Remembering Plain and Fancy

Not every Broadway musical is a runaway hit, but then not every musical is a calamitous flop. Over the years, there have been many musicals, also-rans, that lasted a season and offered many wonderful things that make it a worthwhile second look. One of those musicals is the 1955 Plain and Fancy. Set amidst the scenic locales and the denizens of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country, the musical is a gentle story of two cultures clashing cultures and the connections we can make if we just open our minds and hearts.  

When the West End and Broadway Came Together for Christmas

This week I was thinking about a holiday special that ran on Britain’s ITV that captured the beauty and spectacle of musical theatre in the late 1980s. Save the Children was the name of the program, and the piece was created as a benefit for the Save the Children Foundation, an organization dedicated to make the lives better for children the world over. It brought together the stars and casts of the West End and Broadway musicals that were the hits of the day, and, with the performers in costume and playing on the impressive sets of their respective shows, they sang beloved Christmas carols with a splendor and glory that stuck with this Broadway enthusiast for three decades.

Broadway’s Chicago Looking for Its Next Roxie Hart

Do you have what it takes to be a Broadway star? Now might be your chance. Producers of the record-breaking hit musical Chicago are, in partnership with Broadway.com, hosting a national casting call to find the next Roxie Hart. The musical revival, which is celebrating its 22nd Anniversary on Broadway, will launch “The Search for Roxie!” in January of 2019. 

Remembering Here’s Love

Meredith Willson gave us one big Broadway smash hit with The Music Man, one modest hit with The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and one critical failure with the musical Here’s Love. For a man who wrote so adeptly about parades and an unlikely romance between two stubborn individuals in The Music Man, Willson seemed like an ideal choice for bringing the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street to the musical stage. Here’s Love was that attempt, but the show failed to ignite on Broadway lasting a serviceable (if lackluster) 334 performances. Not exactly a disaster, but this was a time when the big hits were running well over 1,000 performances. The show opened on October 3, 1963, a little over a month before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which may have led to a slump in ticket sales as Broadway as a whole experienced a weak fall and winter that season. Nevertheless, Here’s Love cannot blame all of its shortcomings on the bad timing of its opening.