sands, Company, Kinky Boots)
The Tennis Song (Dee Hoty, James Naughton, City Of Angels)
You And Me (Julie Andrews, Robert Preston, Victor/Victoria)
Bounce (Howard McGillan, Richard Kind, Bounce)
It Takes Two (Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Into The Woods)
Not While I'm Around (Ken Jennings, Angela Lansbury, Sweeney Todd)
Marian The Librarian (Robert Preston, The Music Man)
I Wrote The Book (Lauren Bacall, Woman Of The Year)
A Trip To The Library (Barbara Baxley, She Loves Me)
Overture & Why Can't The English? (Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady)
Ascot Gavotte (Ensemble, My Fair Lady)
Get Me To The Church On Time (Stanley Holloway, My Fair Lady)
I Love To Cry At Weddings (John Wheeler, Michael Davis, Helen
      Gallagher, Thelma Oliver, Sweet Charity)
An Old-Fashioned Wedding (Ethel Merman, Ray Middleton, Annie Get Your
Cloudburst/Getting Married (Jessica Molaskey, John Pizzarelli, Make
We Should Be Together (Shirley Temple, George Murphy, Little Miss
Together Again (Roger Bart, Christopher Fitzgerald, Young Frankenstein)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A litte more string, a little!

 Some annoying kites to fly, drag, entangle
today on 2 on the Aisle.
Above (after they finish the baseball game),
Gary Burghoff on the right 
as (You're A Good Man) Charlie Brown
will attempt flight!
This show had mad success off-Broadway, back in 1967,
but it was a tough Broadway move, and it fell flat
after 32 performances.
Reva Rose standing at left was Lucy,
and completing the cast:
Skip Hinnant, Bob Balaban, and Karen Johnson.

 Another kite shows up in
A Year With Frog And Toad,
based on the Arnold Lobel childrens' books.
Above, Mark Linn-Baker and Jay Goede,
as the titular amphibians.
Once again, off-Broadway proved 
"just the ticket" 
for a musical of this scale,
not Broadway.
 A kite in a movie musical
(how about a balloon? Remember The Red Balloon???)
...specifically Mary Poppins!
Above, Dave Tomlinson and Glynis Johns with
"Let's Go Fly A Kite",
and adding his (cockney?) voice to the song,
Dick Van Dyke, below.
Music of course by the Sherman Brothers,
Richard and Robert.

 And then we had one listener ask for 
from the songbook of Leonard Bernstein.
Lenny was creating this show at the same time
as West Side Story,
and the "story" goes that some of the songs written 
for one show ended up in the other!
Barbara Cook starred with Robert Rounseville, below.

 It opened in 1956,
nobody liked it,
and it closed after 70 odd performances.
The music proved a hit,
with the cast album still in print,
but critics called Lillian Hellman's libretto
"too serious",
so it's now called an operetta, and done by music schools....
See? Life After (Broadway) Death! 

 Carol (Channing), Eileen (Brennan) and Sondra (Lee)
recording the cast album of 
Hello, Dolly!
We'll hear this trio's rendition of "Motherhood".

 "The Garden Of The Disappointed Mothers"
in Honeymoon In Vegas,
with Nancy Opel as the disappointed one
and Rob McClure as the one causing the disappointment.
This song should have a 2nd verse.
Or may A verse.

 Charles Nelson Reilly,
a favorite of Jerry Herman's
(below, with cat).
Jerry used him in Parade and Hello, Dolly...
we'll hear Charles with
"Confession To A Park Avenue Mother"
from that early Parade revue.