All tagged Chuck Cooper

Remembering The Life

A musical that seems to have those who remember it divided, with some people having enjoyed it and others just absolutely disgusted by it, was the 1997 Broadway production of The Life. With music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman, and a book by Coleman, Gasman, and David Newman, The Life took a look at the underworld of New York City’s Times Square circa the 1980s. The seedy and unsavory world may have been hard for some people to get excited about, considering the show was populated with pimps and hookers, hustlers and drug dealers. Others easily connected to the piece, understanding that these characters were the product of a harsh world, runaways and forgotten people and that this was their way of making ends meet and to escape living on the streets. 

Encores! - Cabin in the Sky

In recent weeks I have made the argument on this blog for revisiting older and perhaps forgotten musicals. There is still gold to be mined from these wonders of yesteryear and that is why I was so excited, after years of reading about them, to finally witness my first staged concert of a forgotten musical at New York City Center’s Encores! series. As a theatre historian who has just moved to the Big Apple, there is no better way to experience the 1940 musical Cabin in the Sky, a most deserving choice of their attention. Vernon Duke's and John Latouche's vibrant, jazz-infused score lives and breathes again reminding us that, just because a musical has been gone for half-a-century (and change), that it need not be forgotten.