FLASH FRIDAY: Jule Styne Jubilation! From FUNNY GIRL To GYPSY To PETER PAN & Beyond
In honor of the 50th anniversary of FUNNY GIRL and this weekend's sure-to-be spectacular BroadwayWorld special event EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE, today we honor the man behind the music for many of the greatest musicals of all time.
The Luckiest People In The World
This weekend, a slew of astonishingly gifted stars shall descend on the Public Theater's legendary Joe's Pub for a once in a lifetime evening celebrating the one and only Jule Styne. Given that it is a BroadwayWorld event, we will be providing a livestream as it happens on Sunday night starting at 7 PM for those around the world eager to sneak a peek at the proceedings, while a future DVD and CD release of the event is also planned for later this year. Nevertheless, there is nothing quite like hearing a stupendous performer have their way with a memorable Styne melody live and I can personally guarantee you that the evening is positively packed to the brim with such excitement - overflowing, actually.
Of course, that is not the only major Jule Styne-related historical moment to cherish in our purview - Styne's unforgettable musical masterpiece FUNNY GIRL is also celebrating its 50th anniversary, with a sensational new deluxe special edition box set just released. Featuring a brand new remastered original Broadway cast album on both CD and vinyl, the box set also boasts an informative and visually arresting new book all about the creation of the major Golden Age musical as well as a spotlight on its incomparable title star, Barbra Streisand.
Surely, for fans of FUNNY GIRL, it would be unconscionable to request a more impressively comprehensive and exhaustive tip of the top hat to one of musical theatre's most fondly-remembered shows, scores and star than this box set destined to beat the band - any band outside of a Jule Styne orchestra, that is! After all, those who know and love FUNNY GIRL are, to quote the enduring "People", "the luckiest people in the world"... and always will be.
For some background on the man behind the music himself: Jule Styne is a Tony Award- and Academy Award-winning composer known for writing over 1500 songs over the course of his career, including scores for such notable Broadway musicals as GYPSY, FUNNY GIRL, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, PETER PAN, BELLS ARE RINGING, DO RE MI, SUGAR and HALLELUJAH, BABY! Teaming with lyricist Sammy Cahn in the 1940s, he also created a string of Hit Parade leaders and chart-topping hits, including the Oscar-winning "Three Coins In The Fountain" besides many hits culled from his film, TV and theatre scores. In addition to Sammy Cahn, Styne's illustrious collaborators include Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Bob Merrill, Leo Robin and E.Y. Harburg, with their combined efforts over the years having produced such unforgettable showstopping standards as "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Don't Rain On My Parade", "Let Me Entertain You", "The Party's Over", "People", "Never Never Land", "Just In Time", and "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend", just to name a few - many of which will be performed on Sunday night in this elegant Mother's Day fundraising event.
Additionally, the astounding list of performers who have taken on Styne's rich and varied song catalogue over the decades contains many of the most highly-regarded performers of the 20th and 21st century, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Doris Day, Ethel Merman, Barbra Streisand and many more. After all, what would the world be without Carol Channing (and, later, Marilyn Monroe) having her way with "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES? Or, better yet, Ethel Merman belting "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from GYPSY all the way to the rafters and Barbra Streisand blasting "Don't Rain On My Parade" from FUNNY GIRL into the stratosphere? Such are the myriad majesties of a composer and canon with few equals in musical theatre history - or anywhere else, for that matter.
Order your copy of FUNNY GIRL: Original Cast Recording - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Box Set here. More information on EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE is available here.
So, now, let's take a look at some of the most memorable and adored of all of Jule Styne's countless hit tunes.
First up, Michael Feinstein talks with Jule Styne himself about his legendary life and career.
Next, iconic composer Marvin Hamlisch honors Jule Styne.
FUNNY GIRL originator, the one and only Barbra Streisand, salutes Jule Styne with a medley on her recent BACK TO BROOKLYN tour.
Also, Streisand sings two FUNNY GIRL showstoppers in her 2006 international tour.
After that, see Dame Shirley Bassey makes "Time After Time" come alight.
Now, Frank Sinatra creates a classic with "Just In Time" from BELLS ARE RINGING.
Marilyn Monroe enacts "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" as only she could.
Ethel Merman stops the show with "Everything's Coming Up Roses".
Mary Martin sings PETER PAN's most famous anthem, "Never Never Land".
Leslie Uggams shows us why she took home the Tony Award for HALLELUJAH, BABY! on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
The cast of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW pay homage to Jule Styne.
Enjoy this wide-ranging remembrance of Jule Styne featuring many of his most famous collaborators.
Lastly, Judy Garland and Mel Torme team up for "The Party's Over" from BELLS ARE RINGING.
As a special bonus, enjoy the holiday Styne standard "Let It Snow!" as performed by Michael Buble.
So, what precisely is it about the music of Jule Styne that so expertly and evocatively conjures up the sassy brassiness characteristic of the classic Broadway sound so many of us know and love unconditionally? Furthermore, what score showcases his vast composorial skills best of all in your estimation? Most challengingly, which song is your personal favorite of them all? With so many hits and so many hidden gems, it is nearly impossible to list all the valid and wonderful reasons why Jule Styne is one of Broadway's very best - and outright impossible to select a favorite showstopper.
From This Author Pat Cerasaro