All tagged George Gershwin
Ethel Merman is one of the great divas of the Broadway musical. Known for her earth-shaking singing voice full of gusto and volume, Merman spent decades as the go-to star for Broadway musical comedy. Though she often found work on television and in film, it was on Broadway, where no amplification was required for her voice to carry over an orchestra, that Merman was her most effective and memorable. Today, I celebrate the stage highlights of Merman’s Broadway musical career.
Two Broadway musicals opened this spring, each one set in Paris and each one based on a film directed by Vincenete Minnelli. An American in Paris and Gigi both won Academy Awards for Best Picture, and both boasted the involvement of Alan Jay Lerner as screenwriter (Lerner also provided the lyrics for Gigi). One of these musicals bowled critics and audiences over, receiving awards and ticket sales. The other limped along with mediocre attendance, disappointed critics, and was mostly ignored by the Tony nominating committee.
The Fourth of July is almost upon us and this weekend most of us will be celebrating with hot dogs, fireworks, and showtunes. Yes…you heard me, showtunes. Exploring musical theatre scores from over the last century, there are a handful of jubilant, patriotic tunes celebrating America, as well as a few unlikely songs that touch on the topic of what it means to be an American. Today’s blog is a celebration of those songs.