Pictures of Broadway Stars in Summer Stock

broadwaydanwi
Stand-by
joined:2/25/08

Hello from Milwaukee!

I just posted 82 new production photographs of Broadway stars performing at Melody Top Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Click on the link in this message, and you will see pictures of these stars:

Jo Anne Worley in HELLO, DOLLY! and ANYTHING GOES
Arte Johnson in FINIAN'S RAINBOW and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Holland Taylor in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Robert Mandan in CHICAGO
Anne Jeffreys in FOLLIES and HIGH BUTTON SHOES
Leonard Nimoy in THE KING & I and MY FAIR LADY
Van Johnson and Harvey Evans in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Nancy Dussault as PETER PAN
Irene Cara in THE WIZ
Rita Moreno and Tab Hunter in BELLS ARE RINGING

Plus plenty of other shows starring Nanette Fabray, Dorothy Collins, Karen Morrow, Gretchen Wyler, Ann Blyth, Jane Powell, Ed Ames, Giorgio Tozzi, Margaret Whiting, George Chakiris, Orson Bean, Johnny Desmond, Mimi Hines and Peter Palmer!

I also posted a wonderful story about an apprentice who helped Betty White with her pre-performance jitters during a run of SOUTH PACIFIC in 1965.

I hope all of you enjoy seeing these rare, historical images!

By the way, the color picture in this message is from ONCE UPON A MATTRESS in 1974.
Memories of Melody Top Production Pictures Page

Demitri2
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/05
Thanks so much for your post. Summer stock casting has always fascinated me. Some of my favorite musical roles performed in stock have even surpassed their Broadway equivalents.
husk_charmer
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/06
This is actually really cool!
http://www.youtube.com/huskcharmer
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
Fabulous.
Updated On: 2/13/10 at 08:44 PM
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
Does Summer Stock still exist at all?
BroadwayBound115
Broadway Legend
joined:5/9/08
Oh yes it does. A lot of my friends are going to the auditions right now.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
These pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them.

I was particularly happy to see David Holliday in a few of them. I did "South Pacific" with him, ages ago. A wonderful performer, and his Emile DeBecque was terrific. What a voice!
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Fanb
Featured Actor
joined:12/4/09
These are great. Is that a photo of Nanette Fabray?
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
I'd be interested to know just what "stars" appear in Summer Stock these days. The whole concept fascinates me, and living on the other side of the Pacific where we've never had anything like this I love seeing/hearing about it.
broadwaydanwi
Stand-by
joined:2/25/08

Not too many "stars" tour in summer stock. Sometimes a performer with TV credits will do a production or two over the summer, but the "star" system is almost gone in stock theatres.

Peninsula Players, in Door County, Wisconsin, is going to celebrate its 75th anniversary this summer. It is one of the last remaining summer stock venues in the country. Please check out the website; I put a link in this message.
Peninsula Players

The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Penninsula Players may be one of the few EQUITY summer stocks remaining in the country, but there are a gazillion non-Equity summer stocks out there. Just ask all the college kids and recent grads going to the MWTA's, UPTA's and Straw Hats this month!
singtopher
Broadway Legend
joined:12/28/05
Muny, PCLO, and Sacramento always get big names (at least theatre names) to do shows for them every summer.

"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it." -Stephen Colbert
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
Who are PCLO? I know of the other two. Looking through the "star" names listed for the Melody Top and Kenely Players I couldn't help but wonder just what stars would fill those shoes today. What older movie and television people could do that work if these venues were up and running today? Not many.
fashionguru_23
Broadway Star
joined:4/21/08
Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera
"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
jewishboy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/06
I love the pic of Rita Moreno in Bells Are Ringing, thanks so much.
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
Thanks fashionguru_23.
beaemma
Stand-by
joined:11/24/09
Those Melody Top photos are great! Just when I think one is the best, I find another I like better. An excellent website that really conveys the importance and fun of summer stock! I only wish one of the photos had shown me in the audience in the background.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
The Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan, is the nation's oldest professional Equity summer stock theatre. They're still going strong!

I got my Equity Card there ... way back in 19#*&@(.

Others who got their start at the good ol' Barn:

Tom Wopat
Marin Mazzie
Jennifer Garner
Dana Delaney
Becky Ann Baker
Jonathan Larson
Lauren Graham
Stephen Lynch
James B. Sikking
Robert Newman
Kirker Butler (Family Guy)
Denis Jones
Patricia Wettig


While I was there, I had the pleasure of working with Marin Mazzie, Becky Ann Baker, Tom Wopat, David Holliday, Robert Newman, Barbara Marineau, and a whole slew of talented folks.

http://barntheatre.com/
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Leonard Nimoy played Higgins?! How wonderful/awful. I would have stepped on a puppy to see that.
beaemma
Stand-by
joined:11/24/09
Nimoy as Higgins may sound strange, but I was there and swear that he was excellent. Take away the pointy ears and you've got a skilled and versitile actor. He was also excellent in THE KING AND I.
doubleentendre
Understudy
joined:12/24/08
Music Theatre of Wichita usually brings in some decent names also, or at least they have in years past.

Montego Glover has done a couple of turns out there, Stephanie J Block was in their Funny Girl, and I'm sure there's more I just can't think of right now.
Fanb
Featured Actor
joined:12/4/09
Maybe the biggest "stars" don't exactly do summer stock anymore, but it can still be a good place to see some old favorites or some current Broadway performers doing roles they might not get to play on Broadway
broadwaydanwi
Stand-by
joined:2/25/08

Hey!

I just added some new items to my "Memories of Melody Top" website: a bunch of autographed programs and magazines (playbills). Click on the link in this message, and you will see the signatures of Martha Raye, Betty Hutton, Rita Moreno, James Darren, Orson Bean, Stubby Kaye, George Chakiris and Karen Morrow.

I want to thank everyone who visited my site since February 13. You have helped me generate a lot of interest in summer stock, its stars and its unique place in American culture and entertainment.
Memories of Melody Top (Autographed Items)

twinbelters
Broadway Legend
joined:1/6/10
Thanks for giving me a reason to procrastinate further! Cool stuff! Nice to see digital archives like this. I've been working on one myself for the college where I work and study.
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