Photo Flash: Words and Music Screening
The Lambs Club hosted a private preview screening last night of the new NJN/PBS documentary - Words and Music by Jerry Herman, a film by Amber Edwards. † This new documentary chronicles the life and career of one of Musical Theater's iconic figures: Jerry Herman, the composer and lyricist of the smash hit shows Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage Aux Folles.
Attending last night's screening were performers and collaborators from Jerry Herman's Broadway musicals included Donald Pippin (Herman's long-time musical director/arranger), Terry Marone (Milk and Honey), Marge Champion, (who appears in the film) Sondra Lee, Alice Playten, Harvey Evans, Lee Roy Reams, Gordon Connell, Ron Young (Hello, Dolly!), Hilda Harris, Nancy Lynch, RAndy Phillips, Sheila Smith, Casper Roos, Eileen Casey (Mame), Nicole Barth (Dear World), Bert and Pat Michaels (Mack & Mabel), and Walter Charles, Lee Roy Reams, Harvey Evans and Sheila Smith (La Cage Aux Folles).
The 90-minute film by award-winning filmmaker Amber Edwards, of NJN Public Television, chronicles Jerry Herman's rise from witty off-Broadway revues during the 1950s, to his first Broadway successes in the 1960s ( Milk and Honey, followed by Hello, Dolly! and Mame), through the 1970s (Dear World, Mack & Mabel, and The Grand Tour ) to his 1983 triumph La Cage Aux Folles, which also made social and political history. The star-studded "supporting cast" including Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Charles Nelson Reilly, Marge Champion, Arthur Laurents, Michael Feinstein, Charles Strouse, Fred Ebb, George Hearn, Phyllis Newman, Francine Pascal, Musical Director Donald Pippin, and theater historians Miles Kreuger and Ken Bloom.
Nearly five years in the making, the film incorporates a remarkable collection of photographs and archival footage (much of it never seen in public before) including Carol Channing doing the original Hello Dolly title song; Donald Pippin's personal Super-8 films of Angela Lansbury in Mame and Dear World; numbers from Mack & Mabel (a cult favorite among aficionados;) scenes from La Cage ; and most astonishingly, film of the college musical Jerry wrote while at University of Miami.
The screening was followed by a Q&A period with Amber Edwards, the filmmaker, during which Jerry Herman "alumni" shared their own backstage stories. The Lambs Club preview of this documentary was presented courtesy of Amber Edwards and NJN; an airdate for the documentary will be announced later.
Photos by Charlie Siedenburg