Broadway Babe’s Viewing finds include a BBC Stephen Sondheim concert from 2022 featuring a dazzling cast of stars from both sides of the pond.
January 8, 2023: Broadway Babe Randie Levine-Miller has unearthed some fun viewing finds….Broadway’s “42nd Street”; a recent BBC Stephen Sondheim concert; the press reel of the Tony Award winning, “City of Angels”; and an old “This Is Your Life” TV show, honoring Dinah Shore.
Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends
From May, 2022, this is a magnificent British concert, starring theater performers from both sides of the pond. The show starts off with the titles and overture to the1962 movie version of “West Side Story”, with that incredibly luscious Leonard Bernstein score. Cameron Mackintosh produced and conceived this historic event which aired on the BBC, and he is a wonderful host.
This amazing cast includes: Bernadette Peters, Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Petula Clark (looking beautiful and sounding great at 90!), Judy Dench, Imelda Staunton, Jenna Russell, Maria Friedman, Bonnie Langford, Julian Ovenden and and Julia McKenzie. Some highlights: Imelda Staunton who starred in the London revival of “Gypsy”, singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”; Petula Clark singing “I’m Still Here”; Bernadette Peters singing “Losing My Mind”, which she sang in the “Follies” Broadway revival. There’s also a video interlude with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim at the piano paying tribute to Cameron Macintosh that is so charming. The entire concert is so exciting and Sondheim fans will definitely get teary eyed and gooseflesh!
Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Photo: David M Benett/Getty Images
City of Angels
This is the press reel of the 1990 Tony Award winning Broadway musical, “City of Angels” by Cy Coleman and David Zippel; Book by Larry Gelbart. Starring: James Naughton, Gregg Edelman, Randy Graff, Dee Hoty, Kay McClelland, and Rene Auberjonois, who all give excellent performances. The show is a musical homage to film noir. So many friends comment that this show should be revived and I am in total agreement. The score is quite fabulous, and so is the book… This is one of legendary composer’s Cy Coleman’s best; and David Zippel is one of the theater’s wittiest lyricists. You’ll see and hear most of the numbers performed on this promo press reel, which has a part 2, that I’m also posting.
Sidebar: David Zippel did the lyrics to “Bad Cinderella” with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which was quite successful in London, and is scheduled to open on Broadway this coming March.
From 1986, the Tony Award winning musical, “42nd Street” plays Japan — a totally delicious musical comedy experience, guaranteed to make you smile!. Some of the best dancing to ever grace the stage. The only negative is that during the dialog, there are Japanese subtitles! Other than that, it’s a very enjoyable professionally shot video. David Merrick’s company brought a lot of the Broadway cast over for this production, most notably, great friend, Broadway’s favorite song and dance man, Lee Roy Reams who stars as Billy Lawlor, the role he originated on Broadway, and which won him a Tony nomination. Also starring: Clare Leach, Jamie Ross, Elizabeth Allen, Carole Cook (who just turned 100 years old!), Joseph Bova. It features the original sets, costumes, choreography. It’s a huge undertaking, and it’s absolutely incredible. This is a true musical comedy treasure!
This Is Your Life, Dinah Shore
From 1953, “This Is Your Life, Dinah Shore” with host, Ralph Edwards. Dinah Shore is truly surprised as she thinks she’s in the studio to surprise Eddie Cantor! But in fact, Cantor is in the audience knowing they will honor the lovely, gracious, somewhat shy, humble Dinah. She is a reticent subject at first, but then becomes more relaxed.
She was born in 1917, so at this point in her life, she was 36 years old. Eddie Cantor pays tribute to her, as she was the featured vocalist on his radio show, which was her big break. Her then husband, George Montgomery also appears. There’s something about him, that reminds me of her later love, Burt Reynolds — there’s a resemblance there. This Nashville native graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1938. She was a real lady with a wonderful reputation both professionally and personally. She enjoyed great success in the 1970’s with her daily talk/variety show. She died in 1994 of ovarian cancer at 76.