Nostalgic finds from Broadway Babe include Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr. Janet Leigh & Jamie Lee Curtis on the Phil Donahue Show, plus a documentary on Elaine Stritch.
April 3, 2023: We should call Broadway Babe, (Randie Levine-Miller) Miss Nostalgia after this post. Her nostalgic picks include Sammy Davis, Jr. performing with the Boston Pops in 1988; Barbra Streisand’s first concerts in 27 years performed in 1994; Jamie Lee Curtis and her mother, Janet Leigh in candid conversation with Phil Donahue in 1985 and a documentary about the legendary and controversial, Elaine Stritch…. some wonderful weekend viewing finds.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh on The Phil Donahue Show
A real find, especially after seeing this year’s Academy Awards. A truly candid and fun interview…From 1985, “The Phil Donahue Show,” with Oscar winning actress, Jamie Lee Curtis and her mother, Oscar nominee (for best supporting actress for “Psycho”) Janet Leigh, talking about their exemplary mother/daughter relationship and their careers. Both of Jamie’s parents were nominated for Oscars, (her father was Tony Curtis) and Jamie finally won at this year’s awards. Jamie is my kind of girl, i.e, she called her mother the night she lost her virginity…. and so did!. Both women are so open and authentic, but then again they had the best talk master general in television interviewing them… no one did it better than Phil Donahue, who was always a gentleman in all of his interviews. Her mom must be beaming in heaven right now!
“Elaine Stritch Crash Course”
This Elaine Stritch documentary was sent to me by dear friend, legendary Broadway press agent Josh Ellis, known for working well
with some of the most difficult people on Broadway. Always candid with his clients, he earned the respect of such theater rascals as:
David Merrick, Yul Brynner, Eartha Kitt and Lauren Bacall! They adored Josh. So when he sent this to me, I thought, I must share this.
From Josh: “I never saw this video before. It’s interesting. Has there ever been a more self-obsessed person? One minute, brilliant. The next moment, a destructive monster. I worked with at least 50 talented pairs of amazing actors when they did their week in “Love Letters” at the Promenade Theatre. Only one was totally impossible to deal with: Elaine Stritch! Her “Love Letters” acting partner was Jason Robards, a total mensch. I feared her behavior was going to start him drinking again!”
Sammy Davis Jr. Live in Boston 1988
In 1988, Sammy Davis, Jr., the consummate entertainer and a true American original, did an incredible evening singing with the legendary Boston Pops orchestra, under the baton of legendary John Williams (who has composed the musical score to every Steven Spielberg film for the last 50 years!). Sammy does 30 minutes encompassing all of his best known hits. Sammy Davis, Jr. was a master showman! On this TV program which aired on PBS-TV, he said he waited 58 years to get the opportunity to perform with the Boston Pops. It was one of his crowning achievements. Though he sounds great here, sadly, a short 2 years later, Sammy died of throat cancer at age 65.
Sidebar: In his lifetime, Sammy made 50 million dollars, yet died impoverished…. 15 million dollars in debt, owing more than half that amount to the IRS. And of course, his debts were passed on to his widow, Altovise, his wife of 20 years, who endured so much trying to oversee his troubled estate. There’s a sad lesson here! She died in 2010 of a stroke at age 65.
Barbara Streisand The Concert Live At The Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim July 1994
OMG, Streisand fans…. this one’s for you!…. In 1994, Streisand performed her first concerts in over 27 years, as she was recovering from a sore throat and laryngitis. The concert created such traffic jams, that the concert started late. It was a 2 hour, 24 song performance and it was beyond exciting — as all of her concerts are. Her longtime manager, Marty Erlichman, executive produced the event which longtime friends, Alan & Marilyn Berman wrote and her longtime musical director, and close friend, Marvin Hamlisch conducted. One reviewer gave this stellar review quote, “elegant, flawless and first class all the way, the legendary perfectionist’s performance was just that perfect!”… Enjoy this perfect concert!