All tagged Mary Martin

The Cockeyed Optimist: The Broadway Musicals of Mary Martin

One the most beloved performers of the Broadway musical is the late, great Mary Martin. Mary Martin possessed a lovely, distinctive voice, a coquettish smile, and a persona that evoked optimism and warmth. The actress enjoyed a long career on the Broadway stage that spanned three decades, winning four Tony Awards throughout that time, including one for spreading Annie Get Your Gun to the country while the original production performed in New York. Rivaled only by Ethel Merman as one of Broadway’s most iconic talents, Mary Martin’s legacy lives on in our memories of great musical theatre experiences. Today, we take a look at the Broadway musicals that were brightened by her presence. 

Remembering One Touch of Venus

A musical that we don’t hear much about these days, but one that features a glorious score, is the 1943 classic One Touch of Venus. Based on a story by Thomas Anstey Guthrie, One Touch of Venus loosely draws from the Pygmalion myth with a book by poet Ogden Nash and S.J. Perelman, lyrics by Nash, and music by Kurt Weill (debatably his most accessible and traditional in terms of musical comedy, save perhaps Lady in the Dark). Of the musicals Kurt Weill wrote for Broadway, it would be his longest-running, though arguably his least innovative. 

Broadway Divas: MVPs by the Decade

Broadway musicals and strong leading ladies walk hand in hand. Since the inception of the Broadway Musical, an actress who can command attention and generate box office revenue through her personality and talents is a sought after commodity. Somewhere along the way, the Broadway Musical Diva emerged and theatre fans became obsessed. I decided to examine each decade of musical theatre (starting with the 1920s) and weigh contributions, reviews, awards, career escalation, and the other je ne sais quois that make an actress unique and decipher who was the most-valuable player of that ten year span. Part of my rules for writing the piece was that no actress could appear on the list more than once, though many of these talented ladies’ careers span several decades. Read on and enjoy. I look forward to your comments and debates.