Monday, August 23, 2010
CAROLYN LEIGH'S BIRTHDAY AND LA CAGE ANNIVERSARY
Today would have been Carolyn Leigh's birthday. I can hear you all say out loud: "Who the heck is that? Well, dear fiery Carolyn was an amazing lyricist for some of the best Broadway shows and popular songs in songwriting history. She was a spit fire. She defended her lyrics like she would have defended her children. Her most endearing lyric in my opinion was "Young At Heart" from that amazing Paramount picture of the same name that starred Doris Day and Frank Sinatra. Lyricist Carolyn was born in New York City on August 21, 1926. After attending Queens College in New York she worked as a copyrighter for radio stations and advertising agencies. Collaborating with composers such as Cy Coleman and Moose Charlap, Leigh also wrote the Broadway stage scores for Peter Pan, Wildcat which featured the Broadway debut of Lucille Ball and Little Me. Her catalog boasts some of the biggest standards to emerge from Broadway stage scores including “The Best is Yet To Come”, “How Little We Know”, “Westport”, “Spring in Maine”, “The Rules of the Road”, “Firefly”, “Witchcraft”, “I’m Flying”, “I Gotta Crow”, “I Walk a Little Faster”, “You Fascinate Me So”, “Hey, Look Me Over”, “Tall Hopes”, “El Sombrero”, “One Day We Dance”, “It Amazes Me”, “The Other Side of the Tracks”, “Real Live Girl”, “I’ve Got Your Number”, “Here’s to Us”, “A Doodlin’ Song”, “Stay With Me”, “On Second Thought”, “Pass Me By”, “When In Rome” and “Ouzo”.Leigh also contributed to the film scores of The Cardinal and Father Goose. Late in her career she also contributed to the scores for TV specials such as Heidi as well as the bicentennial show for Something to Do. Dear Carolyn Le died in New York on November 19, 1983 of a massive heart attack. Today is also the anniversary of the opening of Jerry Herman's amazing Broadway masterpiece "La Cage Aux Folles" in 1983. George Hern and the late dear Gene Barry (yes friends "Bat Masterson". Gene wasm't connecting to the part until Arthur Laurents, the original director told Barry that he had to look into Hearn's eyes every time they were on stage together. Otherwise, the audiences of homophobic 1983 would never believe their relationship was real. And it worked. This show and "Big River in 1985 were the only two American Broadway musicals to run over a thousand performances until ten more years would pass. Something that did not work opened on Broadway on this day in 1986. It was the biggest flop that Steven Schwartz ("Mr. "Wicked") would ever know in his life. Stephen wrote the lyrics! The composer was Charles Strouse ("Annie") --but Strouse had two bigger flops on "Bring Back Byrdie" and "Annie Warbucks" better known as "Annie II:)
We proceed with preparing with auditions for our new theatre. W are relying on God's help with this one. But then God is not only my Father but my very best friend!