I am a retired special ed teacher from the NYC area. I have been a fan of Broadway shows since I saw the Mary Martin PETER PAN at the Winter Garden. I have an excellent collection of Broadway cast albums and GYPSY memorabilia, including a signed engraving of the Hirschfeld drawing of the main 1959 players in GYPSY.
Prettiest/Ugliest Broadway theaters Jun 28
2012, 08:48:55 AM I think that the ANTA theatre, which I had mentioned in an earlier post, became the VIRGINIA, before it became the AUGUST WILSON. It was while it was the VIRGINIA that it was an ugly black box, where JELLY'S LAST JAM played. I have not been back there, but am glad that as the AUGUST WILSON it has been spruced up. I very much care what a theatre looks like, both exterior but mainly interior. It is fitting that the beautiful WINTER GARDEN was the site of my first Broadway show: the Mary Martin PET
Any talk of a “Sunshine Boys” transfer? Jun 26
2012, 02:29:09 PM The SUNSHINE BOYS is one of my favorite plays. I saw Jack Klugman and Tony Randall give terrific performances at the Lyceum many years ago. The film with George Burns and Walter Mathau is excellent, also. I would love to see a transfer from London. I think it would be very popular over here.
Which recent shows do you think will eventually get revivals? Jun 24
2012, 08:34:42 AM I saw the original production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in 1960. I went to the theatre with misgivings, but ended up loving the musical. It has a very strong book and, except for the cloying "Do Re Mi" has an excellent score. But why change the orchestrations? With the right cast, including the 2nd leads, it could be a hit again. When was it last revived?
Prettiest/Ugliest Broadway theaters Jun 24
2012, 08:13:33 AM You can keep to your status quo if you want to. But the activity going on onstage has absolutely nothing to do with the beauty or ugliness of the theatre.
For me, the most beautiful theatres are the Winter Garden, the Shubert, and the old Mark Hellinger, but I should not be forgetting the New Amsterdam, even though I have never seen a show there. Oh, forgot to mention the Al Hirschfeld.
The ugliest theatres are the Gershwin, the Minskoff, the Ambassador and the old Anta Theatre
Here's Love (1963) Jun 22
2012, 07:52:49 AM I saw HERE'S LOVE appropriately in the Christmas season. The theatre was half full, despite a score by Meredith Willson. I found it to be a downer, from start to finish. Give me the movie, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET with it's great cast, especiallly Edmund Gwen as Kris Kringle and Gene Lockhart as the judge.
Streisand Still Doing Gypsy Jun 22
2012, 07:38:08 AM Despite the naysayers, I am still interested in how this whole project develops and hope that there will be occasional threads on the topic. It is so outlandish that it must be true. Remember, truth is stranger than fiction.
The 10 best theater duets in history Jun 19
2012, 01:14:48 PM What about Ethel Merman and Mary Martin singing a whole host of duets for the Ford 50th Anniversary celebration on TV in the 1950's? They were famous for that show. It is on You Tube and a DVD is also available.
Nathan Lane Jun 19
2012, 08:38:53 AM I thoroughly enjoyed Nathan Lane in GUYS AND DOLLS, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and as the lead in the ENCORES version of Jule Styne's DO RE MI. I also enjoyed him in THE BIRDCAGE. Nathan Lane is one of a kind, a treasure really.
Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music Jun 19
2012, 08:12:41 AM GavestonPS spells out all of the numbers that the great Patricia Neway participated in in the 1960 stage version of the SOUND OF MUSIC. I saw that production and was extremely impressed with Neway's big, glorious voice. She deserved her Tony. Incidentally, she passed away during this current Broadway season and was remembered in the Tony Memoriam which was unfortunately not televised, but which was posted elsewhere.
Help me, please! Jun 19
2012, 07:34:04 AM For orchestral scores you might try Colony Records on Broadway and 47th or the Drama Bookshop (not sure of the address).
Most boring musicals Jun 16
2012, 06:40:22 AM THE RED SHOES is a sad story. Jule Styne had been working on it for years and as it turned out, it was to be his last musical. I was at a preview, sitting across the aisle from Jerome Robbins whose assistant was taking notes. At the intermission, Robbins sat with Jule Styne and the two did not look happy. But there is a sort of happy ending. The extended ballet with Jule Styne's music was added to the repertoire of the New York City Ballet. Styne's ballet music lives on, even if not on Broadway.
Will Iceman cometh to Broadway? Jun 15
2012, 09:04:11 AM The New York Times in today's paper paints a somewhat rosier picture about the possibility of a transfer to Broadway of the acclaimed Chicago production of THE ICEMAN COMETH, despite producer Rudin's bowing out of the picture. I hope it happens. I would pay top dollar to see it.
HARVEY Reviews Jun 15
2012, 07:41:41 AM But, Henrikegerman, almost all of the reviewers of HARVEY love it and Jim Parsons. The lone dissenter seems to be the Associated Press reviewer who hated it. Only he fits your description of different reviewers being from different planets.
re: broadway salaries Jun 13
2012, 07:33:22 AM Interesting statistics, Pal Joey. I seem to remember at the time that Merman was in GYPSY, Variety reported that she was getting a salary of $5,000 per week. Is there any truth to that as far as you know? Might that have been as a guarantee against 5% of the gross? $5,000 was a lot of money back in 1959.
It's time for Matthew Broderick... Jun 12
2012, 02:19:05 PM Referring to the poster who saw him on the street looking absolutely miserable, Matthew Broderick may suffer from chronic depression. It is hard to look cheerful when you are severely depressed. I know, because I have chronic depression for which I take medication which is only somewhat helpful. That and his back problems may account for his demeanor. Just a thought.
Tonys discussion thread Jun 11
2012, 09:31:06 AM Rjm516: The original full operatic version took place at the Alvin Theatre(now the Neil Simon), on Broadway. And substituting spoken dialogue for sung recitative is a form of talking down to the audience. I read enough about this production over the months to know that this was not for me.
Tonys discussion thread Jun 11
2012, 09:15:11 AM I am grateful that PORGY AND BESS did not win for Best Orchestrations. To have not used George Gershwin's own orchestrations was a travesty of justice and one reason that I refused to see this show. I understand that I missed out on seeing a powerful performance by Audra McDonald. Perhaps she will one day perform in a full, Gershwin orchestrated production that does not talk down to the audience.
John Davidson in THE FANTASTICKS Jun 10
2012, 07:01:10 AM I saw the original production of THE FANTASTICKS at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in the Village in the early 1960's, with the original lead, Jerry Orbach. It was magical.
Dollypop, I enjoyed reading your extensive interview of John Davidson. Re. his appearance in the short lived FOXY, his description of the forever down Bert Lahr is consistent with other accounts I have read. It is a shame that Lahr seemed so insecure since he was such a very funny man. Next to Margaret Hamilton, Ber
The thing(s) that worry me about the Jun 9
2012, 01:14:12 PM Having seen the original production, but with Harve Presnell, on a New Year's Eve, I have to say I was underwhelmed. The theatre was filled with kids who talked constantly when the musical numbers were over. This upcoming production looks like it is being cast very carefully, and its fans are going on about it so. I shall have to give it another look. I particularly respect Smaxie who feels very positive about ANNIE as a show.