Musical Theatre Melodies Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Carol Channing in LORELEI With Lee Roy Reams

It will stream on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, January 30th.

By: Jan. 22, 2024
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Musical Theatre Melodies Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Carol Channing in LORELEI With Lee Roy Reams

Musical Theatre Melodies, hosted by Rob Morrison, will mark the 50th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Carol Channing in Lorelei (based on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) by Jule StyneLeo RobinBetty Comden and Adolph Green, featuring an interview with original cast member, Tony Award nominee Lee Roy Reams, on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, January 30th.

Lee Roy Reams will share his memories of the 1973 pre-Broadway tour and 1974 Broadway production in which he played ‘Henry Spofford’, and of his distinguished career. The Tony Award nominated star of Broadway’s legendary 42nd Street was the first actor to play an openly gay man in the Broadway musical Applause, starring Lauren Bacall. He was also the first American actor to play Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, with the blessing of Jerry Herman. Besides being an Olympic athlete in Lorelei, a cowboy in Oklahoma!, and a candelabra in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, he also wore $10,000 dresses in La Cage Aux Folles, Victor/Victoria, and The Producers. Mr. Reams appeared with Carol Channing as Cornelius Hackl in the 1978 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, and directed and choreographed the 1995 Broadway revival and national tour of that show, also starring Carol Channing. Most recently, he received rave reviews and played to sold out houses in his musical memoir, Lee Roy Reams: Uncensored! For Adults Only!, at 54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, in New York City.

The program will feature songs from the 1973–74 compilation cast recording starring Carol Channing, with Tamara LongDody GoodmanPeter PalmerLee Roy ReamsBrandon MaggartJack FletcherBob Fitch and John Mineo, and additional songs from For Heaven’s Sake, one of Ms. Channing’s last solo albums.

The Broadway musical Lorelei, a revised version of the 1949 musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields, with lyrics by Leo Robin, commenced its pre-Broadway tour in Oklahoma City on February 24, 1973, in a production entirely supervised by Joe Layton, with musical direction by Milton Rosenstock and starring Carol Channing recreating the role of ‘Lorelei Lee’, which she originated in the 1949 musical. Composer Jule Styne supplemented his original score with additional songs with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph GreenKenny Solms and Gail Parent wrote the updated book based on the original musical, which was adapted from the novel by Anita Loos. Lorelei subsequently opened at the Palace Theatre in New York City on January 27, 1974, where it had a respectable run of 320 performances. A cast recording had been made for MGM Records in February 1973, but by the time the musical reached Broadway, not only had Joe Layton been replaced by Robert Moore as director and Ernest O. Flatt as choreographer, but the score itself had undergone changes, which necessitated the cast revisiting the studios in early 1974 to record an additional four numbers, which were included on the revised Broadway cast recording (which omitted songs that were no longer in the production).  The 2003 CD reissue of the cast recording featured a compilation of all the songs that had been recorded for its pre-New York tour and final Broadway revision.

Musical Theatre Melodies, hosted by Rob Morrison, pays a weekly tribute to the best of Broadway, London’s West End, and the occasional European operetta in a two-hour program celebrating significant anniversaries in the world of Musical Theatre. Mr. Morrison has appeared in over seventy stage productions in Melbourne, Australia, and has been heard on Melbourne community radio 96.5 Inner FM since 1992. The Musical Theatre Melodies podcast has recently been ranked #3 amongst the Top 10 Australian Theatre Podcasts by Feedspot.com. Recent guests have included Sondra Lee, UK theatre archivist Rex Bunnett, Ted Chapin, the late Bill HayesTeri RalstonRichard Maltby Jr., Walter Willison, and Christine Andreas.

Musical Theatre Melodies' tribute to Lorelei will be broadcast on January 30th at 5 a.m. EST in New York, 2 a.m. PST Los Angeles time, and 9 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; 10 a.m. GMT in Britain.

For those listening via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM's website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from "Listen Live" on the top menu.

The podcast will be available at https://innerfm.org.au//shows/musical-theatre-melodies/ and https://omny.fm/shows/musicaltheatremelodies within 15 minutes after the conclusion of the live broadcast.



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