Saturday, October 24, 2009

A GREAT PROUCTION AND A GREAT WRITER







One of the most amazing writers in the world of theatre was the late great Moss Hart. Moss wrote comedies with the equally amazing George S. Kaufman-- and what plays they were. There was of course "The Man Who Came To Dinner" "Light Up The Sky", "George Washington Slept Here" and the Pulitzer Prize winning "You Can't Take It With You" -- one of the funniest plays ever written. Moss Hart was also a brilliant director who helmed such Broadway blockbusters as "My Fair Lady" and Camelot. Sadly, this brilliant man died in 1961 of heart failure at the still tender age of fifty-seven-- one year shy of my own father who died of a massive heart attack at age fifty-eight just five years later. Today also is the anniversary of the opening of Pippin-- Steven Schwartz's first big Broadway show directed by the legendary Bob Fosse. The show was based on the life of Pippin the Hunchback, the son of Charlemagne. The show was partially financed by Motown Records. As of April 2009, Pippin is the 29th longest-running Broadway show. Pippin was originally conceived by Stephen Schwartz as Pippin, Pippin, a student musical performed by Carnegie Mellon's Scotch'n'Soda theatre troupe. According to musical theatre scholar Scott Miller in his 1996 book, From Assassins to West Side Story, "Pippin is a largely under-appreciated musical with a great deal more substance to it than many people realize....Because of its 1970s pop style score and a somewhat emasculated licensed version for amateur productions which is very different from the original Broadway production, the show now has a reputation for being merely cute and harmlessly naughty; but if done the way director Bob Fosse envisioned it, the show is surreal and disturbing." Of course I must also comment on the death of my dear Soupy Sales at the age of eighty-three. The picture that you see was taken on his 8oth birthday when he was awarded a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame". The late Johnny Grant has gotten a pie in the face here too! Soupy was one of the most talented comedians to come along. He made me laugh as a child and I earned a few bucks with him as well. Who could forget White Fang, the meanest dog in the whole wide world, plus Black Tooth the kindest. Then there was The Count, The Little Boy Next Door", Marilyn Von Woolf, Pookie The Lion and Hippy the Hippo. And the day of the naked lady who appeared at his door. Oh boy! Every dentist could have used his "Words of Wisdom" message "Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you!" God love you Soupy Sales. I cried a good bit for you. As you enter heaven, make God laugh-- Lord knows, he needs it!

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