"UP IN THE CHEAP SEATS"

Theatre yesterday and today

 

 

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MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE?

I couldn't let today go by without acknowledging that on this date 59 years ago, Meredith Willson's The Music Man opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre. Though by no means the greatest musical ever written, it is my all-time favorite. Let me count the ways. I readily admit that its charms are not universal. There are many who think it's cornball and silly (which it is). But it's also deep and true, which is why it has endured for so long as such a popular title in schools and regional theatre. Willson based it on the people he knew from his home town of Mason City, Iowa. The young boy in him never really grew up and his ability to reproduce 1912 Iowa on a Broadway stage grew out of his

BROADWAY BABY

Yesterday marked the birthdate of the actress/singer/dancer Ethel Shutta (pronounced Shuh-tay), born in 1896, immortalized as the person who introduced the Stephen Sondheim favorite “Broadway Baby,” in the 1971 musical Follies. By then she had experienced a long up-and-down career that began when she was a child in vaudeville, carried on through radio; on Broadway in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1925 and later opposite Eddie Cantor in Whoopee! (a role she recreated in the film version); and culminating with her swan song (literally) in the aforementioned Follies. She was seventy-six-years-old on its opening night; the oldest member of the company. And from the first day of rehearsal she killed it

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© 2016 Ron Fassler - All rights Reserved

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