All tagged Jerome Robbins
An old school musical comedy that was not only a perfect star vehicle for an over-the-top leading lady, but also a fine example of a lost art of comedy filled with melody, romance, and pure joy, was the 1950 Broadway outing Call Me Madam. Starring the indelible Ethel Merman, and brimming with a parade of terrific Irving Berlin tunes, Call Me Madam may have had a corny plot, but it provided a night of carefree, escapist theatergoing.
Dance is an essential part of most Broadway musicals and there have been many amazing choreographers over the years. Some have really stood out, either reinventing the form and purpose of dance within Broadway musicals and/or bringing a signature style to their work that has become legendary in its own right. Today, I’d like to celebrate these gods and goddesses of the world of musical theatre dance and talk a little about how each of them left their imprint on the art form.
Funny Girl is a musical that has yet to be revived on Broadway despite having a superior score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and a fairly faithful film version that has an enormous following. The trick to reviving Funny Girl is finding the right actress to play Fanny Brice, the titular character who has to be over the top funny, quietly sentimental, somewhat gawky, and possessing of a powerful, but nuanced voice. Barbra Streisand was a "Rose of sheer perfection" in both the stage and in the film version. So amazing, in fact, that the specter of her indelible characterization looms over any proposed revival, becoming the “freckle on the complexion” of the piece.
With the news that the Mary Martin, made-for-television version of Peter Pan is flying to Blu-Ray in the near future, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at all of the reasons why we love it. The musical itself didn't have a spectacularly long run on Broadway (152 performances in 1952), but that was due to a deal that had been struck prior to its Broadway opening. It was to be introduced to the hearts of 65 million viewers through one simple airing on NBC, making it a success of epic proportions.