2012 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awardees Announced
by BWW News Desk - Mar 5, 2012
Two-time Tony Award nominated costume designer Carrie Robbins, and scenic, lighting, costume designer and educator Lloyd Burlingame are among the 2012 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards recipients. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, May 4, at 6:30pm, at the Hudson Theatre (145 West 44th Street). Ms. Robbins was selected to receive the 2012 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for costume design, and Mr. Burlingame will receive the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design. (more...)
FLASH SPECIAL: A Richard Adler Retrospective - THE PAJAMA GAME, DAMN YANKEES & More
by Pat Cerasaro - Jun 23, 2012
On Thursday, three-time Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Richard Adler passed away at the ripe old age of 90. Responsible for two of the biggest Broadway smash hits of the 1950s, THE PAJAMA GAME and GAMN YANKEES, Adler never quite managed to equal his career-high double-hitter of that era, yet his earlier work with Tony Bennett ("Rags To Riches"), Doris Day ("Everybody Loves A Lover") and Marilyn Monroe (the iconic "Happy Birthday, Mr. President") surely shall solidify his place in the firmament of entertainment history along with his two classic musicals from the Golden Age. Winning both Best Score and Best Musical for both THE PAJAMA GAME and DAMN YANKEES, Adler's partnership with lyricist Jerry Ross - which began on Broadway in 1953 with JOHN MURRAY ANDERSON'S ALMANAC - was tragically cut short just months after the DAMN YANKEES premiere when Ross was diagnosed with lung disease and passed away soon thereafter. Yet, thanks to the beloved film versions of THE PAJAMA GAME and DAMN YANKEES and continued interest in the entities as expressed in the revivals and reappraisals of both onstage from Broadway to Biloxi to Bombay year after year, the snappy, snazzy tunes of Adler and Ross live on eight times a week all around the world - even now, more than fifty years after they premiered. Unfortunately, Adler's subsequent shows with other collaborators post-1955 failed to capture the early magic of his previous projects with Ross and his earlier musical and theatrical endeavors in the pop arena, with the racially charged KWAMINA flopping on Broadway in 1961 (though he took home a Best Composer Tony Award for his efforts anyway) and the awkwardly titled MUSIC IS failing to recreate the magic of its source material, Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT, in 1976. A MOTER'S KISSES, starring Bea Arthur and a young Bernadette Peters, died on the road, as well. In the intervening years, Adler attempted musical adaptations taken from a number of intriguing sources - OF HUMAN BONDAGE and others among them - though only his ballet scores seemed to reach an audience; particularly his last, commissioned for a new production of Lorca's THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA in 1998. Of course, THE PAJAMA GAME has had two Broadway revivals - most recently the rapturously received Kathleen Marshall-directed production starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Kelli O'Hara; and DAMN YANKEES famously returned to the Great White Way with much ado in 1994 starring Victor Garber. Now seems particularly ripe for remounting YANKEES, as we approach twenty years in its absence - especially given the musical's seriously smashing showing at Encores! in 2007. Who knows, perhaps some risky producer will even take a chance on a new production of KWAMINA, MUSIC IS, A Mother's Kisses or one of the bottom drawer shows someday soon to see if they possess any of the limitless potential shown by Adler's earlier work. Or maybe a stage treatment of his TV musical GIFT OF THE MAGI (originally composed for then-wife Sally Ann Howes)? Or, better yet, how about a revue? What a stupendous songstack Adler created over the course of his career - "Whatever Lola Wants" to "Hey There" to "Hernando's Hideaway" to "You Gotta Have Heart" to "Steam Heat" to the aforementioned Bennett, Day and Monroe standards and so many more chestnuts. (more...)
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