Results tagged “TV” from Blogway Baby
It was only a matter of time...
The latest episode I saw, entitled "Fathers and Sons" was written by John Whedon (Joss Whedon's grandfather!) and guest starred an extremely young Bob Balaban (Waiting For Guffman, A Mighty Wind, Seinfeld) with lots of hair as an angry young highschooler "Grady" who doesn't get a long well with his father (played by William Schallert)and mother (played by Anne Morgan Guilbert, the actress who played Millie on The Dick Van Dyke Show; John Whedon also wrote for that show).
I also caught a very young Ed Begley Jr. in the "Alice in Blunderland" episode.
I can't wait for more "guest star goodness"!
Every year we have a Tony-themed dinner in honor of, well, the Tony Awards! Last year our menu was dedicated to [title of show]. Just a few items on the menu included "are you gonna eat that pickle" turkey burgers, "necessary and appropriate" champagne and vegetable medley!
This year, how about:
Million Dollar Quart of Champagne...Fela Fries (Or -- I Am What I Yam)...Turkey Lurkey turkey burgers (we like turkey burgers, what can I say?)...
And for desert? A Little Light Mousse!
It probably wouldn't be a good idea to have "Owl" on the menu...
PETER PAN, a musical production of the play by Sir James Barrie, has lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Music by Moose Charlap, additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and additional music by Julie Styne.
3-D Theatricals is the newest professional theatre company in the Southern California area, and has made the OC Pavillion its new home with a full season of musicals.
I've seen the Mary Martin version on television many times of course, and I also saw an outdoor production in Carmel a few years back, so I was expecting more of the same. Not so!
This production of PETER PAN is exciting, fresh and totally endearing. Shanna is amazing! She was was born to play Peter. She is totally believable as a young boy, and her physicality is amazing - she is at once both graceful and powerful. She is funny, touching, and full of excitement! She's an amazing singer, dancer, actress and flyer (the new quadruple threat!). And boy, is there a lot of flying, swooshing and dancing mid-air! Just glorious.
The whole cast is fabulous; Gregory North as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling and Alyssa Kennedy as Tiger Lily were two of my favorites.
The OC Pavillion is a cool theatre. They took an old bank building and transformed it into an arts building complete with theatre, recording studio, dance studio and restaurant. The band (which was terrific) was split in two and was located up in box seating on either side of the stage. The theatre seats about 500, is highly raked with one row of banquettes in front. We had amazing seats in a banquette which seated all four of us. And we could bring our drinks in with us!
I also got to see Patti Colombo's fabulously exciting choreography! Her choreography breathed new life into a story and a show that I am very familiar with, and once again took my breath away! Here is a picture of the Ugg-A-Wugg dance number:
Anthony is starring as Joseph in The 5th Avenue Theatre's upcoming production of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.
Oh, and he was also a runner up on a little-known show called American Idol!
I hate to disappoint his fans, but he won't be wearing his JOSEPH loincloth at COCKTAIL NUTS...
Here's the 411 on Anthony from The 5th Avenue Theatre website:
Born in Yalta, Ukraine, Fedorov came to America at the age of 9 and eventually settled with his family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. While still a toddler Fedorov had to undergo an emergency tracheotomy because of complications from a birth defect and doctors predicted he would lose all ability to speak. But after a miraculous recovery, Fedorov regained the use of his voice and soon developed a passion for singing. Throughout his teens he could be found shuttling between Pennsylvania and New York City, singing whenever and wherever he had the opportunity.
Following his success on American Idol the 24 year old singer has gone on to a variety of music, television, and theatre projects including being a contestant on Celebrity Fear Factor, serving as a guest judge on MTV’s Little Talent Show as well as appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, and The Tony Danza Show. He recently made his New York stage debut as “The Boy” in the current Off-Broadway revival of The Fantasticks and earlier this summer he starred in Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
His dynamic rendition of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” on American Idol garnered acclaim from the show’s judges who compared him favorably to Clay Aiken.
TIckets are going fast, so buy yours now!
Here's the 411 on COCKTAIL NUTS with your host Rich Gray:
For an unforgettable evening of music, comedy, gourmet snacks and cocktails, come join our host Rich Gray as he celebrates "Landing The Gig" with:
Anthony Fedorov (from The 5th Avenue Theatre's upcoming JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, and AMERICAN IDOL)
Anne Allgood (from ACT Theatre's upcoming ROCK 'N' ROLL)
Jessica Skerritt (from Village Theatre's upcoming CHASING NICOLETTE)
The NightClub Gentlemen (the "almost" Rat Packers)
Also featuring appearances by Bill Robison and Myrna Conn
Tickets for this incredible night of entertainment are only $35.00 which includes complimentary gourmet snacks. And there will be a cash bar featuring an original COCKTAIL NUTS cocktail -- all cocktail and food service is by VESSEL, our neighborhood nightspot that Esquire magazine calls one of the “Best Bars in America.”
Monday September 28, 2009
Door: 7pm for cocktails and complimentary gourmet snacks
Show: 8pm to 10pm
Union and 7th, downtown Seattle
For tickets, call the ACT box office at (206) 292-7676 or visit the COCKTAIL NUTS ticket page at acttheatre.org
Go, go, go Trinity!
And it's not just because the show is super fun, and I've watched the Donny Osmond DVD a thousand times.
And it's not just because Anthony Fedorov (former American Idol runner-up) is playing Joseph.
And it's not just because the cast will be wearing spandex unitards and golden cow heads (I hope!).
No, no, no it's because my daughter, Trinity is in the children's choir! How cool is that! Over 150 kids auditioned and Trinity got in!
She's been in rehearsals twice a week since August... and things really heat up next week. Soon she'll be rehearsing every day! Luckily she has a few friends in the choir and we've put together a massively intricate carpool (actually the other moms have done most of the organizing, I just try to remember to show up when it's my turn!)
So, when JOSEPH starts, three out of four of the Conns will have been on the 5th Avenue Theatre stage -- Myrna was a performance intern in HELLO DOLLY, I had a walk-on in HELLO DOLLY, and of course, Trinity is in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.
Now if I can jut get my husband Grad up there...
Stay tuned for more posts!
Television Gold! (or is that Television Yellow?)
I first saw Mitzi Gaynor in the movie musical Anything Goes with Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor. One viewing of Mitzi doing "Blow Gabriel Blow", "Anything Goes" and "It's Delovely" and I was a huge fan! Such a fan, in fact, that the name "Mitzi" was on the short list of names for my second daughter (as was "Velma" and "Gladys"...I stopped short of "Daisy Mae").
My wonderful husband of 22 years bought me "MITZI GAYNOR RAZZLE DAZZLE! THE SPECIAL YEARS" for my birthday. Wow! This is an amazing must-see DVD.
From the DVD cover:
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Mitzi Gaynor's blockbuster film, Rodgers & Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC and the 40th anniversary of her first televised special, MITZI GAYNOR: RAZZLE DAZZLE! THE SPECIAL YEARS is an all new documentary that captures the creative excellence, the briliant fusion of song and dance, the glamorous Bob Mackie costumes and the non-stop excitement that were the hallmark of her glittering annual television events. For 10 years, Mitzi Gaynor's annual specials captured the imagination of audiences the world over. Now, for the first time in three decades, experience the groundbreaking Emmy winning performances choreographed by some of the most inflential forces in the world of dance: Peter Gennaro (ANNIE, WEST SIDE STORY), Danny Daniels (THE TAP DANCE KID), Robert Sidney (THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW) and Tony Charmoli (WOMAN OF THE YEAR). Including newly taped interview with Miss Gaynor, Bob Mackie, Kristin Chenoweth, Carl Reiner, Kelli O'Hara, Rex Reed and rare photos and footage from Gaynor's personal archive that illuminate the behind-the scenes stories and impact of her landmark television events.
The present day chats between Bob Mackie and Mitzi Gaynor are worth the price of the DVD on their own! It's so nice to see genuine affection between two artists, and to hear the stories behind the costumes. And what costumes! Mitzi wears sequins, beads, beads and more beads, short dresses, long dresses, dresses that zip up and zip down. As they were always in gorgeous, bright colors! It's like my dream wardrobe! (I can't help it, I like shiny stuff). And the guys costumes are just as amazing!
Speaking of guys, the specials are always just Mitzi and "her dancing boys". No other women in sight! And I recognized on of those guys as a dancer on the Carol Burnett show! I don't know his name but he played the Yankee soldier in the Went With The Wind skit! My favorite special is Mitzi and 100 Guys -- it seemed she had literally every male 1970s tv star on that show! From Captain Stubing to Mannix! Two of my favorite dances are EVERYBODY LOVES MY BABY and PRETTY FOR ME from her first 1968 special Mitzi (watched by 33 million viewers!).
Mitzi seems like such a level-headed woman, someone who really enjoyed her career, and appreciated the good fortune she had, and laughs a lot. There's none of that bitterness or regret, or exploitation/substance abuse stories you so often see in stars when they look back at the "good old days". Not only that, but she was happily married to Jack Bean for over fifty years! I would love to go out to lunch with Mitzi Gaynor and hear more cool stories!
Mitzi Gaynor is currently touring with a one woman show (of course!) called MITZI GAYNOR RAZZLE DAZZLE - MY LIFE BEHIND THE SEQUINS. Here's hoping she comes to Seattle!
Believe it or not!
I just found out that one of my fav songs, Indiana Wants Me,was written and performed by a Canadian songwriter R. Dean Taylor. According to the Summer 2009 edition of SOCAN's Words and Music magazine, R. Dean Taylor was the Motown Records first white artist to score a No. 1 hit!
From Words and Music:
In the early 1960s Canadian songwriter R. Dean Taylor found himself at the right place at the right time: in Detroit working for Motown Records. He quickly earned a reputation as one of the label's best writers and producer, co-penning smash hits such as All I Need (for the Temptations) and Love Child (for The Supremes).
Indiana Wants Me is one of those songs that always gives me chills when I hear it. I mean, when those sirens start at the end of the song, and the gunshots....Someone should make a made-for-tv movie musical out of that song! Hmmmm....
For the record, songs that also give me chills are: In the Ghetto, Cats in the Cradle, and thought I hate to say it, Teen Angel (which was written as a gag and turned into a hit!) I guess I'm a sucker for the melodrama!
Be still my heart.
Broadway's upcoming season will hereafter be known as the Season of Hunks! First, Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig will be appearing in A STEADY RAIN.
And now Johnny Lee Miller will be on Broadway this fall.
I have been a huge fan of Mr. Miller since I saw him in the films Mansfield Park and Afterglow. And nobody was as crushed as I was when they cancelled his television series Eli Stone (well, except for the writers...).
Roundabout Theatre Company, in association with Sonia Friedman Productions and Ostar Productions, announced on June 10 that Jonny Lee Miller, of "Trainspotting" and the ABC series "Eli Stone," will be Sienna Miller's co-star in the fall production of Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie.
Sienna Miller will play Miss Julie, and Jonny Lee Miller will play John. Both will make their Broadway debuts in the American premiere of this updated (to the 1940s) version of August Strindberg's classic play Miss Julie, directed by Mark Brokaw.
After Miss Julie will begin preview performances Sept. 18 and open officially Oct. 22 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street). This is a limited engagement through Dec. 6.
BELOW THE BELT at ACT, A Contemporary Theatre!
We used the first of our “Year of Theatre” tickets last Saturday night at ACT to see BELOW THE BELT by Richard Dresser. BELOW THE BELT is directed by Pam Mackinnon, featuring Judd Hirsch, John Procaccino and R. Hamilton Wright.
BELOW THE BELT is being performed in the Allen Theatre, the same “in-the-round” theatre where I saw Sean Griffin as Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL last December. Normally, I'm a bit wary of in-the-round theaters because I usually feel, no matter where I sit, that I'm missing something. But both BELOW THE BELT and A CHRISTMAS CAROL worked really well in-the-round, and I never got the feeling I wasn't "seeing" what was going on.
From the ACT website:
Below The Belt is a farcical skewering of globalized corporate culture. Somewhere, in an anonymous factory cranking out units of some unnamed product, three men try to maintain some semblance of humanity and self despite a crushingly conformist and hypermasculine bureaucracy. Cross the sitcom The Office with Samuel Beckett, and the results might look like something like this—darkly funny, and disconcertingly familiar.
To be honest, I was originally interested in this play because Judd Hirsch was in it. My hubbie and I are big Judd Hirsch fans, and loyal followers of his tv shows, Taxi, Dear John and George and Leo. But we loved the play, and having spent a few years of my own in a large corporate setting, can say that it rang hilariously true! And it sounds like a case of art reflecting real life for the playwright:
(From an interview with Richard Dresser in the Encore Program)
Q: In an interview about why you became a playwright, you addressed your time working as a plastic molder at a plant. Did that experience shape the characters of the factory workers?
RD: My own experience working in factories - I worked at a lot of factories in New England - certainly shaped my conception of the industrial compound and the workers. One of my first factory jobs involved making the thighs of G.I. action figures. In another factory I found myself operating a plastics molding machine which produced white cones in twenty second intervals. The foreman came over the first day to see if I had any questions. My first question involved the procedure for turning off the machine, and he made it clear that was never to happen under any circumstances, even if no one came to relieve me on the next shift. My follow-up question was, "What are we making in this factory?" He stared at me and cautioned me not to be a wiseass.
You just can't make that stuff up!
Judd Hirsch was wonderful, as were R. Hamilton Wright and John Procaccino. I really enjoyed John Procaccino as Willie Stark in ALL THE KINGS MEN (at Intiman) where he was directed by Pamela MacKinnon. He just has a way of owning the stage when he enters. As the boss, Merkin, he is able to utter riduculous things, and make them honest.
BELOW THE BELT is totally worth a second viewing for us before it closes. Next up in our "Year of Theatre" odyssey, A THOUSAND CLOWNS at Intiman.
Broadway royalty right here in Seattle!
It was a little surreal to be honest. Seriously. I was only a few rows away from Bob Mackie.
The theatre was packed, and there was a palpable electricity. Forget the fact that the event was free (yes, you heard me, free!), it was one of the most enjoyable, exciting nights in theatre I've had!
Spotlight nights are hosted by David Armstrong, the Producing Artistic Director of The 5th Avenue Theatre and are a great way to familiarize yourself with upcoming shows - hearing songs performed, learning the history behind the show, meeting the creative team, as well as gaining new, interesting perspective on shows you already know. The CATCH ME IF YOU CAN spotlight gave insight on the creation of an exciting, new musical!
The evening was divided into three acts:
The Incredible True Story!
David recounted Frank Abagnale's true crime adventures on both sides of the law and discussed this with special guest, Ken Kirkpatrick, President of US BANK, Washington State. Ken had actually hired Frank not so long ago to consult on bank security and fraud so he had lots of interesting anecdotes about this incredibly charismatic man (everyone throughout the evening commented on how charismatic Frank Abagnale is, and how he can walk into a room and suddenly command all attention!) and tips on how to avoid bank fraud - micro shredder and the uni-ball pen (it can't be erased from a cheque with acetone unlike other pens.) When Ken asked Frank whether it would be harder to pull of his fraud nowadays versus in the 60s, he said that today it would be far easier to do everything! Downloading logos, lifting signatures, wiring money...but I digress!
Meet The Dream Team
Songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (HAIRSPRAY), playwright Terrence McNally (THE FULL MONTY), director Jack O'Brien (HAIRSPRAY), choreographer Jerry Mitchell (HAIRSPRAY, LEGALLY BLONDE), musical director John McDaniel , and legendary costume designer Bob Mackie gave an inside look into how a Broadway musical is conceived and created. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman told the story of how they were looking around a bookstore and Scott saw a CATCH ME IF YOU CAN movie book on display and said, Hey how about that? So they bought it, and called Steven Spielberg the next day and they were on their way! I was most intrigued by the description of how they were taking the film and putting it on stage. They weren't going to compete with the movie's ability to show Frank's narrow escapes from the law or just put the movie on stage. Instead, The songs/scenes would be how Frank would view the characters as if they were in a big tv show spectacular. The mid 60s was the time of tv variety shows and specials, with a variety of musical styles from Frank Sinatra to The Rolling Stones. So, Marc and Scott went for a sort of Ed Sullivan Show soundtrack! It sounds very, very cool. We saw Bob Mackie's sketches for the costumes and they look absolutely fabulous. It was so special to be able to listen to this team talk about putting this show together.
The whole team agreed that four weeks of rehearsal might seem like a long time, but they have a lot of work to do so it will fly by!
Meet The Stars
Norbert Leo Butz, who plays the Tom Hanks FBI agent character Hanratty, Aaron Tveit, who plays Frank Jr., and Tom Wopat, who plays Frank Sr. all performed songs from the show (Fifty Cheques, I'm Good At What I Do, Happy Ending, Making Butter Out of Cheese, Seven Wonders). Wow, all three of these guys were amazing. I got chills!l And they also announced that Kerry Butler, and Felicia Finley (who played Linda in THE WEDDING SINGER) will be in the show. dThis is going to be an amazing cast!
Oh, and one more piece of trivia - the song that Neil Patrick Harris sang at the end of the Tony Awards night was actually written that night, over the course of the awards, by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman! They said it was like putting together a puzzle, and they had lots of options to go with depending on who won the awards (the Fonda/Honda rhyme never made it into the song!)
Hurry and get tickets to see CATCH ME IF YOU CAN live and in living color!
Those were the days!
this CD in the Children's section, filed under comedy! What a gem!
Carol Burnett, Featuring If I could Write A Song is a combination of a record released in 1971 plus three bonus tracks that were originally released as singles -The Christmas Song, Love's The Only Game in Tow, and You're My Reason.
Other tracks include:
If I Could Write A Song, It's Too Late, Those Were The Days, Rainy Days and Mondays, Who's Sorry Now, Saturday Morning Confusion, For All We Know, Rose Garden, Try To Remember, Sunrise, Sunset and Guess Who/Turn Around, Look At Me
And what a great singer she is. I've always associated her voice with her comedy, but listening to an entire of Carol Burnett just singing? I loved it! It's called easy listening, because it is so darn easy to listen to! Duh!
From the original liner notes by Morgan Ames:
It was not until about four years ago that I realized what a lovely singer Carol Burnett is. It took that long because she doesn't make a big deal out of her singing. She doesn't hurl her voice at us dramatically, insisting on its impact. Instead, she comes over with natural sweetness and simplicity, as if to say, "Here is a song; would you like to hear it?
And as only liner notes from the seventies can say:
But the first thing this lady is...is just that: a lady - warm, real and in full flower.
One of my favorite tracks on the CD is Saturday Morning Confusion, written by Robert Russell. It reminds me of Saturday mornings when I was a kid!
From the re-release liner notes:
Saturday Morning Confusion is a charming evocation of parenting woes that Burnett, the mother of three daughter, delivers with knowing wisdom. The tune was written by Robert Russell, whose best known composition, The Nights The Lights Went Out In Georgia, was a #1 hit for Vicki Lawrence in 1973 (at the time, Lawrence was both Russell's wife and a featured performer on The Carol Burnett Show.
I am so excited for this year’s Tony Awards!
First of all, I’m glad they are done with that whole “we don’t need a host” thing that they did last year. Every awards show needs a host! Thankfully, Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this year! My oldest daughter Myrna is currently watching old Doogie Howser episodes, and Neil Patrick Harris looks about 6 years old on that show! He didn’t look that young when I watched it!
And that electric keyboard musical theme! But I digress..
Most of all I am thrilled that Hunter Bell is nominated for best book for TITLE OF SHOW! I still remember my “first time” at the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), sitting on wooden bench, looking down at Hunter, Jeff, Heidi and Susan perform a show I felt they wrote just for me! I also remember laughing so hard I actually fell off that wooden bench. I’ve been following them (no, not stalking, just following) ever since, reading the TITLE OF SHOW blog, watching THE TITLE OF SHOW SHOW, and even watching Hunter compete in LEGALLY BROWN: THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT PIRAGUA GUY.
So today as I was casually checking out their site, I noticed there is a “TONY VOTERS CLICK HERE” button on the site. I clicked through, only to be met with a login/password request. Foiled again! So it got me wondering – what marvels lie beyond that login page? What treats? Is it a portal into some kind of musical theatre wonderland?
Sadly, I may never know! All I know is that I’ll be tuned in to The 63rd Annual Tony Awards on CBS at 8pm on Sunday June 7, with a glass of champagne in my hand, toasting all the wonderfully talented nominees!
"I saw it in the window, and I just couldn't resist it"
I was (and still am) a huge fan of The Carol Burnett Show. I loved the comedy, the music, the ensemble, and the Bob Mackie costumes! I loved it when Carol Burnett would come out at the top of the show in a glamorous gown, designed by Bob Mackie of course, and answer audience questions. I still remember watching the “Went With The Wind” episode live and busting a gut when she came down the stairs. I mean, didn’t it seem a little strange in the actual movie when Scarlett comes down the stairs dressed in a perfectly tailored green velvet dress that she just happen to whip up from the curtains? They barely had any food, yet the sewing machine was in perfect working order? This costume was a perfect send up of that scene, and the curtain rod is priceless!
I’m thrilled that Bob Mackie’s “Went With The Wind” dress is becoming a permanent part of television history in the Smithsonian’s Kennedy Center Honors Collection!
Movie parodies were always a mainstay of the Carol Burnett Show—and her 1976 Gone With the Wind takeoff is unforgettable. Between the artistry of Burnett and fashion designer Bob Mackie, it’s a comedic tour de force:
Miss Starlett, with her home and finances ravaged by the American Civil War, is visited by her beau and needs to doll up so she can work him for a little cash. Deciding to use her green velvet curtains to make a dress on the fly, Starlett meets her man in one of the grandest, most memorable entrances in television history.
Like Miss Starlett, the Smithsonian saw that Bob Mackie dress in the window and couldn’t resist it. That’s right, folks, the curtain rod dress now honors the hallowed halls of the Smithsonian as a part of the American History Museum’s Kennedy Center Honors collection. And that’s hardly something to fiddle dee dee about. Not only is the dress representative of Mackie’s decadently innovative designs, it’s a monument to the art of parody and the golden age of American comedy. dNo word yet on if and when it will go on public display, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted. Because, frankly, we give a damn.
And for all you Bob Mackie fans, he will be designing the costumes for the new musical CATCH ME IF YOU CAN premiering at The 5th Avenue Theatre this summer in Seattle. Plus, don't miss the June 9 Spotlight Night at The 5th Avenue Theatre -- Bob Mackie will be there!
Gotta go...my banana phone is ringing! Oh, silly me!
Will the real Frank Abagnale please stand up!
It’s funny how something you haven’t seen or thought of in years comes right back to you. During The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Gala and live auction in April, the men sang the opening song from the new musical CATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Marc Shaiman (music), Scott Wittman (lyrics) and Terrence McNally (book). As soon as I heard “My name is Frank Abagnale...my name is Frank Abagnale...My name is Frank Abagnale”, the show To Tell The Truth instantly popped into my mind! (I’m guessing they start the show there and flashback...)
I hadn’t thought of that show in years! It was one of my absolute favorite shows (a list that included Beat the Clock and the Watergate Hearings...). I still remember the tune to “Do you know how to tell the truth?”. I loved the trying to figure out who the real celebrity was. And I loved the ending when the host said will the real so and so please stand up. Then the two imposters and the one real celeb would do this shuffle of almost standing up, but then sitting down again, until the real celebrity stood all the way up.
When I saw this clip of Frank Abagnale on To Tell The Truth, I wondered to myself, was it always this easy to tell who the real guy was? I mean, really! And for that matter, could a show like that still work in this day of “everyone’s face everywhere all the time”? It seems a bit weird that people didn’t know who these people were. I guess the internet has changed all that...
"A Garden of Giving"
Or, How much is that doggie in the window?
The Fairmont Olympia Hotel in downtown Seattle was hopping last Saturday night with The Village Theatre Gala! Free champagne and helping to raise money for a theatre are the only reasons I ever put on nylon stockings anymore, so I glammed up (hubbie in a tux!) and headed out!
The auction was divided into three sections – Act I, Act II and the Live Auction plus dinner, hosted by John Curley. Act I was slighter smaller items while Act II items were larger and included lots and lots of cool wine. After Act II closed we all headed into the Spanish Ballroom for a delicious dinner and live auction.
Before the auction got underway we were entertained by Rich Gray, Bobbi Kotula, and Randy Rogel. Rich and Bobbi sang some wonderful Rich Gray songs (Don’t Go Into Show Business, The Leading Man and I Hate The Sun, to name a few). Randy is the book writer, composer and lyricist of the new musical THE GYPSY KING which will appear on the Village Theatre mainstage next season. But even more thrilling, Randy wrote the songs for one of my favorite animated shows THE ANIMANIACS! He performed Yakko’s Nations of The World song – too fantastic!
Then the auction began! Boy, John Curley is an amazing auctioneer (apparently he does more than 85 auctions a year)! He kept the evening going quickly, and did that “auctioneer” fast talking, all the while cracking jokes, and getting up close and personal with the audience. And yes, one of the live auction items was a labradoodle! What a cute puppy! (This is why you never want to drink too much at an auction! ) I ended up with a walk-on role in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS being produced at the Village Theatre next fall! So, combined with my walk-on role in ON THE TOWN at The 5th Avenue Theatre, I’m fully booked for next season!
THE TONY AWARDS at The 5th Avenue Theatre!
The 5th Avenue Theatre will be hosting a Tony Awards party this year!
This is going to be an amazing party! This year Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the Tony Awards (maybe he'll sing the Confrontation from LES MIZ with Jason Segal!) so don’t miss this chance to see it in style!
From The 5th Avenue website:
The 63rd Annual Tony Awards ...In Your Own Backyard
SUNDAY JUNE 7, 2009 7:30-11:00 PM The 5th Avenue Theatre --- 1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
There’s a Little Bit of Broadway in Everyone
Join us for the biggest Tony Awards party in town! Watch the festivities with fellow theatre lovers as Shrek The Musical competes for 8 coveted Tony Awards, including Best Musical! Follow other Seattle stars such as The 5th Avenue’s own Louis Hobson (Best Musical Nominee, Next To Normal), as they shine on stage at Radio City Music Hall.
Meet past Tony Winners and Nominees. Challenge the 5th Avenue's Producing Artistic Director David Armstrong with Broadway Trivia questions! Win exclusive Tony swag playing "Broadway Bingo" and "Name That Showtune!"
At 8 PM, watch the Tonys on the big 5th Avenue Theatre screen! Games and Entertainment will fill the commercial breaks!
Tony Winners ($130): Enjoy an exclusive preshow champagne reception in the STAR dressing room of The 5th Avenue Theatre. Experience what it is like to be a Broadway star as David Armstrong shares stories of the many Tony Winners who have shared your dressing room. Be seated in the BEST seats for the Tony Awards party with your personal Tony Swag Bag that includes one complimentary ticket (value $71-$78) to a preview of Catch Me If You Can! (Limited to 30 guests)
Tony Nominees ($63): Attend the Tony Party at The 5th Avenue Theatre with reserved seating among the other nominees. Receive a Tony Swag Bag filled with gourmet snacks and fun showbiz prizes including one complimentary ticket (value $71-$78) to a preview of Catch Me If You Can!
Special rates for artists ($25) and high school students ($15).
Dress: Smart Casual/Festive
RSVP BY WEDNESDAY MAY 20, 2009 For more information or to RSVP, please contact Kat Ramsburg in the Development Office at (206) 625-1418 x285 or email@example.com .
Mack David and Hal David -- Legendary Songwriting Brothers!
Wow, talk about songwriting talent running in the family! Mack and Hal David are brothers (Mack was older by nine years). Hal David is probably most famous for his collaborations with Burt Bacharach (“What The World Needs Now”, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” just to name a couple!).
Now, I knew Mack David was a songwriter, but I never knew just how extensive and famous his song catalogue was, and that he sued Jerry Herman over “Hello Dolly”, claiming that it was partially taken from David’s “Sunflower”; they settled out of court.
Here is Mack David’s impressive bio off the fabulous Songwriters Hall of Fame website
Mack David was born in New York City on July 5, 1912. He originally thought of becoming an attorney, and attended Cornell University and then St. John's University Law School. When his younger brother Hal David was considering careers, Mack advised his brother against becoming a songwriter and urged him to take up a more stable profession. However, he failed to follow his own advice, and instead of following a career in law, Mack David began writing songs on Tin Pan Alley.
His song "Moon Love", written with Mack Davis and Andre Kostelanetz, and based on a theme by Tchaikovsky, was a hit in 1939. In 1945, he wrote the words for Duke Ellington's "I'm Just A Lucky So-And-So," and in 1947, he had a hit with a novelty number "Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba", written with Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman.
While primarily a lyricist, David sometimes also contributed to a song's music, and he wrote both words and music for 1948's "Sunflower" (years later, he filed an infringement of copyright lawsuit over resemblences between this song and Jerry Herman’s “Hello, Dolly").
In 1948, David moved to Hollywood, where he became active in film and television. His songs were featured in the score for the Disney animated featureCinderella (1950), written with Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman. These songs include "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes", "The Working Song", and the film's hit song "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo", which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1950. For another Disney feature Alice in Wonderland (1951), the same team wrote "The Unbirthday Song". The nomination for "Bibbidy Bobbidi Boo" was the first of eight Academy Award nominations David would receive. The other nominations came for his songs "The Hanging Tree" (1959, title song, with Jerry Livingston), "Bachelor In Paradise" (1961, title song, with Henry Mancini), "Walk On The Wild Side" (1962, title song, with Elmer Bernstein), "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1961, title song, with Ernest Gold), “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964, title song, with Frank De Vol), "The Ballad of Cat Ballou" (1965, from Cat Ballou, with Jerry Livingston), and "My Wishing Doll" (1966, from Hawaii, with Elmer Bernstein.).
Another great success came in 1950, when he wrote the English-language version of "La Vie en Rose" (French lyric by Edith Piaf, music by Louigny). And in 1961, the Shirelles had a hit with his song "Baby, It's You", written with Burt Bacharach (whose collaboration with Mack's brother Hal David has become legendary) and Barney Williams. Mack David and Jerry Livingston wrote theme songs together for many successful television series, including Caspar the Friendly Ghost, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat and Surfside 6. Their theme song “This is It” for 1960's The Bugs Bunny Hour also became a hit. In addition to those already mentioned, Mack David's collaborators included John Green, Jimmy Van Heusen, Alex Kramer, Joan Whitney, Count Basie and Franz Waxman. Mack David died on December 30, 1993 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California.
Boy, I'm really glad he decided not to become a lawyer!
ROBERT MCKEE Story Seminar in New York City!
Aka “Shut up and listen!”
When I realized I hadn’t been back east for almost two years since I moved to Seattle, I decided a trip to New York was in order. And what better reason to fly 5 hours than to attend Robert Mckee’s famous “Story” seminar. Yes, I had read his book, aptly named “STORY”, but I wanted to experience it first hand since I had heard so many great things about his seminars. So my husband and I signed up, and started packing!
From the website:
Over three intense days, McKee's Story Seminar effectively demonstrates the relationship between story design and character. Quality story structure demands creativity; It cannot be reduced to simple formulas that impose a rigid number of mandatory story elements. Robert McKee's course teaches you the principles involved in the art and craft of screenwriting and story design, and proves the essence of good story is unchanging and universal. Whether on the big screen, on television, in novels, on stage and in ALL creative work, everything works in the shadow of classic story design.
The seminar ran Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am -8:30pm. Yikes! I haven’t sat for that long in a long time. And it didn’t leave much time to see any shows! I did manage to squeeze in a matinee of EXIT THE KING (Geoffrey Rush is amazing!) and the last 30 minutes of TOXIC AVENGER!
I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar, and having Robert Mckee basically talk us through the book really helped solidify the concepts and ideas in my mind. And he runs these workshops with a iron (and grumpy) fist. No questions allowed except at break time (by then, you’re too scared to ask!) and no cell phones at all. If your cell phone rings by mistake, you have to pay him ten dollars. If it happens again, he kicks you out. And he loves to go off on tangents (aka rants) on the current sad state of movies, and various political topics. Perhaps his grumpiness had something to do with the fact that he had just badly hurt his back playing golf and had to sit the entire time.
One of my favorite parts of the seminar was the screening and anaylsis of CASABLANCA (the seminar really is geared towards the cinema, but the fundamentals of story apply to other mediums as well, such as musical theatre). Plots, subplots, text, subtext all unfolded before us. Interestingly, I don’t remember CASABLANCA being so funny! I chuckled constantly throughout the film. That is until the iconic farewell scene as the last plane out is about to take off. It was then that I realized, to my horror, that I had left my cell phone on from the last break! Oh no! What to do, what to do? And my cell phone sounds like a jet engine when you turn it on or off!
I thought about making a run for the door, but then in a moment of pure genius, I waited until the screen was full of loud, rotating airplane propellers and I pressed the off button. The jet engine sound of my phone was muffled by the movie! Robert Mckee remained blissfully unawared of my cell phone situation, and I watched the last few minutes of the film peacefully (ignoring the disgusted glare from my husband who couldn’t believe what had just happened!).
Mckee does this story seminar around the world, as well as single days devoted to genres (love, comedy etc.) .I would highly recommend his seminar to anyone who is in the business of telling stories.
Check out Megan Mullally's report on her year as Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein on Broadway.com! She is just so fantastic - I saw her in the pre-Broadway tryout of the show at the Paramount Theatre, and she has a cramazing voice. I also loved her as Karen Walker in Will & Grace. I mean, who didn't? Yay Megan! =D
Yay, you should all read this Diva Talk with Susan Blackwell on Playbill! I especially liked when she talked about the assorted opening night gifts she and the other members of the [tos] gang received. =) At the end, there are some Diva Updates, which include the fact that Bernadette Peters is going to be on the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy! Also, we'll be seeing the return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Denny Duquette, whom I love. Was that the correct use of whom??? Oh well. =P
Here is an interesting article on Playbill that talks about how Legally Blonde the Musical and MTV collaborated over the reality Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods, and also the airing of the filmed musical in fall 2007 which I had no idea had existed. Sadness, wish I could have seen it. It's worth reading, since it talks about how they kept Bailey Hanks' identity a secret to the devoted viewers of the reality show, since the episodes weren't aired until after her rehearsals had begun. Haha, will make you smile.
Elicia Mackenzie is the winner of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, the Canadian reality show in which contestants were voted on by the Canadian public for the chance to be Maria in The Sound of Music in Toronto (hometown shout-out). You can see one of her performances here.
If you remember from my previous post, Elaine Overholt, my vocal coach, was on the judge's panel and Janna Polzin was one of the contestants in the show. She survived until the last week (congrats!) and you can see one of her performances here.
On television July 28, after months of competitions, 23-year-old Vancouver actress Elicia MacKenzie was revealed to be the top vote-getter and will jump into rehearsals as the novice who wins over a chilly Austrian family in the famed Rodgers & Hammerstein musical.
MacKenzie will join rehearsals in the Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish production of The Sound of Music, which begins previews Oct. 3 at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.
"I'd like to thank Canada for their votes and the judges who saw something that could get me this far," MacKenzie stated. "This has truly been the experience of a lifetime and I'm so very grateful."
After studying everything from vocal training to mountaintop twirling, Canadians voted for their favorite Maria.
The Canadian series mirrored an earlier series in the U.K. that sought to cast the West End revival of the show, produced by Lloyd Webber.
Congratulations both Elicia and Janna, who made it so far. Tickets are now on sale for the show, and you can obtain them here. Performances begin October 3.
Fun exceeds the legal limit at the Hollywood Theatre!We bought our tickets for Donny & Marie at the MGM Grand back in November 2007. We figured we'd get good seats and it would force us to get away for at least a weekend in July 2008. As it turns out, it was a brilliant idea. I don't think we would have gone away for our "Hot and Sweaty 08" vacation in the desert if we hadn't bought those tickets. Of course at the time we didn't know they were going to also do a six month gig at the Flamingo Hotel starting in September!
At the time we also bought tickets that included going to the sound check before the show. That was very cool. About 75 people got to go into the theatre around 6:30pm, and Donny and Marie came out and chatted with us. Donny gave occasional sound notes (Hey guys, I'd prefer a real acoustic guitar for "The Twelfth of Never") but mostly it was just hanging around, eating a quick snack before the next show. Marie came out first munching on some ice cream. She looked amazing. She's lost over 40 pounds and looks fab. I asked her if she was considering doing Broadway again (She did THE KING AND I and THE SOUND OF MUSIC). She said she's had three offers but is really looking for a day gig since she has 8 (count 'em, 8!) kids, including a five year old. I knew that as a youngin' I had a huge crush on Donny, but what I didn't know was that my husband had (or should I say "has") a huge crush on Marie! It never occurred to me that she was a teen heartthrob - duh! So needless to say he was dumbstruck during the sound check and didn't ask any questions. It was like his "Mark Hamill moment" when he saw Luke Skywalker in the lobby of the Marquis Theatre in New York and stood frozen! But I digress…
We came back for the show at 8:30pm and had a-mah-zing seats! The theatre seats about 1500, but we were at a table that had a railing in front of it so there wasn't anybody in front of us at our eye level. It was as if Donny & Marie were performing just for us (weren't they?). The couple sharing our table was from Utah and their daughter had actually dated Donny's son, Brandon. Too cool!
The audience might have been made up of 40+ women and their husbands, but we screamed like teenyboppers when Donny & Marie came out singing. They had singers and dancers and a great band. They did a few rockin' numbers together (eg. Dancing in the Streets) and then each did their own segment. First Marie went and started with (of course) "Paper Roses" and then went on to do a varied set of rock, country, Broadway and opera! I never realized what a versatile, powerful voice she has! Marie invited one lucky male audience member up on stage with her and challenged him to a water chug (he won the first time, they tied the second time). Apparently she prides herself on her water chug! Then of course she had to sing her Broadway medley with a belly 'o water! Did you know her "Dancing with The Stars" partner Jonathan choreographed her dances for her segment? Now you do!
Donny started his segment with "Soldier of Love" his 80s comeback hit (he was helped in that stage of his career by Peter Gabriel - who knew?) Of course we all sang along for the "na na na na na na na na I’m a soldier of Love' bit. Did you know Donny has two grandkids? Now you do. Then he did a medley of hits from his favorite singer, Stevie Wonder and really danced up a storm. Did you know Donny broke his neck body surfing and had to have his neck fused? Now you do! Then he gave us a medley of his hits (Go Away Little Girl, Puppy Love etc.) When he sang the lyric "someone help me, help me" my table mate and I stood up and screamed "I'll help you!" . Sort of like the time my Swedish friend and I chased Rene Simard to his limo. But I digress…
Donny finished his segment off with "Any Dream Will Do" from JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, which he toured for six years! I saw him twice in Toronto. It seems like such a long time ago!
Then Donny and Marie got back together for a dance off (Marie won) and "I'm a Little Bit Country/I'm a Little Bit Rock and Roll" and a medley of the hits they had together. They ended with their classic goodbye song from their tv show:
May tomorrow be a perfect day
May you find love and laughter along the way
May God keep you in His tender care
Til He brings us together again…Goodnight everybody!
<sigh> Back to reality…
In that it's so horrid, but I can't stop watching!
Well, I've probably talked about how much I kinda hate watching reality TV shows where nobodies get sent home to continue their unfulfilling jobs as paralegals when they really want to be the next American Idol. It just makes me feel bad. That's why I like Dancing with the Stars - those people are already celebs, so when they get sent home, they're going back to being famous and doing what they love.
However, with High School Musical: Get in the Picture, not only are they sending home people who don't have their dreams waiting back home, they're sending home young people. For example, last Sunday and Monday were the Eastern semi-finals and finals. They sent home a girl who was 16. 16!!! I don't know, but that made me really sad.....
Other than that, the show is pretty good. The talent is... okay. But the structure and premise of the show are really good.
From the official High School Musical: Get in the Picture website:
This summer's reality show, Disney's "High School Musical: Get in the Picture", will award one prize winner the chance of a lifetime -- he or she will literally "get in the picture" when that person stars in a music video shown in the end credits of the feature film, Disney's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," opening this fall. In addition, the winner will also receive an exclusive talent hold agreement with ABC and a recording contract for two singles with Walt Disney Records, one of which will be a version of the song from the music video.
Hosted by Nick Lachey, the television series debuts on ABC on Sunday, July 20 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) and runs Sundays and Mondays (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) for three weeks, then continues Mondays at 8:00 p.m., ET through mid-September. During the series, finalists will ultimately participate in a summer music program to hone their skills, and one talented newcomer will become a part of "High School Musical" history.
Executive producers of "High School Musical: Get in the Picture" are Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh (both of "Here Come the Newlyweds"). The production company is The Jay and Tony Show.
Next week the Western auditions are on. That means more crying and feeling sorry for these poor young people whose dreams are crushed when they get sent home... But I can't wait!
On Sunday, Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, winners of the reality TV show Grease: You're the One That I Want!, ended their run on Broadway as Danny and Sandy in the Broadway revival of Grease. However, that means that Derek Keeling and Ashley Spencer will replace them..... They're the ones that I wanted (see my previous post)!!!!!
Keeling was most recently seen in the West Coast premiere of All Shook Up and also played Danny Zuko in a national tour of Grease. Spencer was recently on Broadway playing Amber von Tussle in the Tony-winning musical Hairspray.
The current cast of Grease, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, includes Janine DiVita as Rizzo, Ryan Patrick Binder as Doody, Susan Blommaert as Miss Lynch, Will Blum as Roger, Jeb Brown as Vince, Allison Fischer as Patty, Robyn Hurder as Marty, Lindsay Mendez as Jan, Jose Restrepo as Sonny, Matthew Saldivar as Kenickie, Jamison Scott as Eugene, Kirsten Wyatt as Frenchy and "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel. The ensemble comprises Josh Franklin, Natalie Hill, Matthew Hydzik, Keven Quillon, Allie Schultz, Brian Sears, Christina Sivrich, Amber Stone and Anna Aimee White.
For tickets, visit here. I really hope that I get to see this!!
Last night was the season finale of Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods, and Bailey Hanks was selected as the next Elle Woods on Broadway in Legally Blonde! Rhiannon was eliminated at the beginning of the episode, leaving Autumn and Bailey as the last contestants in the competition. The final audition required the girls to perform three numbers from the musical with real Legally Blonde cast members, sets, costume, and orchestra! Plus, Jerry Mitchell was added to the panel of Paul Canaan, Heather Hach, and Bernard Telsey.
Okay, so I'm really happy for Bailey, and she definitely is Elle Woods. Her performance was genuine and easy to watch. However, I enjoyed Autumn's much more. Autumn has the better voice by far. Sorry Bailey, but at times you're a little flat :S Autumn still brought the character to life, but her voice was quite amazing. Maybe after Hanks has finished her run, Autumn will be next in line...
Congratulations Bailey! I hope that your experience as a leading lady on Broadway is as magical and fulfilling as you've always dreamed it to be! Bailey starts her run on Broadway on July 23. For tickets, visit here.
Woo. I need to sit down for a second. Calm down, take a few deep breaths. Cool off, if you will. Why? You may ask that. Or not. Whatev. I'll tell you anyway. I just finished watching Acts I and II of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and I was BLOWN AWAY. I mean, OH MY GOD.
This epic mini-series stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion (HOLY MOTHER OF), and Felicia Day. Dr. Horrible is an evil genius, with a PhD in Horribleness. I won't tell you anymore - except that he has a blog and is part of a crazy love triangle with Fillion (GOODNESS GRAYSH) and Day.
Harris is hilariously funny and he makes me smile. He has opened my eyes to a different side of supervillains through his portrayal of Dr. Horrible :D Nathan Fillion is -- Wait. I need to take a second to breathe here. Nathan Fillion is probably one of my most favoritest peoples ever, and I never knew he could sing. Well, he can. Like, really well. Felicia Day is also really good as Penny, playing perfectly the role of the beautiful and big-hearted laundry buddy... =P
Okay. So, you probably guessed already, but Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a musical. Usually I'm very picky about music, but I really enjoyed listening to this! The music was melodic AND epic. I mean, I don't think it gets any better than that. The storyline and script were funny without being too one-notey (word of the day), and the talent (as mentioned above) is astounding. They can all sing, and portray the complex emotions required to pull of this serious drama. Hehe...
Act II was JUST released TODAY, and Act III is coming out this Saturday, July 19, 2008. All of the episodes will come off of the website at midnight on Sunday, so make sure you watch them! However, there was mention in the master plan of a DVD... =O
So, I really think you should watch this TV/Internet/Blog epic musical/epic/comic book. (P.S. about the comic book thing, it's like a comic book but you don' have to read =D) I'm off to work on my evil laugh... and then rewatch Acts I & II!!
With only four girls left, I'm getting the same feelings that I get when watching America's Next Top Model. Like the judges said, I wish I could take a little bit of each girl to make the perfect Elle Woods. Autumn is now my second favorite, with Lauren being my favorite.
Wait, what's this? She was eliminated. WHAT?? I didn't think that was a very good decision, but whatevs. Last week I was really confused as to why they kept on Rhiannon, but she is INCREDIBLY watchable. Bailey was pretty good, especially since she was given the wrong hat... LOL.
This week's audition was to perform "What You Want," complete with difficult choreography and quick change. You can watch the full performances here. Notice how many feathers were falling off.... lol quality control!
Don't forget to watch the season finale next week on MTV at 10pm.
W00H00! This made me extremely happy. An article on Playbill.com says that Ashley Spencer and Derek Keeling will probably be the replacement Danny and Sandy in Grease on Broadway after Max Crumm and Laura Osnes have run their course! Now, all four of these actors were a part of the reality TV show "Grease: You're the One that I Want!" and Laura and Max were the winners. Spencer came in second place, and Keeling was a runner-up. However, they had been my favorites all along! Apparently, they will begin performances July 22.
Now, this information hasn't been officially announced by the producers of the Grease Broadway revival, but The Repository reported the happy news today. Ashley is already on Broadway currently, playing Amber in Hairspray, and Derek was featured in the pre-Broadway tryout of A Tale of Two Cities.
Sooo, check it out! It's going to be awesome.
Oh, I really wanted to like it. You don't understand. I actually auditioned for it back in Toronto, so although I didn't get the part, I felt cool having been a small part of the next big Disney Channel movie! Additionally, the Jonas Brothers were going to be in it, as well as this other girl who sounded pretty good in the commercials. So, I had high hopes and expectations.
I should have known that it would have NOTHING on High School Musical 1 or 2. Actually, this is partly true, because its 8.9 million viewers beat HSM's 7.8 million, but didn't even come close to HSM 2's 17.2 million. But enough about the ratings. This was about the movie itself. I am sad to say that I didn't care for it.
Now, I won't go into detail or be unnecessarily harsh, 'cause that's not what we do here at BlogwayBaby. So instead I'll focus on the positives. For example, the movie was shot at Kilcoo, a boys' camp that I went to with my school (note: I am not a boy) in 7th grade, so it was really cool recognizing all the places that I'd been when I went. To think, I once sat where Joe Jonas sat in the movie!!!!!
Also, I was particularly impressed with and pleasantly surprised at Jasmine Richards' performance. She was by far my favorite in the entire movie, and had a pretty nice voice to boot! It's hard sometimes to play the person sucked into the drama of the popular crowd, but I thought she did a fantastic job of not being too ditsy or wimpy. Bravo!
I will say one thing that upset me. The beauty of the High School Musical movies was that there were lots of book songs. However, in Camp Rock, every single song was "hey look we're singing a song now because that's what the characters would do in real life, get it??". Lots of musical styles were showcased, but the ability that High School Musical had to get kids interested in musical theatre was missing. I get it, I get it, it wasn't about musicals. I'm just saying that I kind of missed that part of it... (if even the Cheetah Girls do it, why can't Camp Rock, you know? Cue the angry hate mail... :S)
All in all, I was slightly disappointed, but I managed to sit through it, preferred it to watching regular TV, and had a fun evening with my sister. Therefore, 'twas a worthwhile experience. :-)
There's a new reality show in town, but this time, we know one of the judges! Elaine Overholt, my vocal coach and friend for many a year, is on the panel for the CBC series called "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" in which contestants are competing for the role of Maria in the North American premiere of The Sound of Music at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre in October 2008. The first episode aired on Sunday June 15th, and more will come every Sunday and Monday night at 8pm for 6 weeks. So tune in, because it's going to be awesome!!!!!!
Yes sirree, a musical based on the 1970s TV sitcom... You know, the whole gang, including The Fonz, Ritchie, Joanie, Chachie, Potsie, Ralph Malph, Mr. and Mrs. C...
The book is written by none other than Garry Marshalland the music and lyrics are by Paul Williams, of Kermit's "Rainbow Connection" fame, "An Old Fashioned Love Song", "We've Only Just Begun", and many other hits of the '70s. He also wrote the music to the Streisand hit "Evergreen". Kathleen Marshall is one of the producers.
Of course I asked her if the Happy Days Theme (It was written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox) was in the show, and yes, it appeared at the end.
Garry Marshall narrated the reading and apparently it was high-larious (big surprise -- he is just naturally funny!). It sounds like this was the very first reading and it's in somewhat of an embryonic stage. Apparently the music wasn't very rock 'n' roll-y, but more sentimental (very Paul Williams).
Exploring the depths of Arthur Fonzerelli's character should be quite the undertaking, so I'm interested in following the progress of this project.
So what's next from the '70s TV archives?
- Laverne and Shirley The Musical Revue?
- J.R. Does Dallas?
- "The Life" of T.J. Hooker?
- Three's "Company" (a salute to Sondheim...)
Inspired by the trials and tribulations of taste-monger and business icon Martha Stewart, writers John G. Ekizian and James-Allen Ford have created Martha! The Unauthorized Musical, the first act of which gets a June 27 reading in Manhattan.
The cast for the 7 PM industry reading includes Sally Wilfert (Assassins and Tom Sawyer) as domestic diva "Martha Blake" and Nora Mae Lyng (Forbidden Broadway and Into the Woods) as the working-class Polish mother who lovingly refers to her daughter as a "grandiose, opinionated, pain-in-the-ass."
According to the writers, "The show tells the life story of Martha Blake, who, with guile and glue gun, rises from her working class Polish roots to become doyenne of American domesticity and one of the most successful businesswomen in American history. There's also a nasty bit about insider trading thrown into the mix to assure that Martha! The Unauthorized Musical is a tale of Shakespearean proportions with a strong second act. No food icon goes unskewered as Martha gets help and advice from Julia Child (in a ballet, naturally) and Aunt Jemima…'the beloved yet politically incorrect icon associated with the inferior, mass-market pancake mix.'"
I really enjoyed Sara Ramirez' acceptance speech for her role as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (Best Featured Actress in a Musical).
Her first thank you was toClaritin, followed by "her doctors".
That's an interesting little peak into the demands of performing 8 times a week on Broadway. And Sara is belting out every female role in Spamalot, so she must be under a lot of pressure.
It reminded me of Kristen Chenoweth's appearance on Letterman a few weeks ago (here's the post) where she talked about the damage she sustained to her neck by constantly flipping her hair in her role as Glinda in Wicked. She had actually damaged her neck vertabrae by constantly throwing her hair back over the two years that she had been inWicked (rehearsals, SF try-outs, and Broadway). She was still moving her head very stiffly...now that's dedication to the craft!
Sara Ramirez also managed to provide one of the most suspenseful moments of the evening, at least for my husband...
As she got up to accept her Tony, she started madly adjusting her dress, primarily by lifting up the top to adjust her boobs. She continued adjusting her boobs right up to the podium...it was even money that she would drop them right out. Alas, it was not to be, although Hugh Jackman later commented that after Sara's acceptance speech, there were no longer Twelve Angry Men in the room...
Here's alink to an archive of all the acceptance speeches from the 2005 Tony Awards.
There was an interesting moment during the Tonys when Alan Alda came up to present an award.
Earlier in the evening, he'd lost the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play to his castmate from Glengarry Glen Ross, Liev Schreiber.
So, when he got to the podium to present the award, Alan Alda said to the audience (and I'm paraphrasing here): "Can I read you my acceptance speech...it's really funny..."
That got me thinking. We always hear from the people who win. Wouldn't it be interesting to hear all the acceptance speeches that were written, BUT NEVER GIVEN?
Hey, how 'bout a musical called "Acceptance Speech"...I can see it already, the ghosts of moments of glory that never came to be, paraded before us in an alternate universe of might-have-beens...
What they don't mention is that a certain 11-year old girl named Myrna Conn (that's MY Myrna) yelled out, 15 seconds to air in one of the commercial breaks "I LOVE YOU" to Hugh Jackman, who responded with "I love you too!" Hugh's reply was caught on air, so if you noticed a moment in the later part of the show where Hugh seems to be talking and smiling to someone in the audience, that's MY DAUGHTER HE'S TALKING TO...w00t!
A Night of Surprises
By Randy Gener
At the 2005 Tony Awards, everything is a surprise--the identities of the winners, the number of producers who will file onstage to receive a best play or best musical awards, the words the winners will say once they accept their trophies.
But, aside from who wins, there are other surprises that turn the annual ceremonies into a can't-miss event. And this year was no exception.
One surprise was that Billy Crystal, who won a 2005 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for his one-man show Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, turned out not to be the host of this year's ceremony. Although it was widely known that Hugh Jackman is actually this year's emcee, some audience members at Radio City Music Hall were briefly puzzled when Crystal was the one who appeared at the top of the show began announcing that all the musical numbers this year "will be sung by Beyonce--in French".
Jackman soon returned to his place in center stage, and another unexpected happening occurred when Christina Applegate, the Tony-nominated star of Sweet Charity, twirled around an onstage lamppost and toppled over into a pit. It turned out to be an elaborately choreographed--and very funny--bit leading in to Applegate's presentation of the Tony Award for Best Choreography.
Later in evening the Reverend Al Sharpton made an unexpected appearance as a spelling-bee contestant. He put on a numbered placard and took his place on stage, joining the very young and very multicultural cast of The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee. When his name was called, Sharpton approached the microphone and was asked to spell the word "dengue."
"Can you give me a definition please," Sharpton asked. And the reply was the dengue is a kind of hemorrhagic fever, caused by a virus, transmitted by mosquitoes and causing infected victims to feel skin rashes, headache, nausea and vomiting.
When the former presidential candidate failed to spell "dengue" correctly, the Spelling Bee cast escorted their bemused guest, in song, back to his seat.
A couple of other Tony surprises were improvised or choreographed moments that involved Hugh Jackman entertaining the Radio City Music Hall audience during TV commercials.
In one bit, Jackman publicly apologized to Matthew Broderick for Jackman's onstage antics when he danced with Broderick's wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, at the 2004 Tony ceremony.
Later Jackman took requests from the audience. Someone from the audience suggested that he sing "I Go to Rio" from The Boy from Oz, the show for which he won a Tony Award--and he did.
And to the delight of the Radio City audience, Jackman asked a couple of spectators (including a spirited female friend and a young man who sang from The Fantasticks) to come on stage. He gave them a chance to show their stuff. "Come on, go do it" Jackman suggested, egging the two on. "This house is full of Broadway producers."
Speaking of Jackman's irrepressible hosting antics, Radio City Music Hall audiences were amazed to find out, during a commercial break, that his well-received opening "Gotta Dance" solo number was written and arranged by composer Michael John LaChiusa, directed by George C. Wolfe, and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall. That's a lot of Broadway heavy-hitters.
Character actor Eddie Albert died May 26 at his home near Pacific Palisades, California, at the age of 99, leaving behind him decades' worth of performances on stage and in film and television.
The likably gruff, square-jawed Mr. Albert was perhaps best known for gentleman farmer Oliver Wendell Douglas he created in the 1960s sitcom "Green Acres," but his accomplishments in the theatre and in movies were equally impressive.
He made his Broadway debut in 1936 in the short-lived comedy O Evening Star. Later that same year, Garson Kanin cast him in a starring role in Brother Rat, which was produced by George Abbott.
Two more big roles follows: Room Service, a comedy produced and directed by Abbott, and The Boys From Syracuse, the classical musical by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, in which he played Antipholus of Syracuse.
Among Eddie Albert's most memorable early film roles were Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, a recovering alcoholic in Smash Up and a cowardly soldier in Attack. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Roman Holiday, the film that introduced Audrey Hepburn to the world. In it he played reporter Gregory Peck's sidekick, the womanizing beatnik photographer Irving Radovich.
That comic characterization would have been almost unrecognizable to audiences in the late '60s and '70s who were used to Mr. Albert's portrayals of autocratic, easily vexed stuffed shifts. In this mode, he played Cybill Shepherd's frosty father in 1972's The Heartbreak Kid (another Academy Award nomination) and Warren Hazen, the corrupt prison warden in 1974's The Longest Yard. And then there was the stuffed shirt of stuffed shirts, lawyer Holmes in "Green Acres," who did farm work in shirtsleeves and business vest, battled daily with the nonsense of the local yokels, and turned beet red at his wife Eva Gabor's sweet-natured dizziness.
The well-known theme song for the popular sitcom ("Green acres in the place for me/Farm living is the life for me") was sung by Mr. Albert, who by then had had more than his share of experience on the musical stage.
He will be missed.
No, this is not a task for the contestants on the TV show The Apprentice wherein they have to produce a Broadway show in one day. They are actually doing The Apprentice on Broadway! Apparently it will be a love story set within the reality show. Interesting idea. I'm curious to see who they get to write it...
Here's my submission for consideration:How are things on The Apprentice?
(sung to the tune of "How are Things in Glocca Morra?")
How are things on The Apprentice?
Are the guys and gals still fighting there?
Will there be a song about the task,
and need I ask,
applause for Donald's hair?
Frank Gorshin, the actor, comedian and impressionist known for playing the frisky Riddler in the 1960s TV series "Batman," died May 17 after a battle with lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia, a spokesman said.
Mr. Gorshin, 71, appeared in Broadway's "Say Goodnight, Gracie" in 2002-03, and in a national tour of it, playing the late comedian George Burns -- complete with gravelly voice, cigar, and receding silver hairpiece."
On stage, he made his Broadway debut in 1970 as the star of the musical "Jimmy", based on the life of New York Mayor Jimmy Walker. He also starred in touring or stock and regional companies of "What Makes Sammy Run"; "Promises, Promises"; "Peter Pan"; "Prisoner of Second Avenue"; "Deathtrap"; "Doubles"; "Ah, Wilderness!"; "On the 20th Century"; "Breaking Legs"; "Guys and Dolls"; and most recently "The Sunshine Boys", co-starring with Dick Van Patten. He also appeared in New York City in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Princess Ida."
Not only do I have vivid memories of his Riddler from TV's Batman (I'm sorry but Jim Carrey didn't even get close...) but one of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time starred Frank Gorshin with his face painted one half white and one half black.
I would have liked to see him perform on stage...
I was watching Letterman last night and he had Billy Crystalon as a guest. Billy is wrapping up his fantastically successful run of 700 Sundays on May 22. The show was also nominated for a Tony this week (in the category of "Best Special Theatrical Event"), as I mentioned in this previous post.
Dave asked Billy about a quote in the New York Post, wherein Billy was quoted as saying that his audience should "stick [their cellphones] up their ass."
Billy told a great story, which is in line with my Theatiquette post from January.
Specifically, Billy related a story where, during a particularly poignant part of the show when he was talking about the death of his parents, TWELVE cell phones rang. As a performer, Billy found it difficult to get through, but he soldiered on. At the end of the show, he came out, and made a little speech, saying (I'm paraphrasing here): "When you go to the theater, you should turn off your cellphone, leave it at home, OR STICK IT UP YOUR ASS".
The New York Post promptly pulled it out of context, and simply quoted the "ass" part.
BTW, I agree. There NO EXCUSE for having a phone ring during a show...
As I was watching the awesome The Partridge Family The Complete First Season DVD set that my fabulous husband bought for me, I kept wondering how I was going to rationalize doing a Partridge Family post.
Yes, I'll admit it -- I was a huge Partridge Familyfan (and I have ALL thealbums!) back in the bad old '70s. As I was revelling in watching the episodes, chuckling at the silly jokes, and swaying to the rhythms of "I'll Meet You Halfway" and "Come on Get Happy" I was trying to think of a way to sneak it onto Blogway Baby and keep it relevant to theater.
Of course the obvious connection to musicals is Shirley Jones, star of classic movie musicals such as Carousel and Oklahoma!, who played Shirley Partridge. She is the only other star (other than David Cassidy) who actually sang on those darn songs!
Then of course there's David Cassidy who went on to star in Blood Brothers on stage. I was so anxious to see my Tiger Beat idol in the touring production of Blood Brothers that came to Toronto that I went to see it twice! The first time I saw it, there he was in all his glory in the opening scene! But when they carried him off the stage on the stretcher, some stage hand dropped him and he was knocked out cold and we never saw him again that night (although the understudy did a fine job). So I had to go back a second time to get my full dose of Keith Partridge. I'm not proud of that, but I thought y'all should know.
Then of course, there are the guest stars -- the musical theater stars who popped in now and then to liven up an episode. Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow himself!) who played Shirley's dad was a frequent visitor. And I just finished watching an episode that starred John McMartin (he played Oscar Lindquist in the original Broadway production and movie version of Sweet Charity) as an old beau of Shirley's.
See, now that wasn't so hard!
According to this article in Playbill (and my TV) the 2004-2005 Tony Award nominations were announced this morning by Alan Cumming, Lynn Redgrave, Kate Burton and Brian Stokes Mitchell at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Not surprisingly, best musical nominations included Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Light in the Piazza, Monty Python's Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I have been anxious to see The Light In the Piazza ever since I read about it when it was playing at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Although Chitty and Little Women were not nominated in this category, both Erin Dilly and Sutton Foster, respectively, were nominated for best performance for a leading actress in a musical.
Christina Applegate was also nominated for the best performance for a leading actress in a musical (Sweet Charity was nominated as best revival of a musical). Maybe she should have also been nominated for the "Show Must Go On" award, given she is currently performing with a foot brace!
The full list of nominations is:Best Play
Author: Michael Frayn
Author: John Patrick Shanley
Gem of the Ocean
Author: August Wilson
Author: Martin McDonagh
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Light in the Piazza
Monty Python's Spamalot
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Philip Bosco, Twelve Angry Men
Billy Crudup, The Pillowman
Bill Irwin, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
James Earl Jones, On Golden Pond
Brían F. O'Byrne, Doubt
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Cherry Jones, Doubt
Laura Linney, Sight Unseen
Mary-Louise Parker, Reckless
Phylicia Rashad, Gem of the Ocean
Kathleen Turner, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Hank Azaria, Monty Python's Spamalot
Gary Beach, La Cage aux Folles
Norbert Leo Butz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Tim Curry, Monty Python's Spamalot
John Lithgow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Christina Applegate, Sweet Charity
Victoria Clark, The Light in the Piazza
Erin Dilly, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sutton Foster, Little Women
Sherie Rene Scott, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Alan Alda, Glengarry Glen Ross
Gordon Clapp, Glengarry Glen Ross
David Harbour, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Liev Schreiber, Glengarry Glen Ross
Michael Stuhlbarg, The Pillowman
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Mireille Enos, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Heather Goldenhersh, Doubt
Dana Ivey, The Rivals
Adriane Lenox, Doubt
Amy Ryan, A Streetcar Named Desire
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Dan Fogler, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Marc Kudisch, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Michael McGrath, Monty Python's Spamalot
Matthew Morrison, The Light in the Piazza
Christopher Sieber, Monty Python's Spamalot
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Joanna Gleason, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Jan Maxwell, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Kelli O'Hara, The Light in the Piazza
Sara Ramirez, Monty Python's Spamalot
Best Direction of a Play
John Crowley, The Pillowman
Scott Ellis, Twelve Angry Men
Doug Hughes, Doubt
Joe Mantello, Glengarry Glen Ross
Best Direction of a Musical
James Lapine, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Mike Nichols, Monty Python's Spamalot
Jack O’Brien, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Bartlett Sher, The Light in the Piazza
Wayne Cilento, Sweet Charity
Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Jerry Mitchell, La Cage aux Folles
Casey Nicholaw, Monty Python's Spamalot
Larry Hochman, Monty Python's Spamalot
Ted Sperling, Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin, The Light in the Piazza
Jonathan Tunick, Pacific Overtures
Harold Wheeler, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek
The Light in the Piazza
Music & Lyrics: Adam Guettel
Monty Python's Spamalot
Music: John Du Prez and Eric Idle; Lyrics: Eric Idle
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music & Lyrics: William Finn
Best Book of a Musical
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Jeffrey Lane
The Light in the Piazza, Craig Lucas
Monty Python's Spamalot, Eric Idle
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Rachel Sheinkin
Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Doubt
David Gallo, Gem of the Ocean
Santo Loquasto, Glengarry Glen Ross
Scott Pask, The Pillowman
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
Rumi Matsui, Pacific Overtures
Anthony Ward, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Michael Yeargan, The Light in the Piazza
Best Costume Design of a Play
Jess Goldstein, The Rivals
Jane Greenwood, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
William Ivey Long, A Streetcar Named Desire
Constanza Romero, Gem of the Ocean
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
Junko Koshino, Pacific Overtures
William Ivey Long, La Cage aux Folles
Catherine Zuber, The Light in the Piazza
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Pat Collins, Doubt
Donald Holder, Gem of the Ocean
Donald Holder, A Streetcar Named Desire
Brian MacDevitt, The Pillowman
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Christopher Akerlind, The Light in the Piazza
Mark Henderson, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Kenneth Posner, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Hugh Vanstone, Monty Python's Spamalot
Best Special Theatrical Event
Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance!
Producers: Creative Battery, Harley Medcalf and Boxjellyfish LLC
Producer: Showtime Networks
Producers: Janice Crystal, Larry Magid, Face Productions
Whoopi, the 20th Anniversary Show
Producers: Mike Nichols, Hal Luftig, Leonard Soloway, Steven M. Levy, Tom Leonardis, Eric Falkenstein, Amy Nederlander
Best Revival of a Play
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Glengarry Glen Ross
On Golden Pond
Twelve Angry Men
Best Revival of a Musical
La Cage aux Folles
Regional Theatre Tony Award
Theatre de la Jeune Lune
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
And from TonyAwards.com:
Productions with Multiple Nominations
14 - Monty Python's Spamalot
11 - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
11 - The Light in the Piazza
8 - Doubt
6 - Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
6 - Glengarry Glen Ross
6 - The Pillowman
6 - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
5 - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
5 - Gem of the Ocean
4 - La Cage aux Folles
4 - Pacific Overtures
3 - A Streetcar Named Desire
3 - Sweet Charity
3 - Twelve Angry Men
2 - On Golden Pond
2 - The Rivals
Best of luck to all the nominees - and hey, it's an honor just to be on stage with Hugh Jackman!
I've been listening to the original cast recording of The MAD Show -- A New Musical Revue based on MAD Magazine, which opened Off-Broadway at the New Theatre on January 9, 1966 and ran for 871 performances.
Being a big reader of MAD Magazine since I could read, (I especially loved the "Sung to the Tune of" comedy songs) I was excited to get the CD. The music is by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, Larry Siegel and Steven Vinaver, and book by Larry Siegel and Stan Hart. The cast includes Linda Lavin, Macintyre Dixon, Dick Libertini, Paul Sand and Jo Anne Worley (how great is that line up!). Of course, the production was conceived and directed by "Alfred E. Neuman".
There are some wonderful anecdotes in the liner notes (hey, that rhymes!) written by Mary Rodgers in 2004. In 1965 the creators got permission from Bill Gaines, the publisher of MAD, to create a musical revue on the condition that he had the right to toss out any material he didn't like. She goes on to say:
So anyway, two days before rehearsals were to begin, Bill Gaines finally decides to exercise his option. He wants to hear the material. Picture this: A nasty, hot little attic room above the New Theatre. Bill Gaines and his MAD Mag suits, Columbia Records execs (they had, sight unseen or heard, agreed to produce the album) and their suits, Steven Vinaver in his suit (tweedy) Stan, Larry and Mary, nondescriptly attired, huddled in a corner, Sam Pottle the musical director looking like your normal Yalie, which he was, poised to play the out-of-tune upright, and: Marshall wearing pointy boots, jeans, a shirt festooned with yesterday's tuna fish sandwich, and a fringed leather jacket. He is foaming at the mouth from an overdose of Tums, squinting at his coffee-stained, unpaginated bunch of lyrics, putting on his distance glasses, taking off his distance glasses, losing his distance glasses (resting on his head). He stumbles through the entire score at the end of which SILENCE. Bill Gaines rises. Reminds the room of his right to toss out any material he doesn't like. And what doesn't he like? Everything. He doesn't like everything. Couple of tunes, maybe, but otherwise, forget it. This is Friday, remember? And we start rehearsal on Monday. What me worry? You betcha!
Needless to say rewrites were done, presented and approved. The MAD Show opened on time "to some pretty terrific reviews" and ran for over two years.
Listening to the show you get an overwhelming sense of the good-natured, innocent, and joyous parody. Despite the hilarious parody it never feels cynical, or bitter, or self-congratulatory. I loved it. It's definitely comedy first, and music second but it totally works. It also really feels like a musical version of MAD magazine, which stands in comparison to the current late night show MAD TV, which although funny at times doesn't feel like MAD magazine at all. My favorite numbers are "Misery Is" (a charming send up of "Happiness Is" from You're A Good Man Charlie Brown), "The Boy From..." ( the classic parody of "The Girl From Ipanema") and Kiddie TV (Pompus Room is a hilarious send up of Romper Room).
The lyrics to "The Boy From..." are credited to Esteban Ria Nido. Ted Chaplin explains this in a super cool anecdote:
Spanish to English: Esteban = Stephen. Ria = river. Nido = nest. German to English: Sond = sound, or body of water, as in "Long Island Sound." Heim = home, or nest. In thePlaybill for The MAD Show the lyricist of "The Boy From..." is listed as Nom De Plume. Here is what this all means: when Mary Rodgers was in the pickle she describes above, she called on her friend Stephen Sondheim to help out. This was the year of "Do I Hear A Waltz?" Sondheim was a determined as ever to make his mark as a composer and lyricist. So instead of telling the world right off that this would be another set of Sondheim lyrics -- brilliant, one might add -- he decided to take a "nom de plume", or pen name, and translate his own name into Spanish, in keeping with the South American nature of the song parodied, "The Girl From Ipanema." (Musical theater buffs take note: turns out "The Girl from Ipanema" was originally intended for a musical comedy entitled "Blimp" which, as far as we know, was never produced.) Once Sondheim's career became established with "Company" and "Follies" and the rest, he removed the puzzle from his own participation in "The Boy From...".
Wow. Sondheim is connected to MAD Magazine. I have a whole new level of respect for him!
While watching Oliver! a couple of days ago, I was wracking my brain with the kid who played the "Artful Dodger": He looked so familiar. So I looked up the actor (Jack Wild), and it all came rushing back.
Of course: H.R. PUF 'N' STUF...Get outta town! He's Jack Wild, teen idol from the '70s! This article does a great job of summarizing his career and current status, which follows the usual arc of Early Success followed by Drugs and Debauchery followed by Attempted Comeback. Ah, isn't Hollywood wonderful...
For Jack Wild, success came early and big. Discovered by an agent while playing soccer in a London park with his older brother, Arthur, Jack was enrolled in a actors school and began going on auditions at the age of 11.
As with many other boy-actors in the London area, he was cast in the stage production ofOliver!, and joined with hundreds of other castmates at the audition for the film. Jack won the plum role The Artful Dodger, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his efforts.
At the Hollywood premiere of Oliver!, Jack was introduced to puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft, who decided that Jack would be the perfect young actor to play the lead in their upcoming saturday-morning kids program, H.R. Puf 'n' Stuf. Jack and his brother left London for the US, and moved in with Marty Krofft and his family while they filmed 17 episodes of the series plus a feature film based on the show.
A true sensation, 15-year-old Jack Wild became the darling of the teen magazines with a profitable recording contract and active career in films, incluing a starring role Alan Parker's first fim, Melody.
After a few years, Jack faded from the limelight, and as with many of his idol cohorts fell in to several years of obscurity, depression and alcohol abuse.
Now clean and sober, Jack is seeking a comeback as an actor. He has appeared in several productions in the past few years, including a role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and a more recent part in a London stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (as the Cowardly Lion). He is currently working on his autobiography and has also been soliciting a script treatment of a sequel to Oliver!
Bart, Bart...and now I've been reminded of another famous musical theater Bart: Bart Simpson, that is...
In the episode they do a big "musical theater" finish as they shout "Streetcar". That has now become the cliche expression I use whenever somebody insists on a traditional big finish. It's also funny because in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, for many years, they used A Streetcar Named Desire as a songwriting exercise.
I think I'm outta Barts for now...I'll leave with a big finish and the some lyrics from the showOh Streetcar! (also BTW, a take-off on Oh! Calcutta!)
Long before the Superdome
Where the Saints of football play...
Lived a city that the damned call home
Hear their hellish rondelet...
Home of pirates, drunks and whores
Tacky overpriced souvenir stores
If you want to go to hell, you should take a trip
To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip'
Stinking, Rotten, vomiting, vile
Putrid, brackish, maggotty, foul
Crummy, lousy, rancid, and rank
My daughter is practising some songs from You're A Good Man Charlie Brown for an upcoming audition and we were thinking how great it would have been to have seen Roger Bart (Snoopy) and Kristin Chenoweth (Sally) in the 1999 revival of said show.
They both won Tonys for their performances...sigh.
Anyways, then I got to thinking about how Roger Bart was the one redeeming feature of the movie remake of The Stepford Wives, and how much I enjoyed him on his stint on Desperate Housewives. And how he was a highlight of The Frogs when I saw it at the Lincoln Center last summer.
Then don't you know I go and read in Playbill that he's coming back to The Producers on Broadway May 3 to July 3 reprising his role as Leo Bloom (next to Richard Kind whom I know from Mad About You and Spin City: Who knew he could sing?).
I've always regretted not seeing Roger as Carmen Ghi , his original The Producers role.(although he'll do that in the movie version!) This is my chance to set things right! I wanna see him as a producer!
She's On Fire!
Wow, Kristin Chenoweth seems to be everywhere these days -- doing a Dolly Parton impersonation on Letterman, singing for Katie Couric, appearing in The West Wing, and filming the movies Bewitched,The Pink Panther, Asphalt Beach, Running with Scissors, and Stranger Than Fiction.
Hollywood Reporter says that the biopic will be written and directed by Jessica Sharzer, the recipient of a 2002 student Academy Award for the movie "Speak," which she wrote and directed. The Springfield film, which will focus on the singer's life in the sixties and the recording of her classic album, "Dusty in Memphis," will be produced by Universal's Marc Platt, actress Chenoweth and Untitled Entertainment's Danielle Thomas. Springfield's manager, Vicki Wickham, will serve as a consultant for the motion picture.
Dusty Springfield was born Mary O'Brien in the U.K. in 1939. Her many hits included "I Only Want to Be With You," "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" and "Son of a Preacher Man." The latter was released on her album "Dusty in Memphis," which is often regarded as her finest release. Springfield battled substance abuse and faced financial difficulties, although she did have another hit in the nineties when recorded the duet, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?," with the Pet Shop Boys. Springfield died of cancer in 1999. She was 59.
Now that sounds right -- acting and singing. I love Kristin, so don't get me wrong, but she's just not working for me on The West Wing. I saw her in Epic Proportions, a not-so-great play that opened on Broadway in 1999. She was very funny and she always exudes that special star quality, but I love her best when she acts and sings: Then she's totally unstoppable!
Even more exciting (for me at least) is that according to this article from Broadwayworld, Kristin will star in the final City Center Encores! production of the 2004/2005 season: The Apple Tree in May.
Kristin Chenoweth is set to star in The Apple Tree, the final Encores! presentation of the 2004-5 Season, it was announced by Artistic Director Jack Viertel and Music Director Rob Fisher. The engagement, which runs May 12-16, 2005, also marks Mr. Fisher's final production as Encores! Music Director - a position he has held for Encores! entire 12-year history. The production is directed by Gary Griffin.
The Apple Tree features music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Fiorello!); and a book by Messrs. Bock, Harnick and Jerome Coopersmith.
The Apple Tree is a unique and innovative evening of three one-act musicals about men, women and a little thing called temptation from one of Broadway's most beloved songwriting teams. Act I is based on Mark Twain's "The Diary of Adam and Eve", Act II on Frank R. Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?", and Act III on Jules Feiffer's "Passionella". Notable songs include "What Makes Me Love Him?"; "Go To Sleep Whatever You Are"; and "Oh, To Be A Movie Star".
Under the direction of Mike Nichols in his first musical outing, The Apple Tree opened at the Shubert Theatre on October 18, 1966 where it played for 463 performances. The original Broadway cast featured Alan Alda and Barbara Harris. The show was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical; with a win for Harris as Best Actress in a Musical.
I saw an old excerpt from this musical on Broadway's Lost Treasures.
It was an adorable scene called "Passionella" about a woman (Ella) who works as a chimney sweep during the day, and dreams of being a movie star at night. Then, one day her Fairy Godmother (on the TV) transforms her into a Marilyn Monroe-type gorgeous voluptuous blonde (Passionella).Barbara Harris played the role of Ella/Passionella and she was amazing. She also won the Tony for it.
I can totally see Kristin Chenoweth doing it. She certainly has the figure to pull off the voluptuous side of the character...I know that Letterman would agree based on the way that he ogled her the other night!
I'm wishin' and hopin' that I can see it!
Back in my impressionable youth I watched a lot of TV. A lot. I used to fake illness and spend the day at home watching TV. That's where I developed my passion for old movies, and movie musicals (Fred and Ginger to be specific). I did all my homework in front of the television (math was particularly easy to do with the boob tube on). I would memorize the TV Guide listings so my sisters only had to ask what was on and I would give them the complete line up for the evening. In addition to my love of old movies I developed of love of advertising. And back in the good old days of the late sixties and seventies they had lots of great jingles that I still carry around in my brain. Who can sing the jingle from Mystery Date board game -- "Open the door to your mystery date!" Love the internal rhyme, man!
Yeah, yeah, I've read the Ogilvy bible and I did hard time in Procter & Gamble's marketing division for advertisng deliquents. Even ran an advertising agency (ConnAd of course!) with my hubbie. Of course, it's no coincidence that my husband loves advertising and has devoted his career to it in some form or another. But it was watching every episode of Bewitched that really helped develop my truly deep understanding of the craft of advertising, and the hard, hard work involved.
About that the old joke -- for some reason advertising is generally viewed as morally despicable and dare I say, evil. Don't get me wrong: It drives me nuts with its pandering, inane, irrevelant and irritating messages. But on the othe hand I love advertising when it is great. And I love watching advertising executives and creatives portrayed on the screen and stage, as the industry is ususally given a sexy (and lovably silly) sheen in those movies and TV shows. (World Wide Widget anyone?)
So the Golden Age of Advertising (all those wonderfully goofy sexist campaigns!) was something I just had to include in Plane Crazy, especially since advertising has a spotty history in its portrayal of women. And it was an "ad woman", Mary Wells, who was the brains behind the Braniff Airlinessexy and Pucci-esque repositioning. But when I poke fun at the industry and the advertising execs it is done with love, comes from my experience, and hopefully rings true.
I was watching a great old musical on BRAVO last night. You know the kind that you can have on in the background while you do other stuff, stopping occasionally to take in a great song or dance number? It was the story of three navy nurses played by Joan Evans (redhead) Vivian Blaine (blonde, of Guys and Dolls Adelaide fame) and Esther Williams (brunette).
And of course, lots of swimming. You hear about how famous Esther Williams was, but it's hard to believe until you see a film with a bunch of neato swimming scenes. She was known as "The Million Dollar Mermaid", and it's the first movie I've ever seen with gratuitous "swimming" shots in it...including a great scene where Esther joins two young children in the pool and creates a very cute performance with some great little swimmers complete with a toy ladder and sailboat.
Did people really enjoy watching her swim? It's interesting enough, but it does feel a bit weird since it isn't tied into the story at all. Her character just takes the occasional choreographed dip in the pool! I guess you had to be there...
I tuned in late, so I didn't know the title until the very end, and it was hilariously calledSkirts Ahoy...wow, times really do change...especially since 1952! This gem even has the song "What Goods a Girl Without a Guy".
Maybe I should call Plane Crazy "Stews Ahoy"...
In the story, Esther plays Whitney Young who leaves her fiance at the altar and joins the Navy. There she meets two other young ladies who are also having trouble with love. One was left at the altar, and one just can't be in the right place at the right time.
They decide they want to travel the world and forget about men altogether, that is until Whitney meets and falls in love with her Lt. Commander. From then on, all she wants to do is win him over whatever the cost. The other two girls play out their own stories of how they find happiness.
Wow, this sounds like fun...a three hour concert celebrating the songs of Stephen Sondheim (he just turned 75). It was particularly interesting to read that several episodes of Desperate Housewivesare named after Stephen Sondheim tunes, the result of Desperate Housewives exec producer Marc Cherry's love of Sondheim. That's cool!
Here's the article fromBroadwayWorld.com:
There's not a tune you can hum, not a tune you go bum-bum-bum-di-dum? Have people actually said such a thing about Stephen Sondheim's musicals?!
If it were true, how on earth could Symphony Space have put together the three-hour concert that closed out Saturday's Wall to Wall Sondheim, a 12-hour spree of performances, reminiscences and panel discussions held in honor of the composer's 75th birthday. Yes, the Sondheim zealots -- some of whom waited in the cold all day to get in -- were plotzing at a succession of performances by Angela Lansbury, George Hearn and other Sondheim vets. But even if you had just stumbled in from under the proverbial rock, you would have had to been entranced by the sheer loveliness of the music. As arranged by the likes of Jonathan Tunick and Jason Robert Brown, as sung by everyone from the Juilliard Choral Union to Patti LuPone, and as played by an orchestra under the direction of the tireless Paul Gemignani, almost every song in the concert sounded so...melodic...tuneful...so pretty. (Y'know, all those things Sondheim has been accused of not being.) Has any opera company ever delivered a multi-voice euphony as divine as Wall to Wall's "A Weekend in the Country"?
Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus!
Christmas comes early to Broadway! Today, Playbillconfirmed that Hugh Jackman will host the 2005 Tony Awards! My husband and I were betting on who was going to host the awards this year (yes, I know, we need to get out more...). We both thought Hugh wouldn't do it, so I said it was going to be John Lithgow or Jason Alexander, but definitely a man. My husband thought it might be Ellen Degeneres...but definitely a woman. Then last night we both thought for SURE it would be Billy Crystal since he is a great host and on Broadway this season with 700 Sundays.
I'm glad to say we both lost the bet, but it is an honor just to be nominated!
That Boy From Oz, Hugh Jackman -- who will soon open Las Vegas' Wynn Resort with a solo concert directed by George C. Wolfe -- will return as host of this year's annual Tony Awards telecast.
The 59th Annual Tony Awards will mark Jackman's third consecutive year as host. This year's awards will be executive produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss. In a statement Weiss said, "We are very excited to be working with Hugh Jackman on the Tony Awards again. Hugh has proved himself time and time again to be the perfect host, with all the talent fitting for a show honoring the exceptional talents of the Broadway community."
As previously announced, the 2005 Tony Awards will once again be held at Radio City Music Hall and will be broadcast by CBS from 8 to 11 PM. Sunday, June 5 is the date.
Hugh Jackman received a Tony Award for his portrayal of the late Peter Allen in TheBoy From Oz. He received an Olivier Award nomination for his work in the London revival of Oklahoma! and an MO Award for his performance as Joe Gillis in the Australian production of Sunset Boulevard. Jackman's film credits include The X-Men,Someone Like You, Swordfish, Kate and Leopold (Golden Globe nomination) and Van Helsing.