All tagged Michael Kidd

Remembering Here’s Love

Meredith Willson gave us one big Broadway smash hit with The Music Man, one modest hit with The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and one critical failure with the musical Here’s Love. For a man who wrote so adeptly about parades and an unlikely romance between two stubborn individuals in The Music Man, Willson seemed like an ideal choice for bringing the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street to the musical stage. Here’s Love was that attempt, but the show failed to ignite on Broadway lasting a serviceable (if lackluster) 334 performances. Not exactly a disaster, but this was a time when the big hits were running well over 1,000 performances. The show opened on October 3, 1963, a little over a month before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which may have led to a slump in ticket sales as Broadway as a whole experienced a weak fall and winter that season. Nevertheless, Here’s Love cannot blame all of its shortcomings on the bad timing of its opening. 

Remembering Can-Can

Cole Porter wrote many infectious scores for the Broadway stage, with Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate as standouts of how wit and melody can be melded into glorious ditty after glorious ditty. Another hit musical of Porter’s myriad Broadway outings was Can-Can. Though it is seldom revived today, Can-Can nevertheless features an enchanting score, with songs such as “I Love Paris, “ “C’est Magnifique” and “I Am In Love” getting play outside the context of the show. Abe Burrows, known for his knack for writing sparkling comedy for the Broadway stage, wrote the book for Can-Can.  

The Great Broadway Choreographers

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.

Broadway Musical Time Machine: Looking Back at L’il Abner

A musical that we do not see many productions of these days, but one that is thoroughly delightful in both its satire and its memorable score, is the 1956 also-ran L’il Abner. At one point, L’il Abner was an extremely popular musical in high schools and community theatres. It was based on the popular Al Capp comic strip of the same name about a town full of colorful hillbillies, poking fun at the government, current events, and Hollywood news items. With a score by Johnny Mercer (lyrics) and Gene de Paul (music), and a book by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, the musical riotously captured the cartoonish tone of Capp’s strip