Archive for Featuring the Archive

Cy Coleman is featured on Musical Theatre Melodies

Musical Theatre Melodies broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 20th February will feature a 40th Anniversary tribute to Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s On the Twentieth Century, (based on a play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur), from the 1978 original Broadway cast recording starring John Cullum, Madeline Kahn and Imogene Coca with George Coe, Dean Dittman and Kevin Kline. The introduction will be by New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist, Peter Filichia. 
 
The programme will conclude with a selection of songs from the musicals of Cy Coleman, including Wildcat, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Seesaw, I Love My Wife, Barnum, The Will Rogers Follies and City of Angels..
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

 

Monsieur Beaucaire & The Lilac Domino feature in Musical Theatre Melodies

The next “Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 13th February will feature a Centenary tribute to the London premiere of Charles Cuvillier’s The Lilac Domino, (English adaptation by H.F. Maltby, with additional songs by Howard Carr and Donovan S. Parsons), from a 1969 British radio cast recording with Cynthia Glover, Elaine Blighton, Derek Hammond Stroud and Bernard Dickerson. (See our feature in “From The Collection”)
 
The programme will also feature André Messager’s Monsieur Beaucaire, (based on the novel by Booth Tarkington), from a 1949 3DB Melbourne radio broadcast transcription recording with Robert Simmonds and Peggy Allen, plus additional songs from the score sung by John Cameron from a 1947 Sydney radio broadcast transcription recording.
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

 

1958’s Oh Captain features on Musical Theatre Melodies

The next “Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 6th February will feature a 60th Anniversary tribute to Jay Livingston and Ray Evans’ “Oh, Captain!”, (based on the film “The Captain’s Paradise” by Alec Coppel and Nicholas Phipps), from the 1958 original Broadway cast recording starring Tony Randall, Jacquelyn McKeever, Edward Platt, Susan Johnson and Paul Valentine with Eileen Rodgers.  
 
The programme will conclude with a 70th Anniversary tribute to Hugh Martin’s “Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!”, featuring selections from the 1948 original Broadway cast recording starring Nancy Walker, Harold Lang, Sandra Deel, Bill Shirley and Hugh Martin. 
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

Musical Theatre Melodies Salutes Patricia Routledege

“Musical Theatre Melodies” to be broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 30th January will feature a 50th Anniversary tribute to Jule Styne and E.Y. Harburg’s “Darling of the Day”, (based on Arnold Bennett’s “Buried Alive”), from the 1968 original Broadway cast recording starring Vincent Price and Patricia Routledge with Peter Woodthorpe, Brenda Forbes, Teddy Green, Mitchell Jason, Marc Jordan and Charles Welch. Read more here – http://overtures.org.uk/?p=14799 . This will be introduced by New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist* – Peter Filichia. 
 
The programme will conclude with selections from the 1973 recital album “Presenting Patrica Routledge” featuring songs by Rodgers and Hart, Jones and Schmidt, Ivor Novello, Noel Coward and Cole Porter. Read more about Dame Patricia Routledge here: – http://overtures.org.uk/?p=14554 
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

 

THE HAPPY TIME – Robert Goulet’s Tony Award Winner

“Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 23rd January will feature a 50th Anniversary tribute to John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “The Happy Time”, (suggested by the characters in the stories by Robert L. Fontaine), from the 1968 original Broadway cast recording starring Robert Goulet and David Wayne with Michael Rupert, Julie Gregg and George S. Irving. This will be introduced by New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist Peter Filichia. 
 
The programme will conclude with song selections featuring Robert Goulet from the respective U.S. TV musical versions of Lerner and Lowe’s Brigadoon (1966) with Sally Anne Howes; Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (1967) with Mary Grover and Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate (1968) with Carol Lawrence.
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

 

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

 

 

Let’s Take A Look At Australia With Musical Theatre Melodies

“Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 16th January will feature a 30th Anniversary tribute to Martin Armiger, George Dreyfus, David King, Tim Robertson, John Romeril and Don Watson’s Manning Clark’s  “History of Australia” – The Musical, (inspired by the histories of Professor Manning Clark), from the 1988 original Australian cast recording starring Ivar Kants, Terry Bader, Jonathan Biggins, Terry Brady, Tina Bursill, Darryl Emmerson, Michele Fawdon, Geoffrey Jenkins, John McTernan, Linda Nagle, Helen Noonan, Ingrid Silveus, Greg Stone, Carmen Tanti, Kate Turner, Jenny Vuletic and Ross Williams.
 
This will be preceded by a ‘live’ telephone interview with composer/lyricist, writer and Australian Musical Theatre historian* Peter Pinne from Brisbane discussing the background history of the musical.
 
The programme will conclude with an interview with Australian performer and composer/playwright Bradley McCaw discussing the recent studio cast highlights recording of his musical Becoming Bill.
Also you can take a listen here –

ITUNES: http://apple.co/2iTQAGK
SPOTIFY: http://spoti.fi/2n88MAG
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

 

Happy 120th Birthday to our Gracie (1898 – 1979)

We mark the 120th anniversary of the birth of Gracie Fields by delving into our archives and retrieving this Christmas broadcast from 1941.

It was recorded in Vancouver, Canada whilst Gracie was on a North American tour and it was produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in conjunction with the BBC for broadcasting across the Empire.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE BROADCAST

 

60 Years Ago – How London’s Theatreland looked in Jan 1958

London’s Theatreland in January 1958 had a very different mix of shows from what’s on offer today. There were fewer musicals, more drama and the last remnants of revue. The Christmas pantomimes didn’t open until Boxing Day, rather than early December, and would run through January and some into March. The musicals running included three British greats , The Boy Friend, Free As Air,  Salad Days as well as Grab Me A Gondola; the only Broadway contribution was Bells Are Ringing.

Dramas and comedies occupied the stages of the Winter Gardens (became the site for the New London), Aldwych, Saville (now the Odeon Covent Garden), Palace, Cambridge, Adelphi, Piccadilly, Phoenix, Strand (now the Novello), Garrick, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Her Majesty’s while revue played the Apollo (Shaftesbury Ave), Fortune, Prince Of Wales, Comedy (Harold Pinter) and Victoria Palace.

Other theatre changes from 1958 are Globe Theatre became Gielgud, New is now Noel Coward, the Princes is once again the Shaftesbury, Scala and Westminster have long since been demolished (although The Other Palace has been created as part of the reconstruction of the Westminster site), Whitehall has become the Trafalgar Studios, Windmill a casino, the only additions are those from the Gaumont cinema circuit Apollo Victoria (New Victoria cinema), Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (Gaumont cinema) and Dominion as well as Prince Edward (London Casino – Cinerama), Peacock (from the Royalty Kingsway cinema) and then the reopening of the Lyceum Theatre in Wellington Street and the Playhouse Northumberland Avenue and new venues such as Barbican, Donmar Warehouse, Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark Playhouse, National Theatre and most recently the Bridge as well as a myriad of fringe venues.

Below are the Theatre Listings for the week of Monday January 7th 1958.

 

 

Illustrations taken from the Overtures Archives

Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty’s RAGTIME marks its 20th anniversary

“Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 9th January will feature a 20th Anniversary tribute to Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s “Ragtime”, (based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow), from the 1998 original Broadway cast recording starring Marin Mazzie, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Peter Friedman, Judy Kaye, Mark Jacoby, Lea Michele, Lynnette Perry, Steven Sutcliffe, Jim Corti, Mike O’Carroll, Larry Daggett, Alex Strange and Tommy Hollis.


 

The musical had its world premiere in Toronto, where it opened at the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts (later renamed the Toronto Centre for the Arts) on December 8, 1996, produced by Canadian impresario Garth Drabinsky and his Livent Inc., the Toronto-production company he headed. The US premiere was at the Shubert Theatre, Los Angeles in June 1997. The musical opened on Broadway on January 18, 1998 as the first production in the newly opened Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Frank Galati and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, Ragtime closed on January 16, 2000 after 834 performances and 27 previews. The original cast included Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, Peter Friedman and Audra McDonald, who were all nominated for Tony Awards.

The production received mixed reviews, with critics noting that the dazzling physical production (with a $10 million budget, including fireworks and a working Model T automobile) overshadowed problems in the script. Ben Brantley’s review in  was headlined “A diorama with nostalgia rampant.” It led the 1998 Tony Awards with thirteen Tony Award nominations, but Disney’s The Lion King won as Best Musical. The musical won awards for Best Featured Actress (McDonald), Original Score, Book, and Orchestrations. According to The New York Times, “The chief competition for The Lion King was Ragtime, a lavish musical.” The New York Times also noted that “The season was an artistic success as well, creating one of the most competitive Tony contests in years, with a battle in almost every category capped by the titanic struggle for the best musical award between Ragtime with 13 nominations and The Lion King with 11.” The Broadway production was not financially successful, and some Broadway insiders consider its lavish production to have been the financial “undoing” of Livent.

Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the United States in the early 20th century: African Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia. Historical figures including Harry Houdini, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford are represented in the stories.

The programme will feature ab introduction by New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist Peter Filichia. 
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

 

How Now Dow Jones features in this week’s Musical Theatre Melodies

“Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 2nd January will feature a 50th Anniversary tribute to Elmer Bernstein and Carolyn Leigh’s How Now Dow Jones, from the 1967 original Broadway cast recording starring Marlyn Mason, Anthony Roberts, Brenda Vaccaro, Hiram Sherman, Sammy Smith, Charlotte Jones and Fran Stevens.
 
This will be preceded by an introduction (via Skype) from New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist – Peter Filichia. 
 
The remainder of the programme will feature further selections from the 1997 London studio cast recording of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd’s Show Boat, starring Frederica Von Stade, Jerry Hadley, Bruce Hubbard, Paige O’Hara, David Garrison, Karla Burns, Robert Nicols, Nancy Kulp, Lillian Gish and Teresa Stratas, with the Ambrosian Chorus and London Sinfonietta conducted by John McGlinn.
 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)
 

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showboat was THE musical back in 1927 and is the Boxing Day feature

“Musical Theatre Melodies” to be on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 26th December will feature a 90th Anniversary tribute to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd’s “Show Boat”, (adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber), from the 1997 London studio cast recording starring Frederica Von Stade, Jerry Hadley, Bruce Hubbard, Paige O’Hara, David Garrison, Karla Burns, Robert Nicols, Nancy Kulp, Lillian Gish and Teresa Stratas, with the Ambrosian Chorus and London Sinfonietta conducted by John McGlinn and will be introduced by New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist, Peter Filichia. 


 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.)

For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

Musical Theatre Melodies features Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Sixty years ago a breath of fresh air came to Broadway.  It was brought by a show called The Music Man written by a man of music but one who had no theatre background.  It broke a few theatrical rules and invented new ones and it went on to win the Tony Award for the season’s Best Musical.

This week “Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 19th December will feature a  tribute to Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, from the 1957 original Broadway cast recording starring Robert Preston, with Barbara Cook, Pert Kelton, Iggie Wolfington, The Buffalo Bills, Helen Raymond, Paul Reed and Eddie Hodges. This will be introduced by New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist, Peter Filichia. Also, the  programme will feature song selections from Meredith Willson’s Here’s Love, (based on Miracle on 34th Street), from the 1963 original Broadway cast recording starring Janis Page, Craig Stevens and Laurence Naismith, with Fred Gwynne, Paul Reed and Valerie Lee. (see bottom of article for broadcast details)
 

The man of music was Meredith Willson whose career had been originally classical based before making his name on radio as an orchestra leader.  He was famous enough to have written an autobiography (or as called a Memento) of his early years growing up in small town Iowa USA.  It was fun, touching and showed insight on ordinary America.  There had been interest from hit show writer Frank Loesser in the book as he saw it had musical possibilities.  Loesser introduced Willson to the producers of his last two shows, Feyer and Martin.  They also saw the possibilities and encouraged Willson to turn it into a musical for which they would have first option to produce.  The book was published in 1948 and it would take nine years to bring to the stage and then with different producers.

Willson’s knowledge of writing specifically for the theatre was non-existent though he certainly knew how to construct a song.  After a few attempts at creating a story line he sought help from Franklin Lacey, a playwright and screen writer, and their collaboration eventually succeeded.  At first they had considered a television version but the stage won.

The central character became Harold Hill, a con man set to make money from selling musical instruments and uniforms for a town band perceived by the brain washed towns folk to be needed to keep their young on the straight and narrow.  A con man may not be the accepted view of a Broadway male lead – indeed the opening number (in lieu of an overture) would leave the audience in no doubt about his morals (or lack of).  What the book cleverly did was to give him a heart that would, we hope, lead him to salvation and a happy ending for everyone concerned.  This was helped by the introduction of Marion, the town’s librarian and a piano teacher who saw through Hill’s plan but eventually saw the positive change in the hopes of the young and the more positive side of her ‘white knight’.

There was no overture and no ballet (a must since Oklahoma!)  but there was a terrific story with all the hope, warmth together with an important insight to American small town life a generation or so before.  There was also the fact that it was perfectly cast. 

Harold Hill was played by Robert Preston, a minor Hollywood leading man known mainly for his cowboy pictures.  He had limited vocal skills but, as see the previous year with Rex Harrison, acting skills could overcome many vocal problems.  Marion, on the other hand, was played by one of the most beautifully sounding voices of all time, that of Barbara Cook. 

The Music Man opened on Broadway on 19 December 1957. 

It was an immediate hit winning five Tony Awards including Best Musical and nods to both Preston and Cook.  The show would run for 1375 performances.  The cast album won the Grammy Award for best Musical theatre Album of the year and went on to become one of the largest original cast selling albums.  All this in the season that also introduced West Side Story, New Girl in Town, Jamaica and Oh, Captain!

 

London saw it with Val Johnson playing Harold Hill and again it was a hit – but only while he remained with the show.  It was not considered suitable to tour the UK. 

There was a successful film version which stayed close to the original show starring Robert Preston but not Barbara Cook – her part was played by Shirley Jones.  It has remained a firm American favourite with successful revivals and a television adaptation. A recent revival at Chichester featured Brian Conley as Harold Hill but didn’t make it to the West End.

The Meredith Willson archive is now available on line via the Great American Songbook web site.  His book on the making of The Musical Man called “But he didn’t know the territory” is out of print.

Musical Theatre Melodies

 will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EDT local Melbourne time; (= 10 a.m. – 12 noon GMT in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZDT; = 5 – 7 a.m. EST New York time; = 2 – 4 a.m. PST Los Angeles time.) For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer2/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links from “Listen Live” on the top menu.

Rexton S Bunnett                                                                                             Illustrations from the Overtures archive