Sunday, October 14, 2007

MY FIRST DAY AS A MANAGER AND BROADWAY DATES TO REMEMBER




I assume my post as manager of the Ritz Camera store in Sherman Oaks this day. The store is located in the "Fashion Square" mall on Riverside Dreive in Sherman Oaks. Imagine that, I haven't worked in a mall in twenty years. This should be interesting! Of course the big stagehand strike looms over Broadway this week and guess what? They've released two classic Broadway soundtracks. The first is "By Jupiter" from the 1967 reprise production off Broadway. Ray Bolger did the title role in the original. And believe or not Groucho Marx in "The Mikado" -- boy is that special. Here are some other mazing things that happened in Broadway history today:
In 1930 The Gershwin Brothers, George and Ira, are at it again tonight with the opening of their new musical, Girl Crazy. The show provides an outlet for several unknown stars, both on stage and in the orchestra pit. Ethel Merman stops the show singing "I've Got Rhythm" with an incredible 16-beat hold on the "I." She is later reported as being able to "hold a note longer than Chase Manhattan." Ingenue Ginger Rogers was also in the cast, singing "Embraceable You." In the orchestra are unknown musicians Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Gene Krupa. The show will run more than 34 weeks, racking up 272 performances.
And in 1958 Pre-"Star Trek" William Shatner plays an American coping with the emotional issues of having an Asian girlfriend (France Nuyen) in Paul Osborn's The World of Suzie Wong, directed by Joshua Logan.

In 1961 Just like its forerunner, Guys and Dolls, a musical by the same team, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, opens tonight and triumphs with a story about life in the big city. This time, Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser look not at the lowlife underground, but at the high life and the goings on within a high-rise office building. The story follows a young man's progression from window washer to CEO of a major company in New York. Although Hugh Lambert is credited with choreographing the show, Bob Fosse is on the bill as having done the "musical staging". Robert Morse co-stars with Donna McKechnie and Rudy Vallee in this musical comedy satire, which got rave reviews and ran for more than 1,400 performances.
And finally in 1967 One of the largest theatrical empires in the world loses its patriarch as David Nederlander, who founded the Nederlander Organization in 1912, dies today. He founded the organization first as a small theatre in Detroit, Michigan. It grew to represent theatres, producers, and shows around the world. Today, the organization is responsible for housing such shows as Beauty & the Beast and Rent. Well, wish me well, today!

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