Saturday, June 30, 2018

Poor little me...

 Randi Graff in her double role
in City Of Angels,
Oolie and Donna.
As Oolie
(the character she played in the noir section of the musical), 
she got to sing "You Can Always Count On Me",
a Cy Coleman goodie, lyrics David Zippel
(and don't the lyrics MAKE it!!).
Below with James Naughton, who played Stone.

 Michele Lee could sing!
Not just a pretty face,
Michele was part of the cast of Seesaw
(above center with replacement John Gavin),
another Cy Coleman show
(lyrics Dorothy Fields).
"Nobody Does It Like Me"
I can relate.

 Oh, those circus folk!
Billy Rose's Jumbo
(not to be confused with Jumbo, the Broadway musical of 1935!)
featured the music of Rodgers and Hart, 
and starred Doris Day, Martha Raye
Stephen Boyd, and Jimmy Durante. 

  Both the musical and the film featured Durante
 leading a live elephant and being stopped by a police officer, 
who asks him, "What are you doing with that elephant?" 
Durante's reply, "What elephant?"
 It was a knee slapper back in '35.

 We'll hear Martha and Doris
with "Why Can't I?"
Love this red-nosed DD.

 Ashley Park, who plays Rachel in Mean Girls
on Broadway RIGHT NOW,
and on the right,
the movie version of Rachel, 
Lacey Chabert.
Who wore it better? :)
 In rehearsal
and on the stage!
Below: Ashley, Taylor Louderman, Kate Rockwell,
and Erika Henningsen.
We'll hear Ashley with
"What's Wrong With Me?"

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Julie and Victoria and Leslie, Oh My!

Our "Poor Butterfly",
Julie Andrews looking "Thoroughly Modern" 
as Millie Dillmount.  
The NYTimes critic, Bosley Crowther, wrote of the film:
 "Julie knows how to hit the right expressions of 
maidenly surprise and dismay, 
the right taps in a flow of nimble dances, 
and the right notes in a flood of icky songs."
Well, those icky songs were half 1920s standards,
half the work of  Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Kahn,
and Jay Thompson.
Incidental music by Elmer Bernstein,
arrangements by Andre Previn.
Can I name drop more? 
 John Gavin as Millie's boss,
Trevor Graydon III.
This looks "Poor Butterfly"-ish...
"and John, two dozen roses", on the fat side!

 The word is FETCHING!
Below, the wonderful triumvirate of the movie,
Mary Tyler Moore, Julie, and Carol Channing.

 Victoria Clark
(of The Light In The Piazza, for which she won a Tony,
Follies, How To Succeed, Guys And name it!)
pictured here in Sondheim! The Birthday Concert of 2010,
singing "Don't Laugh",
from the Flop (note capital F)
Hot Spot,
with music (mostly) by Mary Rodgers and Martin Charnin.
Sondheim contributed additional tunes, like this one.
It starred (drum roll) Judy Holliday.
I need to find this!!!

 Last year, Victoria starred in the Toronto production of "Sousatska",
slated to arrive on Broadway...when?
 Above, the "birthday party" guests
at Stephen's celebration.
We should all rate "parties" like this!
Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, Jason Danieley, Marin Mazzie,
Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, George Hearn,
Audra McDonald, Michael Cerveris, Donna Murphy,
Nathan Gunn and Victoria!
Not pictured, Elaine Stritch, Laura Osnes, and Laura Benanti,
just to name a few.

 From The Robber Bridegroom
(the revival of 2016, done at the Roundabout Theatre)
Leslie Kritzer, above and center below.
Leslie played the part of Salome,
and we'll hear her "Pricklepear Bloom" from this show.

Steven Pasquale (who played the lead in
The Bridges Of Madison County!)
 as Jamie Lockhart,

Below, Leslie with Rob McClure in Something Rotten!
Rob was in Honeymoon in Vegas prior
to replacing Bryan d'Arcy James in this show,
and Leslie replaced Heidi Blickenstaff.

 ...and in Guys And Dolls 
                                                        as Adelaide.

 The cast at curtain call...
and in rehearsal.
The Robber Bridegroom
began workshopping in the early 1970s,
when Raul Julia starred.
 A later production had Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone as the leads,
and Patti remained for the Broadway opening in 1975.
It played AGAIN on Broadway in 1976 (a revival? just one year later?);
Barry Bostwick played Robber Jamie Lockhart 
in that reincarnation,
and won a Tony for his efforts.

Ahna O'Reilly as Rosamund 
and Steven Pasquale as Jamie.
We'll hear them in
"Rosamund's Dream"
and "Love Stolen (from the cookie jar)."

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Playlist For July 1st, 2018: When Worlds Collide

 I shot the pic above on a recent bike ride, cruising my usual route, chosen specifically because 8.52 miles out, VOILA! The perfect setting for water, 7 almonds, a check of my fan-mails (I wish!), and a nice sit down. An antique-y, flea market-y thoroughfare where I've found plenty of very necessary chotchkies to buy over the past few years. Well, yesterday they must have had a weekend special on furniture close to my heart: old aluminum lawn chairs, still awaiting adoption. I took this picture and posted it with the caption, "When Loves Coincide." Lawn Chairs for the Kendall Lawn Chair Ladies, and the bike, cuz...the bike! If ONLY there could have been an ancient Broadway playbill nearby and a 1950s percolater, then ALL my loves would have been there and the world would have exploded. (A pic of Tony Shaloub with tears in his eyes as he watched Katrina Lenk sing to him at the Tonys would have done it for me as well. I could have done without the playbill OR the caffeine then!)

So what's up for the show this Sunday? A new-to-me musical called The Robber Bridegroom for one thing. Robin Hood done Natchez/Mississippi style, with Nothin' Up and The Pricklepear Bloom my favorites. Then we have 2 themes, playing tag-you' is a "Poor Me", I'm always messing stuff up, I'll never get it right take. The other is just a herd of deer. I mean, DEAR! Dear Friend, Dear Theodosia, Dear World? You get the idea, right?

And a gaggle of Audra, cuz...Audra. My Sublime Miss M.

So tune in if you can. I'll be there in the studio, spinning Broadway from my newly acquired lounge chair, sippin' my java, and dreaming of "Tony". :)

I Am What I Am (Audra McDonald, Sing Happy)
Nothin' Up (Ahna O'Reilly, The Robber Bridegroom)
Two Heads (Andrew Durand, Evan Harrington, The Robber Bridegroom)
Rosamund's Dream (Ahna O'Reilly, Steven Pasquale, The Robber Bridegroom)
Love Stolen (Company, The Robber Bridegroom)
The Pricklepear Bloom (Leslie Kritzer, The Robber Bridegroom)
You Can Always Count On Me (Randy Graff, City Of Angels)
Nobody Does It Like Me (Michelle Lee, Seesaw)
Don't Laugh (Victoria Clark, Sondheim! The Birthday Concert)
Sing Happy (Audra McDonald, Sing Happy)
Being Good (Audra McDonald, Sing Happy)
Summer Time (Audra McDonald, Sing Happy)
Dear Love (Liza Minnelli, Flora The Red Menace)
Dear Old Syracuse (Jack Cassidy, The Boys From Syracuse)
Dear Friend (Barbara Cook, She Loves Me)
So Long, Dearie (Carol Channing, Hello Dolly!)
Why Can't I? (Doris Day, Martha Raye, Billy Rose's Jumbo)
But Not For Me (Bobby Short, Bobby Short is K-RA-ZY for Gershwin)
What Did I Have That I Don't Have Now? (Barbara Harris, On A Clear Day
      You Can See Forever)
Poor Butterfly (Julie Andrews, John Gavin, Thoroughly Modern Millie)
Nobody's Heart Belongs To Me (Hildegaard, By Jupiter)
Dear Mr. Gable/You Made Me Love You (Judy Garland, Broadway Melody
      of 1938)
Dearly Beloved (Fred Astaire, You Were Never Lovelier)
Waitin' For My Dearie (Carol Richards, Brigadoon)
Dear Mr. Gershwin (Klea Blackhurst, Radio Gals)
Dear Theodosia (Leslie Odom, Jr., Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton)
Dear World (Angela Lansbury, Company, Dear World)
What's Wrong With Me? (Ashley Park, Mean Girls)
I'm Not That Smart (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, The 25th Annual Putnam
      County Spelling Bee)
Maybe This Time (Liza Minnelli, Cabaret)
I'm Not A Loser (Gavin Lee, SpongeBob Square Pants)
I Am What I Am (George Hearn, La Cage Aux Folles)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Playlist for Sunday, June 24, 2018: Rewind, rinse, repeat!

Taking off this coming Sunday (6/24/18), so this 2 On The Aisle is a show from July 2016, almost 2 years old! I'll be back live on July 1st, with a brand new Broadway At Its Best. Remember that a rebroadcast of my show happens every Friday, from 4-6pm, on our sister (brother?) internet station, Swing & Blues Radio, so if you need a fix...

Keep tapping! :) 

Look For The Silver Lining (Leslie Odom, Jr., )
I Got Rhythm (Mary Martin, Girl Crazy)
I Got Rhythm (Gene Kelly, An American In Paris)
I Got Rhythm (Jodi Benson, Ensemble, Crazy For You)
Cop Song (Jeff McCarthy, Ensemble, Urinetown)
If You Were Gay (John Tartaglia, Rick Lyon, Avenue Q)
Baptize Me (Josh Gad, Nikki James, The Book Of Mormon)
Joey, Joey, Joey (Leslie Odom, Jr.)
Marry Me A Little (John Barrowman, Putting It Together)
Who Are You Now? (Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl)
Something Good (Elaine Stritch)
Night Of My Nights (Richard Kiley, Kismet)
The Olive Tree (Alfred Drake, Kismet)
Najla's Lament (Yma Sumac, Flahooley)
Temptation (Instrumental, Singin' In The Rain)
Mu-Cha-Cha (Judy Holliday, Peter Gennaro, Bells Are Ringing)
Tango De Amor (Instrumental, The Addams Family)
The Beguine (Tamara Long, Steve Elmore, Dames At Sea)
Won't You Charleston With Me? (Ensemble, Paul McGrane And His Bearcats
        Orchestra, The Boy Friend)
Shadow Waltz (Tammy Grimes, Carole Cook, 42nd Street)
Swing! (Rosalind Russell, Wonderful Town)
I Am Aldolpho (Danny Burstein, The Drowsy Chaperone)
Show Tune (Charles Nelson Reilly, Dody Goodman, Ensemble, Parade)
The Grass Is Always Greener (Karen Mason, Karen Ziemba, And The World
         Goes 'Round)
I Don't Remember You/Sometimes A Day Goes By (Jim Walton, Robert
         Cuccioli, And The World Goes 'Round)
In The End Of Time (Alex Brightman, School Of Rock)
Ring Of Keys (Sydney Lucas, Fun Home)
What'd I Miss (Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Okieriete Onandowan,
          Ensemble, Hamilton)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Moonstruck Melodians!

 Young Man With A Horn
was released in 1950,
starring Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Lauren Bacall, 
and Hoagy Carmichael,
though the real "star" of the show 
(according to the critics)
was Harry James, who played the trumpet (cornet?) for Kirk.
The screenplay was based on the life of Bix Beiderbecke,
but with a happy Hollywood ending.
 Doris has been quoted as saying that 
the entire movie production was "utterly joyless",
with Kirk being "too self-centered" to bother getting to know
other cast members.
 No quotes from Lauren,
who played the Other Woman. 
We'll hear one of Doris' numbers from the movie,
"There's A Rising Moon,"
written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster.
Doris turned 96 just a couple of months ago!

 Then Liza's 1974 live concert rendition of 
"Shine On, Harvest Moon",
the oldest song on 2 On The Aisle this Sunday:
Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth,
stars of the Ziefeld Follies,
were the ones to introduce it,
but who wrote it?
Edward Madden and Gus Edwards?
Dave Stamper (Nora's piano accompanist in the Follies)?
Nora and Jack themselves?
Look it up (in YOUR Funk & Wagnell)!

 Two competing songbirds of the 1920s and 30s:
Annette Hanshaw, above
and Ruth Etting, below. 
Annette was known as The Personality Girl,
and sang with the Casa Loma Orchestra,
the Original Memphis Five,
and Rudy Vallee's Connecticut Yankees
(to name but a few).
Ruth, not to be outdone, was called 
America's Sweetheart Of Song,
and her signature songs were
"Ten Cents A Dance", "Love Me Or Leave Me",
and "Shine On, Harvest Moon"!
We'll hear Annette with "Moon Song"
and Ruth's "Dancing In The Moonlight."

 Ann Hampton Callaway,
songwriter, cabaret performer and Broadway star,
performs "Blue Moon"
a song written back in 1934,
when we were all NUTS for moon songs,
by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
And what a history this song has;
3 different sets of lyrics for 
a.) the movie, Hollywood Party (never released),
b.) 2 different sets of lyrics for the movie, Manhattan Melodrama.
One cut, the other not a hit.
And c.) the lyric we now (thankfully) have!
Wait...that's 4 ...

 Bea Arthur,
with a great recipe for Lamb Curry...
oh, and "The Man In The Moon Is A Lady"
from Mame (first) and her one-woman show,
Just Between Friends (second).

Skip Hinnant playing a mean invisible keyboard,
and Reva Rose singing along to
an old Beethoven hit:
Moonlight Sonata.
You're Good Man, Charlie Brown,
but Lucy's cap (or headband) was set on Shroeder.

Friday, June 15, 2018

2 Irish Pub Perspectives

Once, with music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
opened on Broadway in 2012...
a minimal set, cast members who doubled as instrumentalists,
and a working bar,
at least at intermission!

 Based on the movie of the same name (released in 2007),
it won 8 Tonys, including Best Book and Best Musical,
3 Drama Desk Awards,
and a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.
 Leading players,
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti,

 Kazee, above with guitar,
Cristin at the piano,
and other actors cum orchestra,
playing the wonderful Irish-y, fiddle-y score! 

 In 1959,
the Irish musical on Broadway was
based on the Sean O'Casey play,
Juno and the Paycock.
1920's Ireland, the Irish Civil War,
and a working class family in Dublin.
The score was a mix of light and airy character songs,
betrayal, alcoholism, murder and keening. 
Melvyn Douglas, above as the Paycock,
Captain Boyle, 
below the recording of the cast album
(back in the day, EVERY Broadway show got to record an cast album,
even those lasting only 16 performances!)
and below that,
Shirley Booth as Juno.
 It opened in March, it closed in March.
Only 16 performances!
The critics and audiences evidently felt the story
was too dark for a musical...
 It wouldn't be today.

Marc Blitzstein
the composer/lyricist of Juno,
and The Cradle Will Rock. 
He studied at The Curtis Institute, 
in Paris with Nadia Boulanger,
and in Berlin with Arnold Schoenberg...
wrote many orchestral works,
and adapted, translated, directed and/or contributed to
dozens of musicals.
He was murdered at the age of 58,
in Martinque.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Playlist For Sunday, June 17, 2018: All Mooney

 Well, the Sponge won not. Neither the Mean, nor the Frozen. Not to gloat from here to Morton (2.1 miles on MY Garmin), but can I pick 'em or what. The Band's Visit scooped 10 Tonys (or Tonies, but def. not Tony's) last Sunday, and Katrina Lenk's been playing on a loop in this casa ever since. I played plenty of selections from that show last week, so I won't welm you (hey, I used a new word!) with more, for the moment, but just know that a Yazbek 2 on the Aisle Festival is in the making as I type!

But meanwhile, the biz at hand: Once (that Tony Winner from 2012)...Ireland, a pub, guitars, romantic, minimal, a pub. I'm in!  A couple of Juno bits...with Shirley Booth and Melvyn Douglas (more Ireland, a pub, not so romantic, a flop, a pub). And then a lovely moonlit theme, and a flocculation (another new word!!!) of sleepy time songs. No yawning, tho. None. Only on really Bad Broadway. This is Broadway at its Best!

Gotta run. Katrina's song is almost over and I gotta flip "the record". :) 

Gold (Steve Kazee, Ensemble, Once)
Old Devil Moon (Ella Logan, Donald Richards, Finian's Rainbow)
When You're Driving Through The Moonlight (Julie Andrews, Kaye Ballard,
      Alice Ghostly, Ilka Chase, Cinderella)
Moonshine Lullaby (Ethel Merman, Annie Get Your Gun)
Lazy Moon (Ensemble, Goldilocks)
Once In A Blue Moon (John McMartin, Elmarie Wendel, Little Mary Sunshine)
The Moon And Me (Kevin Chamberlain, The Addams Family)
We're Alive (Shirley Booth, Company, Juno)
You Poor Thing (Sada Thompson, Jean Stapleton, Nancy Andrews, Beulah,
      Garrick, Juno)
Daarlin' Man (Melvyn Douglas, Jack MacGowran, Juno)
What A Little Moonlight Can Do (Audra McDonald, Lady Day At Emerson's
      Bar And Grill)
There's A Rising Moon (Doris Day, Young Man With A Horn)
The Man In The Moon Is A Lady (Bea Arthur, Just Between Friends)
Shine On Harvest Moon (Liza Minelli)
Moon Song (Annette Hanshaw)
It's Only A Paper Moon (Paul Whiteman's Orchestra)
Dancing In The Moonlight (Ruth Etting)
Blue Moon (Ann Hampton Callaway, Blues In The Night)
Many Moons Ago (David Snow, Once Upon A Mattress)
Schroeder (Moonlight Sonata)(Reva Rose, You're A Good Man,
      Charlie Brown)
Moon River (Audra McDonald)
Sleep Peaceful, Mr. Used-To-Be (Helen Goldsby, St. Louis Woman)
Sleep Tite (Ensemble, The Pajama Game)
Sleeping Beauty Song (Ensemble, Sleeping Beauty)
A Sleepin' Bee (Barbra Streisand)
While The City Sleeps (Billy Daniels, Golden Boy)
Sleepy Man (Patti LuPone, Don't Monkey With Broadway)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Lebo, Lion King)
The North Strand (Instrumental, Once)
Abandoned In Bandon (Andy Taylor, Once)
The Moon (Cristin Millioti, Once)
Falling Slowly (Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti, Once)
Gold (Reprise)(Company, Once) 

And the winner WAS...

 Old news by now, 
but The Band's Visit scooped up 10 Tonys last night,
including Best Musical,
Best Book, Best Orchestrations, Best Score
Best Lighting Design, Best Director,
Best Sound Design...
One for Ari'el Stachel (below)
for Best Featured Actor in a Musical...

...and "Bests" for 
Tony Shaloub and Katrina Lenk!