Tuesday, October 10, 2006



October 10th is a real red letter and even a sad letter day for American Theatre. On this day in 1947, Rodgers & Hammerstein's fourth musical together "Allegro" opened to very mixed reviews. It had a grand advance box office of two hundred and fifty thousand tickets pre-sold at the value of 3/4 of a million dollars-- a lot of money back then! It ran only three hundred and fifty-five performances (just shy of a year and a half. On this show, Hammerstein's go-fer was none other than sixteen year old Stephen Sondhiem. He met that very special opening night a begining stage hand who had just turned eighteen-- his name? Harold Prince! They became fast friends that night. The show had an horrible opening night with a wall falling on stage, a dancer getting his dance shoe stuck in a track (damaging every tendant in his leg) and with he having to be carried off stage screaming in pain. Another actress fell off stage and right into the orchestra pit.(She recovered and went back on stage)--thank God! ) This musical was a story of an everyman named Joseph Taylor, Jr and was based in many ways on Hammerstein's own life story. It flopped with only one of its many songs "So Far" (recorded by Perry Como in 1948) finding its way to the Hit Parade. Hammerstein is said to have always wanted to fix the second act! Don't we all? Today is also the birthday of Helen Hayes (1900) first lady of the theatre, Harold Pinter, playwright of note, and Jodi Benson ("The Little Mermaid") It's Ben Vereen's 60th birthday today also. Ben made his debut in Stephen Schwartz's first Broadway show "Pippin" in 1976 and played the Wizard of Oz in Steve's latest phenominum, "The Wicked." But it goes on. For on this day in 1985 two giants of theatre both passed away at the very same age of seventy: (within two hours of one another) one was Orson Welles who made MacBeth and many other stage characters come alive as wonderfully as he did "Citizen Kane" in the movies and the other was Yul Brynner who played the King of Siam in Rodger and Hammerstein's "King and I" for four thousand, six hundred and twenty-six performances: the last of which only two months before his death. He was also acclaimed playing Pharoh in "The Ten Commandments" and in "Anastasia" both in 1956. One of the actors that played in my production of "Skylark" (David Wagner) went on from that show to portray young Lewis in the last production of King and I at the Pantages Theatre in 1985. I also learn that Yul was an avid photographer and that two books on his photos have now been put together and published by his children. On top of all of these events on this very same day, one can add the premiere of Jerry Herman's very first musical on Broadway called "Milk and Honey" and the gala premiere in 1935 of the classic Broadway musical "Porgy & Bess" An amazing day. I heard from my good friend Jimmy Chapel today back from performances in Florida and New York. What a great quote he gave me: "Life keeps me so busy that when I do die, I'm gonna roll over one more time" Amen brother-- is that the way with so many of us or what?

5 comments:

Tony W said...

And I saw Stephen Schwartz in Starbuck's AFTER I tried to get the lottery for WICKED tonight. Small world!!!

raybanoutlet001 said...

true religion store
michael kors outlet store
oakley vault
michael kors handbags
jordans for cheap
tiffany online
nike huarache
jordan shoes on sale
cheap jerseys from china
tiffany and co jewellery
chrome hearts online
michael kors handbags clearance
air jordans,cheap air jordans,air jordan shoes,air jordan 11,air jordan 13,air jordan 6,air jordan 4
true religion jeans
nike kobe sneakers
oakley sunglasses
yeezy boost 350
adidas yeezy uk
tiffany and co jewellery
yeezy boost 350
mlb jerseys authentic
oakley store online
nike air zoom structure 19
kobe basketball shoes
adidas nmd
cheap nfl jerseys

raybanoutlet001 said...

huarache shoes
cheap real jordans
mlb jerseys authentic
cheap jordan shoes
adidas stan smith uk
true religion sale
retro jordans
tiffany and co uk
yeezy shoes
michael kors factory outlet
kobe basketball shoes
michael kors outlet
kobe byrant shoes
tiffany and co uk
michael jordan shoes
michael kors handbags clearance
http://www.chromehearts.us.com
adidas tubular UK
cheap oakleys
yeezy
nike huarache
yeezy boost
yeezy boost
michael kors outlet online

raybanoutlet001 said...

air jordan
cheap uggs
cheap air jordan
tiffany and co
adidas tubular x
nike huaraches
michael kors outlet
kobe shoes
nike air huarache
coach outlet online
fitflops sale
yeezy boost 350
adidas tubular
michael kors outlet
tiffany jewellery
oakley sunglasses,oakley outlet sunglasses
tiffany and co outlet
nike zoom
tiffany and co outlet
michael kors outlet online
cheap oakley sunglasses
tiffany jewelry
Cheap Jordans For Sale
links of london

xjd7410@gmail.com said...

rolex watches
lebron 13
louis vuitton handbags
kate spade outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
polo ralph lauren
nike air max 90
coach factory outlet
kobe 8
ghd hair straighteners
air huarache
louis vuitton handbags
toms outlet
asics outlet
adidas originals
true religion outlet
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton purses
michael kors outlet
pandora charms
michael kors outlet
tory burch shoes
louis vuitton outlet
lebron 12
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton handbags
kate spade handbags
longchamp handbags
air jordans
chenyingying2016721