All tagged Comden & Green
Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green were frequent collaborators in creating Broadway musicals. Sometimes there partnerships yielded hits like Bells Are Ringing, sometimes the product was a cheerful “also ran” like Do Re Mi, and sometimes the show simply struggled to find an audience. One of these musicals that failed to ignite, despite offering a delightful score and a compelling premise, was the 1961 Subways Are For Sleeping.
In a season that boasted such arresting musicals as The Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, and Once on this Island, we saw the Tony Award for "Best Musical" go to the bouncy, chirpy, twangy, and, at times, insipid The Will Rogers Follies. The impact, innovation, and depth of the previous three titles are underscored by the more traditional, vaudeville-pastiche of The Will Rogers Follies.Not to worry, though, as there are pleasures to be had in this often predictable Cy Coleman-Betty Comden-Adolph Green score.
With the forthcoming Roundabout Theatre revival of the Cy Coleman (music), Betty Comden & Adolph Green (lyrics) musical On the Twentieth Century on the horizon for 2015, I decided to pull out the original cast recording and revel in the zaniness of this mock operetta set on board a luxury train. This musical should be produced more often than it is, but it's unique settting make it a hard show to design scenery-wise. Indeed, the original production was so tied to the cleverness and complexity of Robin Wagner's multifunctional set, that it made it hard for the show to tour. It never gained the wide popularity that it deserved.
Lauren Bacall's recent passing inspired me to pull out my original cast recording of the 1969 musical Applause, a then contemporary musical adaptation of the short story "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr, which was also the basis for the 1950 film All About Eve. The musical introduced Ms. Bacall to the Broadway stage as the dynamic, aging star Margo Channing, an acid-tongued diva masking her fragile ego with pithy retorts and blatant sarcasm.