Sunglasses at Midnight
Russell Link presents a show that focuses on the history of the American Musical Theatre.
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6/28/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #254
Although there were black songs aplenty and quite popular at the turn of the century, there were African American composers and lyricists and performers on Broadway. Will Marion Cook, composer of IN DAHOMEY (1904) which also starred Bert Williams; Rosamond Johnson and Robert Cole wrote music and lyrics for Fay Templeton to sing in A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING. There were others and I'll feature them along the way. as I run through my history of the American Musical on Broadway. I also start my program today with a song by George Cohan and end with a discussion and a song by and about Cohan, "Give my Regards to Broadway from LITTLE JOHNNY JONES. Enjoy!

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6/21/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #253
Today I give you some music from Victor Herbert's BABETTE. Although the critics gave Herbert's score and Fritzi Scheff's performance accolades, the show did not do well, only 59 performances. George Cohan interpolated a few songs in MOTHER GOOSE, and I have him singing "I Want to Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune". Jean Schwartz's first full score was for PIFF! PAFF! POOF! and from the original cast I have race Cameron singing "Dollie Dimple". The show was the season's biggest hit,264 performances, and starred Eddie Foy. Sorry, but i I don't have anything by him. Also, I have some some music from THE PRINCE OF PILSEN and Will Marion Cook's "Darktown Barbecue" from THE SOUTHERNERS. Enjoy!

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6/14/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #252
Today I'm going to give you a few Harry von Tilzer songs, the "daddy of popular songs. Billy Murray sings with Ada Jones "I'll Remember You" and Joan Morris performs one of his most famous songs "She's Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage", accompanied by her husband William Balcom, pianist and composer. Some more BABES IN TOYLAND, including the orchestral prolouge. I've got a selection from the operetta ERMINIE, "Lullabye" sung by Jessica Dragonette, composed by Edward Jakobowski. Enjoy!

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6/07/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #251
The big shows today are THE PRINCE OF PILZEN, with music by Gustav Luders, and BABES IN TOYLAND, with music by Victor Herbert. I'll be playing for you a wonderful performance of the famous "March of the Toys" which is accompanied on You Tube by a wonderful cartoon that is a must, that is if you have a computer. In addition to that famous piece, I have two quite amusing and not at all popular songs, "She Was a Country Girl" and "Don't Be a Villain", both from a New World Records CD, "Collected Songs of Victor Herbert". And there are a few other songs from shows of the period, including a 1906 recording of Madge Crichton singing Paul Ruben's "My Gal Sal". Enjoy!

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5/31/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #250
I start today with "In the Good Old Summertime" from THE DEFENDER and end with the overture to Will Marion Cook's DAHOMEY. In between these two I have Lillian Russell singing "Come Down My Evening Star" from Weber and Field's TWIRLY WHIRLY; Blanche Ring's "Top Of the Morning"; "When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home"; Harry von Tilzer's "I Want to Be An Actor Lady" from SPOTLESS TOWN; and two songs from the 1903 WIZARD OF OZ. Those two songs will not compete with Harold Arlen's and E, Y, Harburg's wonderful songs from Judy Garland's 1939 film, but they're quite charming. History! Enjoy!

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5/24/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #249
Today I feature Sir Arthur Sullivan's last opera THE EMERALD ISLE; without Gilbert's lyrics it didn't do too well on Broadway. The music is lovely, but the recordings I have from a 1991 revival are not very good and it is hard to understand the lyrics. I also have an early performance by Marie Cahill of "Under the Bamboo Tree" which she interpolated in SALLY in OUR ALLEY. And finally I have a performance of Blanche Ring,another star of the period, singing "Yip a Yaydee Ay A", which is not from any show, but which is quite amusing and is sung by Miss Ring. Enjoy!

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5/17/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #248
You Tube is so very helpful in my traversal of early Broadway Musical Theatre as is the CD Music from the New York Stage, 1890-1920. From You Tube I've been able to obtain songs by Nora Bayes, a Tribute to Eddie Foy, Sr., and some beautiful photo of Anna Held, the great Ziegfeld star, which you'll have to go to You Tube to see. Also Edison's filming of the first filmed kiss, May Irwin and an unidentified man, shot in 1895. Miss Irwin was a great stage star of the late 1890's and the early 1900's. Don't miss it! From the CD of early musical theatre songs I've obtained a song from the last show of 1901, THE SUPPER CLUB, and the frst show of 1902, THE TOREADORS. Enjoy!

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5/10/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #247
I'm starting today with some songs from A NIGHT IN VENICE, a Johann Strauss operetta revived in early 1900, I didn't have the music when first I discussed this show. A bit of catching up. Early 1900s musicals included many Viennese operettas in English translations as well as Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, as well as musical extravagances and vaudevilles such as Weber and Fields and The Rodgers Brothers produced, showcasing such stars as Lillian Russell, Fay Templeton, Eva Tanguay, Marie Cahill, May Irwin and Lulu Glaser. It seems that FRA DIAVOLO, the opera by Daniel Auber was also popular and was revived several times. I have include a contemporary performance by Sumi Jo of an aria from FRA DIAVOLO, as well as performances by May Irwin and Marie Cahill. Also a discussion of Eva Tanguay's career by Fred Erdman. Enjoy!

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Continuing my early musical theatre project, I have more early recordings, terrible sound, alas, but quite authentic, with some original cast members, such as Bert Williams, The Rogers Brothers, and Raymond Hitchcock. Many thankls to You Tube and a CD entitled Music from the New York Stage 1890-1920, Thanks to that CD I have the Floradora girls singing "Tell Me Pretty Maiden" by Leslie Stuart. Anearly song by Jerome Kern,"Ain't It Funny What a Few Hours Make", sung by Hitchcock. Enjoy!

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4/26/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #245
Continuing my traversal of early musical theatre, 1900 now, continuing to 1924 if I live that long. Thanks to YouTube and a wonderful four volume, twelve disc CD collection titled Music from The New York Stage 1890-1920, I have quite a few original cast recordings from these early shows. Today I have some recordings from Reginald De Koven's ROBIN HOOD and Victor Herbert'd SERENADE. I also have some contemporary recordings {terrible sound) of selections from Sir Arthur Sullivan' s comic opera THE ROSE OF PERSIA (this time without Gilbert's lyrics) and Victor Herbert's SERENADE, Enjoy!

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4/19/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #244
Continuing my excursion into early Broadway musicals. Some more Gilbert and Sullivan revivals or, as is reported in Richard Norton's Volume I of his incredible three volume CHRONOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATER, return engagements. This time it's PATIENCE, HMS PINAFORE, and THE MIKADO. Also return engagements of two Victor Herbert (pictured) operettas, THE VICEROY and THE SERENADE, both with Harry B. Smith's lyrics and librettos. I include several early recordings and some modern recordings, including Jessye Norman's performance of Michael Balfe's "I Dreamt I Dwelled in Marble Halls", from THE BOHEMIAN GIRL, another one of the several return engagements. Enjoy!

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4/12/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #243
Hello! Welcome to my endeavor to stumble through early Broadway Musical Theatre. I have wanted for many months to complete the first half of the 1900's musicals by first completing the shows through 1950, having started several years ago with New Year's Eve 1923, by starting again with 1900 shows until the shows I first started with. What a sentence! Well, I am now at New Year's Day 1900 with John Philip Sousa's children's musical CHRIS AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP. continuing with several Gilbert and Sullivan shows, and selections from DIE FLEDERMAUS, THE CHIMES OF NORMANDY, A ROMANCE OF ATHLONE (which included Chauncey Olcott's "My Wild Irish Rose"), and Auber's FRA DIAVOLO. I had great pleasure doing this program, thanks to You Tube, so I hope you ENJOY it as much as I did preparing it.

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3/22/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #242
The last show of 1950 was Cole Porter's OUT OF THIS WORLD. It wasn't very successful, only 157 performances, although it had one Porter's best scores, right up there with ANYTHING GOES and KISS ME KATE. And it starred Charlotte Green- wood, she of the long legs and arms. She brought down the house in the next to last number, "Nobody'd Chasin' Me". Listen to the score, almost all the songs, and make up your own mind. I love the score, especially "Where Oh Where" as sung by Barbara Ashley. Enjoy!

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3/15/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #241
Today is devoted what many consider to be if not the best at least one of the very best Broadway musicals, GUYS AND DOLLS. The show had a glorious score by Frank Loesser, one of the very few people who wrote both music and lyrics, right up there with Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Stephen Sondheim, a few others, who could always be depended upon to give us great theatre scores. Today I will have some songs performed by performers from the original production (especially Vivian Blaine), the 1955 film version, and the revival of 1992 (especially Peter Gallagher). Enjoy!
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After Leonard Bernstein's PETER PAN came a revue TICKETS PLEASE! (no music from this show) and then a revival of BRIGADOON at thw New York City Center. And then a show which had all the trappings of success, but failed, It had Alfred Drake as director and Paula Lawrence, Melville Cooper, William Eythe and Barbara Ashley as stars. Didn't work, only 12 performances. Then MICHAEL TODD'S PEEP SHOW with some songs by Harold Rome (no music from this show either). A revival of Menotti's THE TELEPHONE and THE CONSUL followed and then a revue, PARDON OUR FRENCH (no music). Last but not least was Irving Berlin's CALL ME MADAM, starring Ethel Merman and Russell Nype. 644 performances made it a hit. $1,000,000 advance sales didn't hurt. And the hit song "You're Just in Love" helped, too, Enjoy!
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Several shows today, starting with Gian-Carlo Menotti's THE CONSUL, starring a great singer-sctress, Patricia Neway. I have her singing the aria "To This We've Come". If you have U-TUBE you can watch her performance which is superb. I have also included her singing Rodger and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone" from CAROUSEL in order for you to hear her wonderful voice. I also have an exciting interview with Katherine Dunham discussing discrimination during her career. Finally I have some music from Leonard Bernstein's Version of PETER PAN. Enjoy!
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2/23/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 238
Music from one show today, Morton Gould and Dorothy Fields' ARMS AND THE GIRL, starring Pearl Bailey, Nanette Fabray and Georges Guetary. It wasn't very successful, only 134 performances, although it had fairly decent reviews. It also had Pearl Bailey, singing two Dorothy Fields' songs, "Nothin for Nothin'" and "There Must Be Somethin' Better Than Love", both of which I have here. Certainly not a great score, but some lovely songs and Miss Fields' wonderful lyrics. Enjoy!
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2/9/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 237
One show today, Carol Channing's wonderful GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. The songs were by Jule Styne and Leo Robin, and included "I'm Just a Little Girl from Little Rock" and "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend". Channing's co-stars were Jack Mc Cauley and Yvonne Adair. The film version of the show starred Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. I've been able to include both Channing's and Monroe's versions of "Diamonds". Enjoy!
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1/26/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 236
Two shows today, and they couldn't be more different, Marc Blizstein's (pictured) REGINA, based on Lillian Hellman's great play THE LITTLE FOXES, and TEXAS L'lL DARLIN', a throwback to the old musical comedy corny plot show, with songs. But the lyrics to these songs are by Johnny Mercer, and although they are not his greatest lyrics they are quite amusing and as sung by Danny Scholl, Kenny Delmar, and Mary Hatcher, of the original cast, they can be understood. A word about what I have given you from REGINA; Brenda Lewis, of the original cast performs Birdie's Lament. Enjoy!
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1/19/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #235
Today Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's great musical tragedy LOST IN THE STARS. The original cast included Todd Duncan, the original Porgy in PORGY AND BESS. I have his original cast performance of "Lost in the Stars", as well as Inez Mathews' "Stay Well" and Frank Roane's "Cry the Beloved Country" (the ttitle of Alan Paton's novel upon which this play is based);but most of the music you will hear today is from the 1993 Music Masters' CD, with the Orchestra of Saint Luke's conducted by Julius Rudel. This was Kurt Weill's last score; he died in 1950, having left some of his music for a projected musical version of HUCK FINN. Well, we can be glad we have LOST IN THE STARS. Enjoy!
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1/12/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #234
After SOUTH PACIFIC there followed many shows, some more or less successful, but none as successful as SOUTH PACIFIC. HOWDY, MR. ICE OF 1950, Olsen and Johnson's (of HELLZAPOPPIN fame} FUNZAPPIN, and CABALGATA (later A NIGHT IN SPAIN) wer followed byIrving Berlin's MISS LIBERTY. But although Berlin wrote some charming songs and Robert Sherwood wrote the book, these great theatre men could not put together a winning show, only 308 performances. I have the overture and two songs from the show, sung by its star Eddie Albert. Then came KEN MURRAY'S BLACKOUTS OF 1949 (no songs) and several Gilbert and Sullivan revivals and Jean and Walter Kerr's revue TOUCH AND GO (also no songs). But finally a great musical appeared, Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's LOST IN THE STARS. Next time I'll devote the entire hour to that great score. Enjoy!
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12/22/19 MUSICAL THEATRE #233
Only SOUTHPACIFIC today, Act II. I'll be using the Reba McIntyre, Brian Stokes Mitchell Decca 2006 concert at Carnegie Hall recording. Act II included the great "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" song and just about my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein song "This Nearly Was Mine". I'll give you three versions of this song, Stokes Mitchell's version as well as Ezio Pinza's from the original cast and Giorgio Tozzi"s from the movie version. Enjoy!
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12/15/19 MUSICAL THEATRE # 232
One show today, and it's a great one, one of the greatest of all the Broadway musicals, SOUTH PACIFIC. It opened on April 7,1949, to Broadway's greatest advanced sales, and played 1925 performances. It starred Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza and included the great song "Some Enchanted Evening". I have a few songs from the original cast and some from the 2006 Decca recording of a concert performance starring Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Enjoy!
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12/8/19 MUSICAL THEATRE #231
Several shows today. First an interview I'll read between Patricia Morrison (the original Kate in 1049) and Miles Kreuger (a New York City theatre reviewer) concerning why several songs were cut from the original production. I also have one of those songs, "A Woman's Career" sung by Katherine Hepburn. Then I have three songs from the review ALONG FIFTH AVENUE and one song from the review ALL FOR LOVE. Those four songs thanks to Scott Siegal's wonderful CD collection of "Songs of the Broadway Musicals of 1949".Then just before the opening of Rodgers and Hammerstein's great SOUTH PACIFIC (which I'll do next week) a revival of their great CAROUSEL I'll give you some of the songs sung by Bernadette Peters and Renee Fleming, who starred in the 2018 revival. Enjoy!
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