All tagged Carol Channing
One of Broadway’s most distinct and original talents is Carol Channing. From her wide-eyed stare to her raspy voice, there has never quite been another performer like Ms. Channing. An expert at playing over-the-top comedy and delivering it with her own special brand of chutzpah, Channing left her indelible imprint two iconic characters of the Broadway musical theatre. Channing was born in 1921 and she is currently 97 years old, but her unforgettable persona continues to be one of the most impersonated and emulated on the Broadway musical divas. Today, we look back on the career of Carol Channing and celebrate her longevity and her talent.
If you had the pleasure of growing up in the 80s, then you know that things were big, colorful, and full of the “cheese” factor. This was a good thing. Anything worth doing was worth over-doing. Made-for-TV movies were often epic and star-studded events, offering a parade of popular performers (past and present) in sprawling entertainments that amazed and delighted. Among these was the deliciously campy and endlessly melodic two-part television musical of Alice in Wonderland (1985) produced by Irwin Allen.
Though it isn’t produced anywhere near as much as it should be, Jule Styne, Leo Robin, Joseph Fields and Anita Loos’s Gentleman Prefer Blondes was a wonderfully delicious satire in its time and it served up a frothy, delectable score that counted amongst its many standards, the show-stopping “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” The musical, about a platinum-crowned, gold-digger named Lorelei Lee and her escapades to find herself a rich husband, made a star out of Carol Channing who would go on to become one of Broadway’s most enduring divas. The musical was based on Anita Loos’s best-selling novel of the same name.
The announcement that Bette Midler will star in a Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! acts on me like a much-needed tonic where musical theatre is concerned. After a recent blog entry bemoaning the loss of honest to goodness old-fashioned musical comedy, what better way to usher back in the feel-good melody infused musical comedy than with a production of this Jerry Herman classic with the Divine Miss M's name over the title?