Thanks, everyone on this board, for visiting my page! I agree that Tozzi's tribute to Mostel was (and still is) very touching. I especially like how Tozzi admitted to knowing Mostel had problems in his life but that those problems didn't prevent him from finding joy. And by the way, Cris Groenendaal -- whose name I have become good at spelling and typing -- did a couple of seasons of summer stock at Melody Top. The same summer as FIDDLER -- 1977 -- he played an excellent Tin Man in TH
...his role of Tevye the Dairyman was being performed by opera star Giorgio Tozzi at Milwaukee's Melody Top Theatre. I just published a new page on my "Memories of Melody Top" website about that production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, including two audio clips: "If I Were a Rich Man" and Tozzi's "curtain call" speech to the audience during which he announced the news of Mostel's unexpected passing. This production is notable because it cut "Tevye'
Yes, it really happened! On Thursday, July 17, 1980, the surprise appearance of a baby skunk stopped a performance of HELLO, DOLLY! with Jo Anne Worley at Milwaukee's Melody Top Theatre. Learn more about that crazy night -- and also enjoy hearing a rare audio clip of Worley singing "Before the Parade Passes By" -- by visiting my Melody Top website. Click on this link:
The third -- and final -- video clip has been posted on my site. "Bouboulina" was first performed by John Raitt and Barbara Baxley in the 1969-1970 national tour of ZORBA. Enjoy -- and thanks for visiting "Memories of Melody Top."
I, too, saw the post-Broadway tour of ZORBA. While I agree that Anthony Quinn's talents were not suited for the musical stage, I did love the heartbreaking performance of Lila Kedrova as Madame Hortense and the powerful vocals of Donna Theodore as the Leader. Those two performances were worth the ticket price!
Giorgio Tozzi, who sang countless roles at both La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, played ZORBA at Milwaukee's Melody Top Theater from August 5 to 17, 1975. Mostly known by musical theater aficionados for singing the role of Emile de Becque in the 1958 movie version of SOUTH PACIFIC, he also played the same part opposite both Mary Martin (Los Angeles Civic Light Opera) and Florence Henderson (Music Theater of Lincoln Center). His other stage credits include MAN OF LA MANCHA, FANNY, MILK
Whatever became of performers like Kevin Daly and Valerie Lee?"
2019 marks the ten-year anniversary of my "Memories of Melody Top" website. I am constantly surprised by the career paths of so many extremely talented theater artists. One singer and one dancer from Melody Top gave up the theater for successful careers in the medical profession. I know many ex-performers who have ventured into the world of a
Thank you very much, markypoo! It's great to know the date and time of Lynn's visit to Melody Top. I'm glad you posted a message to corroborate my story. How I wish I had a copy of the photo Guy Little took with Lynn Fontanne!
I just finished posting a new page on my "Memories of Melody Top" website about a 1980 production of WHERE'S CHARLEY? that starred Eddie Mekka and Kitty Carlisle. This summer stock revival has a connection to the upcoming winter holiday because Valerie Lee, who played Amy Spettigue in WHERE'S CHARLEY?, also created the role of Susan Walker in the original Broadway production of HERE'S LOVE. Enjoy the pictures, review, history and personal anecdotes about this somewhat fo
Let's not forget that the Oriental Theater in Chicago was built on the same site as the Iroquois Theater which, when it caught fire on December 30, 1903, became the spot of America's deadliest accident in any performing arts venue. Over 600 people lost their lives in that blaze, and there are those who believe the Oriental -- and the alley that houses its stage door -- are haunted. Names of theaters will always change and change and change. But I think two points should be remembered
I saw a production of 1776 that was presented by the Marriott Theater (in the round) in Lincolnshire, Illinois during the summer of 2002. Yes, the piece is a challenge to stage in an arena-type environment because there is a long stretch in the book that has no singing and no dancing. In my humble opinion, performers on stage in the round always need to keep moving, even ever so slightly, to keep an audience's full attention. That's not easy to do when given a long book scene wit
Hello from Milwaukee! I just finished publishing a new page on my "Memories of Melody Top" website about a 1976 production of 1776 that starred Ross Martin as John Adams and Stubby Kaye as Benjamin Franklin. This production gave a final performance on America's Bicentennial -- July 4, 1976. I'm wondering if anyone here has knowledge of other companies that produced 1776 during the summer of 1976. Please let me know. And have a happy Fourth of July holiday, too!
You are welcome! Almost 1,000 people have visited this page, which makes me very happy.
Just a word about Penny Singleton. I saw her perform in the 1983 production of LITTLE ME, and it was fun seeing a movie star from the 1930s and 1940s on stage. She did struggle to project her voice in this semi-outdoor setting, and the musical's title song (late in the second act) was cut. I'm not sure if it was cut because the show was running too long or because Penny just didn't have
As Carolyn Leigh wrote for the title song in her 1962 musical comedy, "There is always Little Me! Old Reliable!" LITTLE ME turned out to be a very reliable hit at Milwaukee's Melody Top Theater on three separate occasions: 1964, 1972 and 1983. Below is a link to a page with lots of information and photographs from these productions. On a more somber note, I have dedicated this page to my friend (and frequent contributor to this message board) Christine Plath, who unexpectedly pa