August 17, 2012
Joan Roberts, 95, who created the role of the winsome "yeller"-haired heroine, Laurey, in the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! , died Monday in Stamford, Conn. Her death was announced by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. One of the last living members of the musical's original cast, Ms. Roberts had lived for many years in Rockville Centre, N.Y. Oklahoma! , which opened in 1943, was Ms. Roberts' second Broadway show. Oklahoma! ran for 2,212 performances and became a benchmark by which later musicals would be judged.
October 25, 2002 |
Every day - or so they swore - Betty Comden and Adolph Green met and worked, whether writing a new Broadway show or revising one of their many classics. However, the promise of another show, another song, ended with Mr. Green's death on Wednesday at age 87. His body of work with Comden spanned roughly 60 years, starting with sketches they wrote as part of the comedy team The Revuers, up through libretto revisions in the 1998 Broadway revival of On the Town. They were most famous for writing the screenplays to the classic MGM films Singin' in the Rain and The Bandwagon, though Broadway buffs often say their best work was in lesser-known shows, such as the art-deco farce On the Twentieth Century (1978)
March 30, 2012 |
So Tim Tebow's going to New York City. Well, I'm not going with him. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm everywhere at once, all-knowing and all-seeing, blah, blah, blah. But ever since the 2010 draft, I've been hanging out mostly here in Denver to look after Tim. And, really, can you blame Me? It's a nice town. And with its mile-high elevation, it's less of a commute. And before you accuse Me of playing favorites, with about six billion ingrates to deal with, why shouldn't I pay a little extra attention to a kid who thanks Me publicly for everything from a touchdown to a bologna sandwich?
May 7, 1990 |
I brood at times about how the Broadway musical stage has let some big talents go to waste. I think, for example, of the redoubtable Helen Gallagher, who is class all the way. I think of Julie Wilson, for whom a melody is drama. I lament the waste of the promise in a singer such as Pamela Myers, who showed herself heir presumptive to Ethel Merman by belting out "Another Hundred People" in the original Broadway production of Company. I even wonder about the loss to the stage of Liza Minnelli, who could have been the reigning musical comedy queen of our time.
March 21, 2002 |
One of the objections offered by the unions protesting the nonunion production of The Music Man at the Merriam Theater is that while the show is based on the recent Broadway production, it can't really be called a Broadway show because it doesn't use actors who have Broadway experience. That is a valid point. There is a polish and professionalism - something easier to sense than to explain - that Broadway-experienced actors lend to a show that this production of The Music Man does not have.
May 25, 1989 |
Playwright Phyllis Purscell has written some very funny lines for The Temptation of Maddie Graham. They would be even funnier if they were in the context of a better play. Purscell, who lives in Newtown, displays a gift for the one-liner and the apt, humorous quip growing out of a specific situation. It might seem extravagant to compare her comic talent to Neil Simon's; but when she is on, which is often, her witticisms sound much like those of the master of Broadway comedy. However, if Purscell does not devise better vehicles than The Temptation of Maddie Graham, it's doubtful that her humor will find an outlet beyond the few regional theaters that have produced her plays.
May 7, 1987 |
It's been 45 years since Spencer Tracy melted down a sputtering Katharine Hepburn in the movie "Woman of the Year," but only four since the musical starring Lauren Bacall and then Raquel Welch as a saucy, headstrong Barbara Walters-style TV newswoman closed on Broadway. The version presented at the Claridge through Aug. 15 is still relatively fresh; this is not a revival of a show that's been done to death in dinner theaters. "Woman" is shorter than the Broadway show, a little thinner on the cast (minor cast members double up, giving the audience a weird case of deja vu)
March 12, 2012 |
WILLIAM SHATNER doesn't turn down roles. Not on TV or films. Not self-mocking commercials, a long-running game-show square or oft-maligned (though I do love some) musical recording sessions. Why, the man won't even turn down an interview when he's still getting over a stomach flu and should be saving strength for the evening performance of "Shatner's World: We Just Live In It," his one-man show landing tomorrow for a one-nighter at the Merriam Theater. "My life's been all about saying yes to opportunities, because you never know where that can take you," he explained in a kindly, grandfatherly, 80-year-old voice more Denny Crane than Captain Kirk or comedy roaster or aggressive pitchman for Priceline.com.
April 9, 2012 |
SMASH. 10 p.m. Monday, NBC10. GLEE. 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fox 29. IT'S NOT always easy to love the TV musical. I watch NBC's "Smash" with a heavy heart and half an eye on Twitter, the better to commiserate with friends who cannot believe someone hasn't yet killed Ellis the Evil Assistant (Jaime Cepero) or that a promising pilot about the making of a Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe has descended so quickly into melodrama, with dueling Marilyns (Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty)
January 29, 2012 |
Once heralded as the greatest British actor of his generation, Nicol Williamson was also a legend for stormy onstage behavior that included calling off a performance of Hamlet mid-speech because he was too tired to go on. "I'll pay for the seats," he later recalled telling the audience in 1969, "but I won't shortchange you by not giving my best. " And then he walked off. He made his name as the faltering attorney in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence in the mid-1960s in London, rode the role to a Tony Award nomination on Broadway, and re-created the part in the 1968 film.