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Author Topic: AOHELL  (Read 21524 times)

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bk

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AOHELL
« on: March 20, 2004, 12:01:07 AM »

Well, you've read the notes, the notes have spoken to you, you have spoken to the notes, those in Spokane have spoken to the notes, thus spake the notes and now it is time to post until the cows come home.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2004, 12:01:23 AM by bk »
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Jay

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2004, 12:09:29 AM »

There are hundreds--if not thousands--of performances from the past that I'd love to use the HHW time machine for.  If I had to choose only one, though, it's an easy pick.  La Merman in Gypsy.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2004, 12:11:17 AM by Jay »
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Jay

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2004, 12:13:30 AM »

If I could use the HHW time machine for opera performances, I think I'd use it to see the joint debut of Miss Leontyne Price and Mr. Franco Corelli at the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi's Il Trovatore.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2004, 06:41:42 AM by Jay »
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Charles Pogue

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2004, 12:42:46 AM »

I want to go back and see Barrymore's Hamlet and his Richard III.  I would have liked to have see the great British Triumvirate of Gielgud, Olivier, and Richardson in their prime, each one doing one of their great roles.  I'd like to have seen Kean to see if his acting of the bard was really like reading "Shakespeare by Lightning" as Coleridge claimed.  And I'd like to see Garrick in something. I'd like to have seen Christopher Plummer in Royal Hunt of the Sun.  I'd have like to have seen Michael Pennington and Judi Dench in the early nineties doing GIFT OF THE GORGON which is the best play I've read in the last ten years or so.
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Tomovoz

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2004, 02:17:56 AM »

The original "Follies" would be my choice. Just going back a few years and seeing "Ragtime" would be my next wish.
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Bevan

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2004, 02:42:13 AM »

I would love to see Gwen and Chita in the original Chicago.  Or Gwen in... well, anything ;D
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Noel

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2004, 04:30:12 AM »

The original "Follies" would be my choice.

I was going to say "Follies" too.  Every time I see the show (3), I'm left unsatisfied.  The score is SO wonderful, but something about the lead characters, who seem to me to have done some pretty exciting things in their lives, regretting their life choices - always rubs me the wrong way.  Then, inevitably, some older person tells me I should've seen the original Broadway production.  It's hard to imagine how I'd feel differently, but I'd love to use that time machine to confirm it.

DR JAY - Sounds like your birthday was a real treat.  Any chance of posting Marcovicci's song list?  Or just mentioning what songs she did that weren't from Loesser's five Broadway shows?

DR Der Brucer - Excuses were explicitly forbidden in our song "Vows."   We've both got our eyes on the other book.

Welcome Bevan

A painter showed up, meaning we must push all sorts of furniture away from walls.  It's very disconcerting, and, for the moment, I can't find Kritzer.  Where could he be?  Running from the bad men?

Today, we have to go hear a sermon.
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elmore3003

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2004, 05:07:57 AM »

Dearest BK,  AOL and you are on one helluva bum trip (flashback to the 70s!) and I think you should change servers.  When I was given my first computer in 2001, I had no idea what to do, and I was thinking AOL.  Everyone told me that AOL stank and that I should use Time Warner Roadrunner.  Since I already had Time Warner Cable, it made sense and the package offer 1001 channels.  I'm very happy with the service except for the fact I cannot get off this damned site and watch 1001 channels!

DR Bevan, your post came in at 5 am or so?  Are you partying too hard in the Midwest?  Is it spring break?  I'm back to a normal schedule, which means up between 6:30 and 7:30, thank God!

DR Dan, yes, Omarossa was the perfect villainess, but I got so sick of her defensive "I'm black, so if you're calling me a moron or lazy, it's because you're a racist" act.   With those camers checking on her every move, she would never have won because her act was too apparent to Trump and the producers, but I wish they'd kept her around to let her hang herself some more.

DR Jane, I hope you don't hate me for tonight's "Wonderfalls."

DR RLP, "Playing it Straight" is so moronic; I haven't seen such butch overacting since a Tom Cruise press conference, and the poor lady has such bad gaydar sher'll end up with either a bad marriage or "Hag of the Year" award.

Let's get to the good stuff:  Today's Topic

1.  THE MIKADO, original cast, just to see what's been haunting Gilbert and Sullivan for the past 100 years

2.  BABES IN TOYLAND (1903), first of all, it's a form of entertainment - the extravaganza - long lost, and all those women-as-boys roles still look peculiar, but an amazing cast:  Bessie Wynn fresh from THE WIZARD OF OZ, who did one more show for Victor Herbert and moved into vaudeville, Mabel Barrison who became a big star singing "I Can't Do the Sum" who died 9 years later at the age of 31, and William Norris, who was in the original cast of Romberg's MAYTIME and whose last role was Merlin in Rodgers & Hart's 1926 CONNECTICUT YANKEE.

3.  DEAREST ENEMY (1925), Rodgers & Hart's first hit, with Helen Ford who also starred in PEGGY ANN and CHEE-CHEE for them and Flavia Arcaro (love that name!) who played the comic mother role in the American premiere of THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER in 1908.

4.  SHOW BOAT (1927), because the original production was the Mt Everest of musicals, great score and lots of great performers including Edna Mae Oliver.
 
5.  ANYTHING GOES (1934), with that cast!  Merman, Gaxton (another CONNECTICUT YANKEE actor) and Victor Moore!

6.  BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (1938), Rodgers & Hart, any other reason?  Yep!  George Balanchine dances.  But the same team also did BABES IN ARMS and I MARRIED AN ANGEl and I would have killed to see any of them.

6.  Too many in the 40s:  BRIGADOON, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (because Bernadette was so pathetic), and KISS ME, KATE, but I'd choose OKLAHOMA! because to me the score is still the freshest Rodgers & Hammerstein and will always be evergreen.  It was must been sheer delight.

7.  the 50s:  Three main ones:
THE GOLDEN APPLE, an off-Broadway show with one of the best casts ever and a fascinating score.
THE THREEPENNY OPERA, Charlotte Rae, Jo Sullivan, Bea Arthur and Lotte Lenya in a great translation by Marc Blitzstein; this must have been such a kick in the ass for all those pathetic McCarthy witch hunters!
CANDIDE:  Irra Petina and the great Barbara Cook in the strangest piece ever conceived as a "comic operetta."  The 1973 revival and all after have screwed up the score, and Richard Wilbur's lyrics were written for Hellman's characters  so that "You Were Dead, You Know" loses some punch when Candide knows that Cunegonde's no longer his virgin (her "now let's talk of you" in the original show is a conniving whore's turning the subject so he doesn't know the truth).

By the late 60s I was coming to New York to see theatre, so there's not much I haven't seen.  One show was PROMENADE (1969, maybe?), because it strikes me as a CANDIDE written by an absurdist like Ionesco.

The one show I regret missing in the 1980s was  OH BROTHER! because it's one of the funniest scores I can think of.  While the word of mouth was excellent, the show closed 3 days after opening because of lousy reviews over how unfunny the situation was in the Middle East.  How true . . .



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Michael

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2004, 05:47:45 AM »

Merman in Gypsy
My Fair Lady
Show Boat (Out of Town when Misrey Comin' Around was still in the show)
Lady In the Dark (before Danny Kaye and Gertrude lawrence tried to upstage one another)
The Grass Harp (One of my favorte scores)

and then I would love to see many of the infamous train wrecks over the years. Some of these closed after 1 performance. Some of these never made it to Broadway and othres closed within a week of their openings

Whoop Up
Here's Where I Belong
Gantry
Legs Diamond
Brekfast at Tiffany's
Lolita, My Love
Home Sweet Homer
The Yearling
The Baker's Wife
Shogun
Annie 2:Miss Hannigan's reveng
Mack and Mabel
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
La Strada
Mata Hari (the night the actressed playing her scratched her nose after she died)
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Matt H.

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2004, 05:54:40 AM »

I could give a long list of hits and flops, but I'll restrict it to one: Julie Andrews in MY FAIR LADY.

I saw the original show on Broadway (my first Broadway show), but I was very young and my memories are vague to say the least. I also saw Sally Ann Howes and not Julie as Eliza. From a 40+ year old memory, she seemed fine (I truly remember Doolittle's numbers more than ELiza's or Higgins'), but having seen Harrison and Holloway in the movie version, what I long to see is what Julie did with Eliza and to hear that glorious voice in person.
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Kerry

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2004, 06:04:33 AM »

Like everyone else, I can't keep it to one.  I'd want to see the original casts of  "Gypsy," "Follies," "Company," "My Fair Lady"   I would also have liked to have seen Judy's Carnegie Hall and Palace performances, Helen Morgan in her prime, and although he was an egotistical bastard, I would have liked to have seen Jolson perform live to see if he had as much electricity as everyone says.

Well, that's a start-- a nice dream to get me through the day
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Michael

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2004, 06:05:28 AM »

BTW

I think Oscar Hammerstein II said this about today so well.

I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm, I'm as jumpy as puppet on a string
I'd say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn't spring
I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing
O why should I have spring fever, when it isn't even spring

I keep wishing I were someone else, walking down a strange new street
And hearing words that I've never heard from a girl I've yet to meet
I'm as busy as spider spinning daydreams, spinning spinning daydreams
I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing

I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud, or a robin on the wing
But I feel so gay in a melancholy way, that it might as well be spring
It might as well be spring
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Matt H.

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2004, 06:06:45 AM »

In response to DR Robin's comments about reality TV last night, I really don't consider AMERICAN IDOL a reality show. Talent competitions and game shows are among the oldest of TV genres, and other than its tricked-up presentations of the contestants (video montages of them rather than an anoouncer reading from a script about their lives) and phone-in votes rather than a studio audience applause meter, it's really no different from TED MACK"S ORIGINAL AMATEUR HOUR.

I think of programs like SURVIVOR, THE MOLE, and THE AMAZING RACE as game shows, too, rather than reality shows.

It's those forced dating shows like THE BACHELOR and PLAYING IT STRAIGHT that I think occupy the bottom rung of the TV chain. That's not to say I haven't watched them (well, actually only one - BOY MEETS BOY on Bravo last summer), but those are truly the guilty pleasure-type of reality programs that I usually avoid.
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Kerry

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2004, 06:08:17 AM »

I would have like to have seen Angela Lansbury in "Mame" as well as some of the other Mames and Dollies over the years.   AND the original cast of "A Chorus Line" both on and off-Broadway.
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Michael

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2004, 06:14:34 AM »

Like to add Mr. Johnny Mercer's take on today.

CALEB:
Oh, the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy,
And the obvious reason is because of the season
Ma Nature's lyrical, with her yearly miracle
Spring, Spring, Spring.

BENJAMIN:
All the hen-folk are hatchin'
While their men-folk are scrathin'
To ensure the survival of each brand new arrival.
DORCAS:
Each nest is twitterin',
They're all baby-sitterin',
Spring, Spring, Spring.

FRANK:
It's a beehive of buddin' son and daughter life,
Every family has plans in view.
Even down in the brook the underwater life
Is forever blowin' bubbles too.

LIZA:
Every field wears a bonnet
With some spring daisies on it,
Even birds of a feather show their clothes off together.
EPHRAIM:
Sun's gettin' shinery, to spotlight the finery,
LIZA:
Spring, Spring, Spring.

GIDEON:
From his eerie, the eagle with his eagle eye
Gazes down across his eagle beak
And a'fixin' his lady with the legal eye
Screams "suppose we fix the date this week!"

CALEB & RUTH with DANIEL & MARTHA:
Yes, siree, spring disposes
That it's all one supposes
It's a real bed of roses
Waggin' tails, rubbin' noses.

All BROTHERS (except Ephraim) & All BRIDES:
Each day is Mother's Day
The next is some other's day
When all is King .........

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DERBRUCER

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2004, 06:20:32 AM »


3.  DEAREST ENEMY (1925), Rodgers & Hart's first hit, with Helen Ford who also starred in PEGGY ANN and CHEE-CHEE for them and Flavia Arcaro (love that name!) who played the comic mother role in the American premiere of THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER in 1908.




"Helen Ford as the patriot Betsy Burke and Charles Purcell as the redcoat captain Sir John Copeland in Dearest Enemy. She's wearing a barrel because he's made of with her clothes while she was taking a dip. (Helen had all her clothes back on by the time the two of them sang 'Here in My Arms.')"

Picture and text from "Thou Swell Thou Witty" by Dorothy Hart

der Brucer (there still more Ford in your future)
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DERBRUCER

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2004, 06:26:46 AM »

More Helen Ford for elmore:



"You bet your life I'd have two hats and a fresh egg once in a while." Helen Ford in the prolog of Peggy-Anne as the little girl who falls asleep reading the New York papers and dreams of wonderful adventures in Manhattan, Havana and all the other places that girls in the sticks once dreamed of visiting."

Thou Swell Thou Witty - Dorothy Hart

der Brucer (one more Ford in your future)

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Matt H.

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2004, 06:29:32 AM »

Yes, it is the first day of spring today, and it's going to be 70 here today. Glorious.
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Jennifer

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2004, 06:31:27 AM »

Good morning all!

From last night:

I wrote:
Quote
Plus don't all the others get on your nerves? Every single one of the others seems incompetent to me.  

 
Dan (the man) wrote:
Quote
Oh, I don't know...I think Troy and Bill are pretty smart.  And I think Heidi was a terrific worker (not CEO material, though.)  And as much as I don't like Katrina, she was pretty smart to find a contractor to do the apartment renovations.  But I would agree with you as far as Nick and Kwame go.

Well Katrina is in real estate (one of the top 3 or whatever in the US or Florida (can't remember what she said)).  Yeah that was smart - but she still lost.

The others just keep losing. And don't really have too many good ideas.  Troy is nice enough and motivated. But he lost how many times? :)

I dislike Bill. And thought Heidi was slightly unclassy at times (remember in the Yankee booth?).

And:
Quote
So who do you think would be the best one for Troy and Kwame to pull over next week?
 


How do you know who will be the leaders?

I think the key is 1) if someone makes a serious mistake take them in.

But I think the real key is TO TAKE YOUR FRIEND IN WITH YOU.

Most people leave their friend out. What you need to do is bring your friend into the boardroom and both of you blame the third person.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2004, 06:36:30 AM by Jennifer »
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DERBRUCER

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2004, 06:36:39 AM »

A fond Ford farewell:



Helen Ford, singing "Here in My arms", November 2, 1973.

(She appeared at USC in a tribute to the lyrics of Lorenz Hart)

der Brucer (Hart relates some cute anecdotes told her by Helen which I will try and get SWW to transcribe)
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Jay

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2004, 06:46:29 AM »


DR JAY - Sounds like your birthday was a real treat.  Any chance of posting Marcovicci's song list?  Or just mentioning what songs she did that weren't from Loesser's five Broadway shows?


The song list was not included in the program and the confidence with which you trust my memory is misplaced indeed.  Sorry.
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Jay

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2004, 06:47:42 AM »

A painter showed up, meaning we must push all sorts of furniture away from walls.  It's very disconcerting...

I have found that it is easier to move than to get the house painted.
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Panni

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2004, 06:50:43 AM »

Good morning. Great question. I'll start with some more "recent" fare (as opposed to the 40's and 50's).
The original CHORUS LINE, HAIR, COMPANY, FOLLIES.
Back a bit - MY FAIR LADY
Non-musical - original WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRIGINA WOOLF; DANCE OF DEATH with Laurence Olivier, which I actually saw while still quite young (1968?) and was so blown away that I went home and wrote Olivier a long, very personal letter about it - and he answered me. One critic wrote about that performance  the Olivier was "a trapped panther who threatened the other actors with extinction."
More choices later. My guest from Toronto is leaving and I must see her off.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2004, 06:51:56 AM by Panni »
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Jay

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2004, 06:57:52 AM »

Well, well, well.  (That is three wells.)  The L.A. Times published--in edited form--the letter I sent them.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-marriage20mar20,1,5506440.story?coll=la-news-comment-letters

This is the piece to which I was responding:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-kmiec14mar14,1,1605411.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary
« Last Edit: March 20, 2004, 07:04:04 AM by Jay »
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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2004, 06:58:52 AM »

Danise, remember, Steak Tartare is just seasoned raw hamburger.  ;) My mother use to order it but I’m with SWW.  If possible a sample would be a good idea before ordering an entire meal.

Elmore3003-LOL.  I haven’t watched WONDERFALLS yet, but I would never hate you.  Last night we finally watched the last 2 episodes of STARGATE.  
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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2004, 06:59:14 AM »

I have to say that I have been with AOL practically the entire time I've been on the internet, and though sometimes the mail server is slow to grab an outgoing e-mail occasionally and dropping carrier happens once a week or so, I've never had the problems bk experienced with his service. Of course, I'm still using dial-up, too.
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S. Woody White

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2004, 07:26:20 AM »

The original "Follies" would be my choice. Just going back a few years and seeing "Ragtime" would be my next wish.
Der Brucer and I were at the opening night of Ragtime in Los Angeles.  Stokes was amazing!  Wish you could have been there with us!
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S. Woody White

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2004, 07:38:00 AM »

Helen Ford Remembers:

I first met Dick Rodgers and Herbert Fields when they came to me at the Algonquin Hotel with a script of the American Revolution.  They asked me to read it, and if I liked it, Larry and Dick would play the score for me.  The show was Dearest Enemy.  There was a very good part for me and I loved the music.  At that time I wasn’t as appreciative of Larry’s lyrics as I am now.

We auditioned for every Tom, Dick and Harry, for every cloak-and-suiter.  Finally, after getting only half the money for the show -- $25,000 – we were doing it for gangsters, who were beginning to put money in the theater.  We got the money.

Larry always thought he was very naughty and liked to tease me by offering me a dirty lyric, pretending it was a new lyric for the show.  I was young, kind of straight-laced at the time, and that brought out his high school humor.  He was like a child.

One night, after a year’s run in Peggy-Ann, he came rushing in to me and said, “We’ve got to have a new lyric for ‘A Little Birdie Told Me So,’ ” which was my song.  In those days it was considered a little risqué.  After the show, Larry came back and said, “I’ve got the lyric.”  He handed me some toilet paper with a carefully written-out luric, watching me from the corner of his eye to get my reaction.  He always tried to shock me.  He was a darling.  Everybody loved him.

From Thou Swell, Thou Witty by Dorothy Hart.

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2004, 07:40:31 AM »

And, as proof of what dirty lyrics Larry Hart could write, here's A Little Birdie Told Me So, originally sung by Helen Ford

1st VERSE

Mother said, “My darling, if you’re going to New York,
I must tell you of the mysteries of life.
In towns like that, a little friendly visit from the stork
Is rather awkward if you’re not a wife!
Although he’s not invited, he’ll always be delighted
To fly in at a weekend.
Where will that fellow’s cheek end?”
But I replied, “I know just what to do, dear, while I roam –
I’ll simply tell the stork I’m not at home.”

1st REFRAIN

How did I come to know which way the wind would blow?
A little birdie told me so!
A little word called “yes” can make an awful mess.
The answer to “Giddap” is “Whoa.”
Don’t pity mother Eve, her weakness was detestable,
And soon she learned forbidden fruit was indigestible!
But how did I find out what it was all about?
A little birdie told me so!

2nd VERSE

When a handsome stranger says, “I think we’ve met before,”
There’s more than conversation on his mind.
When he says “Our souls should meet,” just show him the door!
For the meeting that he means is not refined.
He’ll say his love is mental,
And very transcendental.
His talk will soon get boorish,
And very ostermoorish.
He will use poetic words that no one understands,
And illustrate the meaning with his hands.

2nd REFRAIN

How did I come to know which way the wind would blow?
A little birdie told me so!
So look before you leap – the narrow path is steep.
One little push and down you go!
Of very pure young girls I wouldn’t say there’s none that’s left –
The well-known statue called Miss Liberty’s the one that’s left!
But purest driven show will sometimes drift, you know.
A little birdie told me so!
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

S. Woody White

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Re:AOHELL
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2004, 07:42:36 AM »

Getting back to TOD, three choices:

Gertrude Lawrence in Lady in the Dark.

Gwen Verdon in Redhead!

And I wouldn't at all have minded sitting in on the filming of the Dancing Dildoes!
Logged
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.
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