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. 

Remembering Jelly’s Last Jam

A musical that opened in 1992, Jelly’s Last Jam,is one of those musicals that I stumbled upon more by accident than by any initiative of my own. I had gone to New York City to see something else, but that performance was sold out (I think it was Crazy for You). Since I was already in the TKTS line, I decided to see something else. I chose to see Jelly’s Last Jam and, though the college student in me knew nothing about the show other than its star Gregory Hines and the performance of “That’s How You Jazz” on the Tony Awards. 

Everything’s Coming Up Angie: Celebrating the Broadway Musicals of Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury is a treasure of the American Theatre. Though she was born in London, she has enjoyed a long and auspicious career on American soil, first as an actress in the old Hollywood movies system in films such as GaslightThe Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Harvey Girls, and also as a television star for 12 seasons of Murder, She Wrote. It is, however, for the Broadway stage that Lansbury has been her most daring and sparkling. Today, we celebrate the Broadway musicals that starred Angela Lansbury. 

Remembering Greenwilllow

Composer-lyricist Frank Loesser enjoyed a string of Broadway musical hits: Where’s Charley?Guys & DollsThe Most Happy Fella, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. But, no matter how impressive a resume, most creators of Broadway musicals are going to have at least one show that refuses to work. For Frank Loesser, that troubled piece would come in the form of the 1960 musical Greenwillow. (Loesser would struggle with another show called Pleasures and Palaces that closed on the road).