Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Playlist For Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018: Still got frosting on my sleeve!

Why do I post these things in the morning, when my mind is full of cobwebs and coffee grounds? One should obliterate the other, right? Like Liquid Plumber? But those "cobs" are strong (Halloween, Edgar Allen Poe kind of stuff,  and wasn't there a crop across the road yesterday? I mean, don't ask me WHAT kind of's just that sometime in the last 24 hours, it got up and left?), so typing with fingers seems silly and just wrong.

It's been a fast October, and my social life is whirling! Well, for Kendall. Dinners, parties, Noel keeps calling...when are you coming for a cocktail!? I wish. But I've actually succeeded in making the entire 10th month of the year into a birthday celebration, and truth to tell, it may slop over into the 11th (huzzah), the gods willing, and my ditch/creek/eddy pool don't rise. Paris, NYC, doesn't get much better than this.

Broadway wise, I've also been "blessed"...the find of an new/old eccentric/bagel, yet very poignant musical from 2000, A Class Act. Unpublished songs of Edward Kleban, whose grand lyrical opus was A Chorus Line, who died waaaaay too early (48?), and who stated in his will that he hoped someone someday would compile his songs into a new musical. And his partner Linda Kline and Lonny Price did just that. Listening, I find that Ed did excel at lyrics; what's missing is a Marvin Hamlisch to lift the melodies. But it's a nugget of Broadway "gold", and I look forward to sharing it on Sunday. Oh, and along with niche-y class acts, we'll sample Swing!, Waitress, Wonderful Town, a couple of cheesy themes (natch), and some lovely ballads by Ann, Michael, and Christine (tune in for last names)(as if YOU needed to!). :)

I'm going out to the kitchen now and cut myself another cuppa. Black, edging towards Turkish the way I leave it on the stove. Now where's that last slice of birthday cake?

Have Another Cup Of Tea (Company, The Likes Of Us)
Swing, Brother, Swing (Ann Hampton Callaway, Everett Bradley, Laura
      Benanti, Michael Gruber, Casey MacGill, Company, Swing!)
Two And Four/Hit Me With A Hot Note And Watch Me Bounce (Laura Benanti,
      Casey MacGill, Ensemble, Swing!)   
I'll Be Seeing You (Ann Hampton Callaway, Swing!)
I've Got Your Number (Swen Swenson, Little Me)
Safety In Numbers (Ann Wakefield, Ensemble, The Boy Friend)
Jeanette's Showbiz Number (Kathleen Freeman, The Full Monty)
Public Enemy Number One/Let's Step Out (Margery Gray, Ensemble,
      Anything Goes)
Christopher Street (Warren Galjour, Ensemble, Wonderful Town)
Ohio (Rosalind Russell, Edie Adams, Wonderful Town)
Pass The Football (Jordan Bentley, Wonderful Town)
One Hundred Easy Ways (Rosalind Russell, Wonderful Town)
Tea For Two (Roger Rathburn, Susan Watson, No, No, Nanette)
When I Take My Sugar To Tea (The Boswell Sisters)
Tea For Two Dance (Instrumental, No, No, Nanette)
Muffin Song (John Irving, Louis Edmonds, Ernest In Love)
Coffee In A Cardboard Cup (Karen Ziemba, Ensemble, And The World
      Goes 'Round)
Forty Cups Of Coffee (Ella Mae Morse)
Long Ago And Far Away (Ann Hampton Callaway, Jazz Goes To The Movies)
Isn't It Romantic? (Michael Feinstein, Romance On Film, Romance On
You Were There (Christine Ebersole, Christine Ebersole Sings Noel Coward)
Overture (Instrumental, I Can Get It For You Wholesale)
I'm Not A Well Man (Barbra Streisand, Jack Kruschen, I Can Get It For
      You Wholesale)
The Way Things Are (Elliot Gould, I Can Get It For You Wholesale)
Who Knows? (Marilyn Cooper, I Can Get It For You Wholesale)
Better (Lonny Price, Company, A Class Act)
Broadway Boogie Woogie (Carolee Carmello, A Class Act)
Gauguin's Shoes (Lonny Price, Carolee Carmello, Nancy Kathryn Anderson,
      A Class Act)
What's Inside (Jessie Mueller, Waitress)
Opening Up (Jessie Mueller, Keala Settle, Kimiko Glenn, Eric Anderson, Waitress)
It Only Takes A Taste (Drew Gehling, Jessie Mueller, Waitress)
Everything Changes (Jessie Mueller, Ensemble, Waitress)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

We'd like to be IN THE MONEY!

 "Money Money",
sung by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey in the movie version
of Cabaret, 1972.
This song was not part of the original Broadway production,
but since the film,
it's routinely added to staged productions.
Oscars for both Liza and Joel!

 The London company of The Life,
which originated on Broadway in 1997.
So few good photos exist of this NYC production,
so I thought I'd use the London ones, from 2017, which celebrated
the 20th anniversary of the opening.
It's a story of the drifters, hustlers, gamblers, druggies, pimps and hookers 
of New York’s Manhattan of the 1980s.

 Lyricist Ira Gasman (above with Cy Coleman) got the idea
when he was coming back from the theatre district one night 
(specifically 42nd Street, before the infamous clean up of Times Square).
He saw police making an arrest on a street corner, 
while on the other side of the street a couple was having an argument. 
Ira thought “What theatre! Right here in the street.”
And that gave him the idea to write about the seedy underbelly of New York,
warts and all. 
 Ira passed away on October 6th of this year, at the age of 79.

 I can't find many images of 
a Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick musical from 1960.
This writing team were fresh off their 
Pulitzer Prize winning production of Fiorello!,
and next on their slate would be Fiddler On The Roof.
But in the middle was this show,
which ran for just over 200 performances,
and starred
Maurice Evans (an English actor, better known for his Shakespearean work)
and Ron Husmann
(who just 12 years later would star in a 
television production of Once Upon A Mattress!).

 Another monied selection,
"Can You Use Any Money Today?"
(Jazz 90.1 says YES!)
from Call Me Madam,
an Irving Berlin goodie from 1950,
with The Merm as said Madam.
We'll hear from an Encores Production
starring Tyne Daly.

 "We're In The Money" (almost!),
a Harry Warren/Al Dubin song
from Gold Diggers of 1933 (above)
and a couple of shots from 42nd Street, where it was used
in the 1980 production, and 2001 revival.

 And all the spotlighting on $$$
is because Jazz 90.1 could use your financial help
during their present Fall Pledge Drive!
Go to and donate,
to keep this great station 
(and great music)
going strong!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Quiet Swamps!

 Some of my favorite Broadway Quiet songs
on this Sunday's 2 on the Aisle,
like "A Quiet Thing" from Flora The Red Menace...
starring Liza Minnelli and Bob Dishy
(above with choreographer Lee Theodore).
Embarrassing aside: I took a few dance classes with Lee
back in the early 80s,
when she was starting her American Dance Machine company.
Suffice it to say, I was outta my class!

 The role of Flora might have been played 
by Barbra Streisand or Eydie Gorme;
that's who book writer Robert Russell and director George Abbott wanted!
Liza, age 19, won out, however,
and when she received the Tony for her performance,
she became the youngest actress to do so 
(til a year went by, and then Frankie Michaels, age 11, won one for Mame)!
 Then "A Quiet Girl"
sung by George Gaynes (2nd from the right)
in Wonderful Town.
There's Roz Russell on the left...Edith (Edie) Adams center,
and I-don't-knows on 3rd! :) 

 Sally Kellerman
(Hot Lips O'Hoolihan from M.A.S.H., sans army uniform!)
was cast in the original production of 
Breakfast At Tiffany's.
That's her below (with the very strange "hat")
with Mary Tyler Moore and Richard Chamberlain.
The flop of all flops,
this musical didn't even get a chance at a cast album
(back when EVERY show got one),
until 2001,
when Faith Prince, Hal Linden, John Schneider,
and Sally were brought together to record it.
We'll hear Sally with Bob Merrill's "Quiet Coffee."

 From Tim Minchin's Matilda,
we'll hear Sophia Gennusa (above with Lauren Ward)
sing "Quiet".
The show was a huge success in the West End,
on Broadway, and Australia.
In fact, it holds the record for most Olivier Awards won by a musical,
tying most recently with Hamilton.

 The four young ladies who starred in the 
Broadway production:
Sophia, Bailey Ryon, Oona Lawrence, and Milly Shapiro.
They received a
Tony Honors For Excellence Award in 2013.

 And we'll hear a second version
of Kander and Ebb's "A Quiet Thing"
by Marin Mazzie.

 Carol Burnett gets a mini tribute as well this week,
with selections from Once Upon A Mattress
(I can always relate to "The Swamps Of Home")...

 As Miss Hannigan in the movie version of Annie...

 As "Lila Tremaine" in Fade Out - Fade In...

And from the review, Putting It Together...
2nd from the right above,
with Bronson Pinchot, John Barrowman, Ruthie Henshall and 
George Hearn,
we'll hear "There's Always A Woman."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Playlist for Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018: Ulalume was never a musical, and I know why!

Dank. Dark. Dismal...and HAIL? It's the middle (okay, late middle) of October. Things should be crisp, like pizza crust , and bright orange, like my Walmart door wreath. Not like this dank tarn of Auber, like this ghoul-haunted woodland of...I'll stop. Focusing on it just makes things worse. When you've come from 4 days in Paris (sunny, warm, and ne dank pas!), Rochester's ashen and sober nails me!

We did well in Paris, btw...taking the metro hither and yon, imbibing in wines and cuisine formidable, and not embarrassing ourselves too much as the pigeon-French-talking tourists we are. Lots of sweet memories to help soothe the savage beast that is ROC Reality! Carol Burnett once missed "The Swamps of Home"...and I'm relating.

And under all the "Mattress"-es and Tenderloins and Mames, remember the Jazz 90.1 Fall Pledge Drive is still driving! We're well past the halfway mark, but we still need donations; it takes only $55,000 for the next six months to make it all happen, every day of the week... to keep the music playing (how do you keep the music playing? BY DONATING, you nut!). So while I'm spinnin' the Broadway platters, call me up (585 966 5299) or jump on, and GIVE!

So the Magic To Do on Sunday will be in your hands (and wallets). Please be generous, and maybe we could meet for croissants and a good cry. :)

Magic To Do (Ben Vereen, Company, Pippin)
Money, Money (Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Cabaret)
How The Money Changes Hands (Maurice Evans, Eileen Rodgers, Tenderloin)
Easy Money (Bellamy Young, Rich Hebert, The Life)
Can You Use Any Money Today (Tyne Daly, Call Me Madam)
We're In The Money (Karen Prunzik, Wanda Richert, Ensemble, 42nd Street)
On The Right Track (Ben Vereen, John Rubenstein, Pippin)
Love Song (Mathew James Thomas, Rachel Bay Jones, Pippin)
No Time At All (Irene Ryan, Pippin)
Happily Ever After (Carol Burnett, Once Upon A Mattress)
Little Girls (Carol Burnett, Annie)
There's Always A Woman (Carol Burnett, Ruthie Henshall, Putting It Together)
Lila Tremaine (Carol Burnett, Fade Out - Fade In)
The Swamps Of Home (Carol Burnett, Once Upon A Mattress)
A Quiet Thing (Liza Minnelli, Flora The Red Menace)
Quiet Night (Ensemble, On Your Toes)
Quiet Coffee (Sally Kellerman, Breakfast At Tiffany's)
A Quiet Girl (George Gaynes, Wonderful Town)
Quiet (Sophia Gennusa, Matilda)
A Quiet Thing (Marin Mazzie)
How'd You Like To Spoon With Me? (Angela Lansbury, Til The Clouds Roll By)
Wait (Angela Lansbury, Sweeney Todd)
By The Sea (Angela Lansbury, Sweeney Todd)
Open A New Window (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
And I Was Beautiful (Angela Lansbury, Dear World)
If He Walked Into My Life (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Each Tomorrow Morning (Angela Lansbury, Dear World)
Overture/Tiger Rag (Ensemble, Bullets Over Broadway)
I'm Sitting On Top Of The World (Zach Braff, Karen Ziemba, Brooks
      Ashmanskas, Bullets Over Broadway)
'Tain't A Fit Night Out For Man Or Beast (Ensemble, Bullets Over Broadway)

Monday, October 15, 2018

En vacances!

Off to Paris this coming weekend!
So 2 on the Aisle will be left in the competent hands
of a pre-recorded version,
come October 21st.
This show was recorded last year,
so it will be a surprise playlist, for sure.
I promise to tear myself away from croissants, 
creme brulee, good wine, and well-tied scarves
 to be back on the 28th 
with more LIVE Broadway at its Best!
Au revoir, mes amis...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

La Cage!

 La Cage Aux Folles
hit Broadway in 1983,
with Jerry Herman's great music
and Harvey Fierstein's great book.
Gene Barry and George Hearn starred,
but at first these two straight actors hesitated
 to play gay roles.
“It’s funny, but I never thought twice about playing a cold-blooded murderer
 like Sweeney Todd,” said George,
who played Sweeney post-Len Cariou.
  Colleen Dewhurst finally convinced him to audition. 
“She said, ‘Don’t be a fool. You’ll have a great time.’
Gene Barry's children talked him into it...
his daughter wanted him to try for the more flamboyant role
of Zaza. 

 Arthur Laurents directed and assured them:
"This was not going to be any camp show. 
We really wanted to go for ‘heart’ in La Cage
I always felt the thing to go for was emotion. 
These two people care for each other."
The show would go on to win 6 Tonys,
including Best Score, Best Book, Best Direction,
Best Costumes, Best Musical,
and a Tony for George.
It ran for over 4 years, and almost 1,800 performances.
Above Merle Louise, Jay Garner, John Weiner, George and Gene.
the original Cagelles! 

 And below, another version of Cagelles! 
Replacements and stars from other productions:
Van Johnson, Peter Marshall, Gary Beach,
Kelsey Grammar, and Douglas Hodge, just to name a few!

 But first came the movie!
Well, actually SECOND came the movie,
because the 1978 French comedy was based on a 
play by Jean Poiret from 1973.
The movie starred Michel Serrault and Ugo Tognazzi, above,
and played FOR EV ER at the 68th Street Playhouse in NYC,
where I worked in the box office for a year of that "forever."
Hence, I know every frickin' line!

 Michele, above as Zaza,
won a Cesar, a David di Donatello Award and 
a Sant Jordi Award for Best Performance.
Below center, Ugo, whose voice was not used, strangely enough.
He was dubbed in French releases by Pierre Mondy
and in Italian releases by Oreste Lionello.

 Serrault with Michel Galabru,
who played the conservative diplomat/would be father-of-the-bride.

 The 1996 American version, The Birdcage,
was written by Elaine May, directed by Mike Nichols,
and starred Gene Hackman in the "conservative" role above,
Nathan Lane, Hank Azaria, and Robin Williams.
In the ensemble, Dianne Wiest, Christina Baranski, and Calista Flockhart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Playlist for Sunday, October 14, 2018: It's ROC-tober!

October means 3 things to me:

1.) It's my birthday! Once again, I am older than dirt (and that dirt, like the dust of the Apian Way, like Pig Pen's cloud, is aging as we speak). I like to spend the entire month celebrating. So NYC. So Paris. So cake and croissant and creme brulee and gin and bordeaux. That's the menu, at least. In any order (I adhere to the commutative property with all my body and soul). Parties. Party dresses. More earrings. Happy 1,000th birthday to me!

2.) It's 2 on the Aisle's birthday, too. As of October 24th, it will be 6 years old. Hard to believe that Jazz 90.1 has put up with my wacky musical selections and flubbed talking breaks for that long, and allowed me (nay, encouraged me) to keep trying. Honestly, I was so petrified (and rotten) those first few weeks (back in 2012), that I figured I would be lucky to last 6 months! Thanks for putting up with my gaffes, mispronunciations, cheesy themes, and flubbed button pushing for so long, folks! 

3.) It's pledge drive time...Jazz 90.1 has been broadcasting for 45 years, as a listener-supported radio station. That's hard to believe, too...not one sugar daddy in sight. No grants, no corporate sponsors. Nada. And yet "it lives!", thanks to $10 and $20 and $90.10 contributions from YOU!

So all that means BLOCKBUSTER BROADWAY this Sunday! All the big shows, the big songwriters, the big Broadway names. If you like what you hear during this show, give me a call (and Carol Peterson will be guesting, and helping with the barrage of calls, as well!), or go online at you, we sink! With you, we PARTY! Think of it as a happy birthday gift to me and that Aisle! :)

We Are What We Are (Gene Barry, Ensemble, La Cage Aux Folles)
The Schuyler Sisters (Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas
      Jones, Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton)
Omar Sharif (Katrina Lenk, The Band's Visit)
Waving Through A Window (Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen)
Big Spender (Ann Reinking, Ensemble, Fosse)
Bye Bye Blackbird (Liza Minnelli, Liza With A Z)
All That Jazz (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago)
The Glamorous Life (Audra McDonald, Go Back Home)
Send In The Clowns (Glynis Johns, A Little Night Music)
The Ladies Who Lunch (Elaine Stritch, Company)
New York, New York (Adolph Green, John Battles, Cris Alexander, On The Town)
Come Up To My Place (Nancy Walker, Cris Alexander, On The Town)
Dance At the Gym (Instrumental, West Side Story)
Dear Officer Krupke (Michael Callan, Ensemble, West Side Story
Some Other Time (Betty Comden, Nancy Walker, On The Town)
It's De-Lovely (Laura Osnes, Colin Donnell, Anything Goes)
Anything Goes (Sutton Foster, Ensemble, Anything Goes)
Bianca (Michael Berresse, Kiss Me, Kate)
Brush Up Your Shakespeare (Lee Wilkof, Michael Mulheren, Kiss Me, Kate)
It's Today (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Mame (Ensemble, Mame)
The Best Of Times (Gene Barry, Company, La Cage Aux Folles)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The swiniest, the doggiest, the Bad Boys of Broadway!

 Cyrill Ritchard,
in the live TV showing of Peter Pan,
giffing to "Mysterious Lady"...

 Nick Cordero telling Zach Braff
where to get off (no doubt)
in Bullets Over Broadway...
"Ain't Nobodies Business If I Do"

 Ray Walston played Mr. Applegate
on Broadway and in the subsequent movie
of Damn Yankees.
"Those Were The Good Old Days"

 "Someday They Will Thank Me!"
Nick Wyman as the dastardly Governor Otto von...something(!!)
in Desperate Measures. 

 Henry Calvin
in the original production of Kismet.
"Was I Wazir?"

And below,
Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney (in a lighter mood!)
with "Epiphany"...
Angela and Len, of course. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Sunday Stand-outs

 Raul Julia and Karen Akers
in Nine,
featuring the music of Maury Yeston,
who would go on to score Grand Hotel and Titanic.
Awarded the Tony for Best Musical of 1982,
Nine was based on Fellini's 8 1/2.
 "The movie had a phenomenal impact on me when I saw it as a teenager 
when it first came out," says Maury.
"I was fascinated with Guido who was going through a second adolescence 
when I was going through my first! 
As I grew I began to realize that there was room to explore the reactions of the inner workings of the women in Guido’s wake."

 Kathi Moss as Saraghina...
Ti Voglio Bene/Be Italian.

Raul would pass away just 8 years later,
at the age of 54.
Credits to Getty Images
for this great shot of him conducting his "harem".

 ...and to Al Hirschfeld for this marvelous caricature.
Below, some of the women in Guido Contini's life:
including Lilliane Montevecchi (third from the left)
who won a Tony for Featured Performer in a Musical.

 Also on this Sunday's agenda: Charles Aznavour,
who was born in 1924 to Armenian parents who made a home in Paris.
His father sang in local restaurants,
before starting one of his own;
Charles followed in his footsteps,
beginning acting school at the age of 9.

 Edith Piaf was one of his inspirations,
the way she told a story thru song and her presence on stage,
along with Charles Trenet, and Maurice Chevalier.
  “Trenet for his writing, Piaf for her pathos and Chevalier for his professionalism," said Charles.

His first "act" was dancing and singing in French nightclubs,
frequently opening for Piaf in the Moulin Rouge.
Charles recorded over 1,000 songs,
writing and singing them in nine languages,
including "Hier Encour" ("Yesterday When I Was Young").

 With Liza Minelli,
a favorite to perform with...

 Above, a pic from the Truffaut movie,
Shoot The Piano Player.
Truffaut evidently wrote the part of said "piano player" specifically for Charles.
He did 60 movies over the course of his life-time,
including bit parts done as a child.

Charles was also noted for his humanitarian work
for his native country of Armenia.
 In 1998, he founded the charitable organization Aznavour for Armenia;
ten years later he was appointed ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland, 
and became Armenia's permanent delegate to the United Nations.

Also in 1998, Aznavour was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN,
edging out Presley and Dylan.
When other performers were retiring in their 60s,
Charles continued to tour.
He even had performance dates scheduled for this November and 
December, at the age of 94.
“We live long, we Armenians,” he said. 
“I’m going to reach 100, and I’ll be working until I’m 90.” 
 1924 - 2018