Sunday, April 30, 2006

Moonie in the world: Milissa Carey

Having recently returned from the Broadway National Tour of Evita, Milissa Carey (most recently Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress) is starring as Desiree in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Pacific Alliance Theatre Company, May 4-21. Hector Correa is directing this new production, set in the 1950s.

1950s. That should be interesting. Milissa has played Charlotte before, and I know Desiree has been on her list of coveted roles, so I'm sure she's making the most of it. A Little Night Music is one of my favorite shows ever, a perfect little jewel.

Go see it!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Moonie in the World: Anil Margsahayam

We mentioned long ago that Moonie Anil (Chico in Minnie's Boys, for one) got a role in the touring company of Bombay Dreams. Well, their only nearby stop is coming up. They'll be playing in Sacramento from May 10-21. All the details are here. If you go, I'd love to hear your review. I love Bollywood style musical numbers, but this show didn't get the best of reviews in NY.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Moonie in the World: Nancy Dobbs Owen...doing opera!

Moonie Nancy Dobbs Owen is in an opera, and here's what she has to say about it:
I wanted to let you know about this opera, in which I am appearing, making my operatic debut! The piece is very cool and a little scary, the leads are fantastic, and the artistic team top notch. I hope that you can make it. There was also an interesting article in Sunday's datebook, which you can access here.

Hope to see you at the Julia Morgan!

All the deets can be found in this flyer:

Moonie in the world: Russ Lorenson

Russ has his CD release party next week at the Plush Room. Here are the deets:
WHEN: Monday May 1st at 7:30PM. Champagne reception following.
WHERE: San Francisco's legendary Empire Plush Room
WHAT: A party/concert celebrating the release of Russ Lorenson’s debut CD, A Little Travelin’ Music.
WHAT'S ON TAP: Backed by the Kelly Park Jazz Quartet, Russ will perform selections from the CD, as well as give a preview of his new cabaret show, Benedetto/Blessed, a salute to the life and music of Tony Bennett, set to premiere this summer. Also appearing with Russ will be special guests Kristopher McDowell and Shawn Ryan, who will perform the duet he recorded with Russ on the new CD.
BUY TICKETS: Online here

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mack and Mabel Opening Night photos

Director Dyan McBride, Bill Fahrner ("Mack") and Cindy Goldfield ("Mabel")

Amy Louise Cole, Cindy Goldfield, Bill Fahrner, Steve Rhyne and Greg MacKellan

70! Girls! 70!

Mack himself on the radio...this Thursday afternoon

Just found out that our very own Bill Fahrner (otherwise known as "Mack" of Mack and Mabel) will be featured on KALW's "Open Air" with Alan Farley this Thursday, April 27th at about 1:20 p.m. You can find KALW at 91.7 FM.

Check him out and check in here to let us know what you think.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Missing Moonies: Lesley Hamilton Hill

Greg gets emails and notes asking about the whereabouts of various Moonies who used to be ergulars on the Moonie stage, but haven't appeared for a while. So today we take a look at the first of our "Missing Moonies",straight from the desk of Greg MacKellan:
Case Number One -- Lesley Hamilton

The email arrived early last week. Terse and to the point, the sender asked: "Where is Lesley Hamilton? I thought she'd be playing Mabel? Is she coming back?" It was signed, simply, A FAN. (The return address blew A FAN'S cover, though, and her name is K. Moore.) This weekend, when MACK & MABEL has its very enthusiastically
received (!!!) opening, several other patrons echoed Ms. Moore's plaintive query -- where was Lesley Hamilton, what had we done with her, and was she ever coming back? Truthfully, we've been getting these questions regularly for over a year now.

Well, the disappeared one herself has promised to write a little something for the blog, complete with pictures, but since she's a bit slow in doing so, I thought I'd fill in with a quick update. First, we didn't do anything with Lesley. She is not being held captive in a secret room in Stephanie's house; has not disappeared into the dark back corners of Moonspace never to be seen again. (In fact, Lesley is something of a patron saint of Moonspace, watching benignly over rehearsals and green room meetings in the form of any number of Moon posters which she graces, usually with her patented "eyes rolling upward" Lesley Hamilton "look" number 11-C.)

Lesley and her husband, Mark Hill (accompanied by their beloved bichon, Bogey) relocated to Kennesaw, Georgia (just outside Atlanta) in late 2004. Of course, Stephanie and I were bereft at losing one of the original Moonies (Lesley first appeared in our second show, One Touch of Venus, in 1993), a wonderful actress and singer with a comic style that is decidedly her own. She's been busy performing in any number of shows since she left -- The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Bombay Dreams (!), and I'm sure she'll have many adventures to describe when she finally gets her blog contribution in.

2007-08 marks 42nd Street Moon's 15th anniversary, and you can bet that Stephanie Rhoads and I are trying to think up some spectacular show with which to tempt Ms. Hamilton back for a few weeks. Yes, she has dangled that carrot at us: for the right role, she'll be happy and eager to make a return visit.

Until then -- and until Lesley fills in some of the details for us herself -- hopefully this will at least answer the question of "Whatever happened to ...." Lesley Hamilton!

Thanks Greg! I was wondering myself. Lesley was in my first Moon show, I Married an Angel, and she truly has a style and presence all her own. Years later I met her husband through business channels (he's a recruiter.) As we chatted about our backgrounds I mentioned I had lived in NYC pursuing theatre, and he said "So did my wife." One thing led to another, and we discovered the connection! Small world.

Well now that I know Lesley can be lured back for the right show I will have to put my thinking cap on!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Another Moonie reviews Mack and Mabel

This time it was Michael Austin. You might remember him as Groucho in Minnie's Boys, and he'll be joining the Moon in Lil Abner. Here are his thoughts:
I thought it was one of the best Moon productions I've ever seen. I had to share my applause.

First off, the score is full of powerful gems; songs that stay with you long after the lights go down. The power of the songs springs not only from their melodies, but also from their deep emotional resonance. It was my first experience with the play, and despite the liberties the script takes in dealing with factual events, I found the writing touching, humorous and intelligent, with refreshing humanity and sense of reality seldom matched in the world of musical theatre.

But of course, all this would be nothing without a tremendous cast to bring it life. I can honestly say that every single person on that stage last night seemed not only perfectly cast, but 100% sincere in their energy, effort and dedication to the piece, and the roles they were playing in it. It would take too long to single actors out, because I would have to single out everyone--It was a joy to see how much pitch-perfect (literally and figuratively!) detail the actors were able to find, both in their lines and between them.

Musical direction and accompaniment from Dave Dubrosky were excellent, as usual. His old-silent-movie-style underscoring of scenes was a particular treat.

The choreography from Staci Arriaga was just right; often uproariously funny in its own right, but always complementing the music and the story perfectly, without taking it over.

Director Dyan McBride deserves a standing ovation for this one. Everything flowed gracefully, every moment of humor was funny, and in every poigniant beat of emotional connection or pain, the audience's sympathy was palpable in the theatre. She filled the production with clever touches that made it seem as though it was written for the intimate performance style that 42nd Street Moon always delivers.

Friday, April 21, 2006

More on the Gala

Thought you might like a little peek at just some of the items that will be part of the 42nd St. Moon 2006 Gala's silent auction:

Week in a Puerto Vallarta beach front time share

Carnival Cruise

Alfred Drake performance memorabilia

Dark Garden corset

Full Moon Sail on the Bay for 4 with food and wine

Dinner with Meg Mackay and Billy Philadelphia

Dinner with Stephanie Rhoads and Greg MacKellan

Dance lessons with Cynthia Glinka

Gift certificates from fine restaurants and spas

Private chef dinner for 4


Special guest stars will be Klea Blackhurst and Ann Morrison! Plenty of good seats still available. Please call us at (415) 255-8207 to secure your tickets now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Intrepid Annette on Mack and Mabel

The first (and some would say one of the most important) review is in!

What did Intrepid Annette think of Mack and Mabel?
"Lights, Camera, Action! I went to the dress rehearsal of MACK &
MABEL last night - I laughed, I cried and was totally swept away into the early days of Hollywood. What's more, I think audiences will recognize and (want to sing with) a lot of these songs like: "I Won't Send Roses," "Movies Were Movies," "Tap Your Troubles Away," and "Time Heals Everything." I think it's a very recognizable score! (I also love how they actually gave our whiz Music Director Dave Dobrusky a character role this time around - but you'll have to come see the show to check it out!)

Kudos to our talented cast, director Dyan McBride,choreographer Staci Arriaga and costumer Loran Watkins on a job well done. Previews start TONIGHT at 8!

Have I mentioned our 2006 gala?

I didn't think so. Well, you can read all about it here

The Gala will features many performers from 42nd St Moon, including headliners Klea Blackhurst and Ann Morrisson. The cast is rounded out by Greg MacKellan, Stephanie Rhoads, Kathleen Antonia, Bill Fahrner, Matthew Brandon Hutchens, Alexandra Kaprielian, Darlene Popovic, Steve Rhyne and Michael Taylor.

Here are the rest of the deets:
When: ONE NIGHT ONLY! - MONDAY, MAY 15, 2006
Where: ALCAZAR THEATRE: 650 Geary Street • San Francisco
How much: $100
Theme: Celebrating the musicals of the fabulous fifties!

Details: Doors open at 5:30 pm for cocktails (donation appreciated), complimentary hors d'oeurvres from our partner restaurants, and Silent and Live auction offerings include musical theater history, vacation opportunities, celebrity dinners, and other things tantilizing, alluring, tasty, relaxing and impossible to resist.

Show time is at 7:30 pm; show runs approximately 90 minutes


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Congrats to Moonie Russ Lorenson on a great NYC review

Russ went straight from The Golden Apple to NYC to perform his cabaret show A Little Travelin' Music. Here's his first review:
From Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline Online:

San Francisco favorite Russ Lorenson flew into town for a quick but long
awaited 2-show run at HELEN'S RESTAURANT, CABARET & PIANO LOUNGE (169 Eighth Avenue, NYC - 212-206-0609). I was at the first
show at 9:30 pm on Saturday, April 15th (Russ repeated the show on Sunday afternoon, the 16th). The show was called "A Little Travelin' Music" and was actually a release show for his new and debut CD of the same title. He was accompanied by the Kelly Park Jazz Quartet, and I must say at the start that Mr. Parks arrangements (at the show and on the CD) are awesome! He and Russ were able to put together a show that would otherwise be ordinary, with songs used in just about every other cabaret "journey" show, and make it unique, fresh, exciting and truly entertaining. Mr. Lorenson's superb vocals and easy-going manner made for an hour of pure entertainment. That same feeling comes through on the CD - which will have to do for NYC area folks until Mr. Lorenson returns.

Congrats Russ!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mack and Mabel starts in 2 days!

Let's run down the performance schedule for Mack and Mabel one more time:

Thursday April 20th at 8PM
Friday April 21st at 8PM

Opening Night:
Saturday April 22nd at 6PM

Audience Talk back:
Sunday April 23rd at 3PM

Next two weekends:
Thursdays/Fridays at 8PM
Saturdays at 6PM
Sundays at 3PM (Closes Sunday May 7th.)

Plus one early-curtain Wednesday performance:
Wednesday May 3rd at 7PM

Get 20% off all tix (excluding Sunday matinees) by calling 415-978-2787 or walking up to the Yerba Buena Center Box Office at 701 Mission Street andusing the promotion code:

So, see you there. And be sure to come and post your thoughts on the show in the coments here.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Moonie in the World: Lisa-Marie Newton

You will recall Lisa-Marie as Vivian Schuyler (Finger's dame) in Red Hot and Blue last year. And now she's doing something a teeny bit different. I'll let her describe it:
Do you want to see Lisa-Marie in a way you've never seen her before... stripping, whoring and singing the
blues? Then PLEASE come to see my new show! (On the other hand, if you don't want to see me stripping, whoring and singing the blues, please don't come to see my new show.) ;-)

EDGE (an apocalyptic tragi-comedy) by Jennifer Williams
Directed by Evren Odcikin
at The Phoenix Theatre (414 Mason St., 6th Floor, SF)

Thurs - Saturday, April 20 - May 20, and Sundays April 30 & May 7. Shows at 8:00 PM

Tickets are available 1/2 hour before curtain and at TIX Union Square. Thursdays & Sundays are Pay-What-You-Can, Fridays & Saturdays are $20 - $25.

Featuring: Linda Ayres-Frederick, Catz Forsman, Erin Gilley, Dennis McIntyre, Lisa-Marie Newton, Randy Sterns

God the Brand, buy it now! Propaganda drones on the TV as three neighbors search for love and meaning in a war-torn world: An insomniac with a handmade computer, a man with a violent streak, and a blues singer who hasn't had much luck with men. Can they find what they are looking for?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Taking one for the Moon

Got a little note from Moonie Tom Orr. He's in Mack and Mabel and is already lined up to be in next season's Lil Abner. I think you'll all agree that Tom knows how to take one for the team:
I am going to be cutting my long hair for Mack & Mabel after three years of growing it out! For a chorus role! Add in the fact that I will NOT be able to compete in the Hunky Jesus contest this Sunday at the Easter celebration in Dolores Park and it shows my total commitment to this project, wouldn't you say?

Hunky Jesus contest? Really?

Yes, it's true. You can learn more about it here. And yes, Tom, you are obviously committed!

Moonie in the world: One night only! (That would be tonight.)

Moonie Kristopher McDowell apparently doesn't need sleep. The Golden Apple closed on Sunday, and he's back in actino.

This time it's for one night only, as Viva Variety is back for one encore performance. Here are the deets:

Friday, April 14, 2006 8PM
ODC Theater
a benefit for Nomenus

Special Guests:
Sony Holland - jazz
Velocity Circus' Gigi - the psychic shopping lady
Matthew Martin - theatre chameleon
Kristopher McDowell - cabaret
the cast of 'Hit It' - theatre
Adrian West - electric violin
Betsy Salkind - comedy
Seth Montfort - pianist

Tickets are $20 ($15 seniors/students/physically challenged), and are available from the ODC box office at: 415-863-9834 or at the door night of show.

Of course that's not all Kristopher is up to. He's also continuing to produce high-profile cabaret performances over in Merced. The next one sounds right up the alley of any Moon fan:

Saturday May 6th, 2006 at 7:30 PM
Multi-Cultural Arts Center
645 Main Street Merced, CA
(209) 388-9665 or (209) 388-1090


Songs from the films of GORDON MAC RAE and stories of growing up in Hollywood as the daughter of a movie star.

Musical Arrangements/Direction: MARK NADLER

I'm tired just imagining Kristopher's schedule!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Moonie in the World: Andrea Marcovicci in L.A.

If you happen to be in L.A. this weekend, Moon diva Andrea Marcovicci will be doing one of her fabulous cabaret shows. Here are the deets:

Andrea Marcovicci in "I'm Feeling Like a Million" A Salute to the Incomparable Hildegarde

April 19th – 22nd 2006
At The Gardenia: 7066 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood CA

Join Andrea for the first performances of her brand new tribute to one of cabaret’s greatest legends: Hildegarde!

Equally adored by soldiers and kings alike, Hildegarde introduced “I'll Be Seeing You and “Lili Marlene” during WWII. She was the darling of the supper clubs from Paris and London in the thirties to New York in the eighties, and was known for debuting the songs of our greatest composers like Porter, Berlin and Kern.

But it’s within the little known treasures of her earliest recordings that Andrea has uncovered a delightful new repertoire! So don’t miss this tender tribute to the "The First Lady of the Supper Clubs” from the “Queen of Cabaret.”

Please call for reservations: (323) 467-7444

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Great article about Jerry Herman and Mack & Mabel

Thanks to a Moon reader, who sent me this great article about Jerry Herman and his personal favorite musical, Mack and Mabel. Key excerpt:
Mack and Mabel remains Herman's favourite score. "My musicals are my children. I should never say I prefer this to that: I just have never tired of Mack and Mabel. I guess you kind of love the one that didn't make it."

Read the whole thing.

Meet the Moonie: Moon newbie Benjamin Pither

Meet Moon newbie Benjamin Pither who is, in his ownd words Moonstruck
My first production with 42nd Street Moon has been an absolutely fantastic experience. The level of professionalism is extremely impressive: Dave Dobrusky is a piano virtuoso (I love it when he transposes on-the-spot) and Dyan McBride keeps us laughing (her impersonation of Tootie from “The Facts of Life” is priceless). The Bathing Beauties are the cutest tap dancers ever and the entire cast has really clicked (our group vocal power is pretty awesome – no need for a brass section in the orchestra!).

One of the wonderful things about doing a staged concert version is having the experience of being on stage as an entire cast for the whole show. It’s amazing how this can help to sustain the energy. The action of the play becomes more compelling when each of us is actively engaged the whole time (it reminds me of Act 2 of the Nutcracker when Clara has to look on with rapt attention for about 90 minutes). Everything becomes more urgent and important. Being on stage together the whole time also helps to bring us together as an ensemble – a strong sense of collective ownership of the show is achieved.

I’m also falling in love with the music. The opening number, "Movies Were Movies" (sung expertly by Bill Fahrner), is reminiscent of the actual background music of Mack Sennett’s silent films. The tune evokes a frantic, almost manic feeling. Similarly, "Look What Happened to Mabel" and "Mack and Mabel" both have a distinct ragtime feel (the style of music, not the actual musical) and effectively contribute to creating the early 20th century world of the play. It’s a recurring musical motif over the course of the play and if you close your eyes while you listen, it almost feels like you’re in a speakeasy.

Finally, the lovely Cindy Goldfield (whose comedic timing rivals that of Lucille Ball) recently brought in a DVD compilation of Mabel Normand films. Cindy’s likeness to Mabel Normand is positively UNCANNY. Not only the hair and facial features, but the physicality and mannerisms as well. That is reason enough to come and see the show. Incidentally, Cindy also makes a fabulous lemon meringue pie… is there anything she can’t do?

Sounds like a Moon newbie is a Moon convert, no?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kind words from a Moon patron

We received the following email from a long-time Moon patron last week:
I took a visiting German fellow to Golden Apple on Wednesday. It was good to see the house pretty full. We were both struck by the always, great voices and dancers, but something the notes said, it was a "goofy" plot with a time-enduring theme and it really gets to one. Great choice, Greg and Stephanie, and you, S., were wonderful in your role!


Thanks Suzy O.!

Branding exercise?

I brought a friend with me to The Golden Apple on Friday night. She arrive a bit late, but saw 99% of the show and really enjoyed it. She and I are immersed in the tech world a lot of the time, she more than I, and so she really appreciated the opportunity to see some live theatre and mentioned it in her blog.

Now, I sent her directions from 42nd St. Moon's web site, and she got a program, yet you'll note she still identifies as having gone to see something at the Eureka Theatre.

As a marketing person I have to wonder: how could we make the 42nd St. Moon brand more prominent, so she knew exactly who she was seeing?

Something in the lobby?

Something inside the theatre?

Renaming the Eureka Theatre? :)

What else?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

My personal review of The Golden Apple

As per usual I post all theatre reviews in my personal blog, and here is my review of The Golden Apple. I know the show closes today, so it's a little late to motivate any ticket sales, but there you go.

My standard explanation for why I do this:

a) My personal blog is where I review all my cultural pursuits, so that's where it belongs.
b) I review this as an individual, not a 42nd St. Moon person, so, again, that's where it belongs.


the reason that I never quote entire reviews in this blog from anywhere:

c) Some actors don't like to read reviews...sometimes not until the show is closed, sometimes not ever. So by publishing it elsewhere and just providing the link actors who read this blog are taken by surprise.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Check out the entire Mack and Mabel cast

The new Mack and Mabel page is up at the 42nd St. Moon site, so you can check out everyone's photo and bio. I didn't even realize, somehow, that Michael Patrick Gaffney was in I have one more reason to look forward to it.

My review of AMT's Gypsy

Warning: it ain't really pretty, but it's over at my personal blog.

Now a big part of why it ain't pretty is because I've never liked the show much. And another part is because I saw what I consider to be the definitive production of it a couple of years ago.

I at least managed to throw in a few kind words about Moonie David Curley, but at your own risk.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Talkin' Broadway gives Golden Apple a rave review!

Reviewer Richard Connema spreads the love around

Key excerpt:
This is a superb production of singing and dancing, and every person in the two hour musical is perfect., mentioning just about everyone involved with the production. Since he saw the original Broadway production (which only ran for 125 performances, he reimnds us) Richard is one fo the few people who can compare!

Not too often any show at any theatre gets called "perfect"!

Read the rest.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Review: SF Bay Times fins Golden Apple "enchanting"

And you can read all about it here.

Moonie Out in the World: Klea Blackhurst on TV tonight!

Just a tiny bit of short notice here, but we found out that Red Hot and Blue star Klea Blackhurst is going to be on tonight's episode of Law & Order: SVU (that's the creepy one!)

Law and Order SVU is on NBC tonight at 10PM.

A word from Mack and Mabel's director

The cast of Mack and Mabel has been rehearsing for about a week, and director Dyan McBride (yes, she's a frequent Moon performer too...and will be starring in next season's Flora the Red Menace) has some inside scoop:
I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know what a hot, hot, hot show Mack and Mabel is going to be. This cast and crew are so quick and willing to jump in and make theatre. Directing this past week has been a total joy because I come in with a ground plan and an idea and they just run with it. So many pictures that have been revolving in my head are coming to life better than I could imagine. Cindy Goldfield is so athletic and unafraid of falling, jumping, moving, kissing or doing anything that might make someone else blush, that directing her is a pleasure of the highest degree. Bill Fahrner was already memorized and rolling when he walked in the door. His insight into Mack's character is lovely because he's finding all the humor and nuance of this very complicated man. Their chemistry is steamy and intense.

Tap babies abound, clowns are pratfalling left and right, harmonies are starting to get tight and we're just having fun. I hope this really translates to the audience. I haven't been so excited about showing something to people in a long time. We are back to a traditional format of no props and staying onstage as much as possible. Actors enter from their seat and it looks cool. The brilliant Staci Arriaga is choreographing, and she's always prepared and when I need her to, she just whips something brilliant off the top of her head. We've even made Dave Dobrusky play the character of Ellis (a piano player, so he's a natural)

Musical Maestro David Dobrusky playing a role in the show?! I did not know that. Should be fun.

So, if you're not caught up in Dyan's enthusiasm and passion, you need to drink a cup o' coffee and wake up! Wow!

No, no, no!

All I need to do to get 42nd St. Moon Artistic Director Greg to write me something for the blog is to pretend I know something about musical theatre history! Like yesterday when I said that Oklahoma! is known for being the first show to "feature songs that furthered the plot."

That little statement garnered this impassioned (and highly educational) response from Greg:
No, no, no! Oklahoma! was a show of many firsts, but it was most decidedly not "the first to feature songs that
furthered the plot." Not even close -- that's a myth that has grown up around it.

Cole Porter's Jubilee from 1935 is completely through-written -- not through-sung, they are two different things -- and all the songs are very tightly tied in to Moss Hart's script. (Of course, it helps that Porter and Hart went on a round-the-world cruise together to write the show, thus working very, very closely). They don't just stop the show to sing, they advance the plot. Even the famous opening to "Just One of Those Things" ("As Dorothy Parker once said, to her boyfriend, fare-thee-well") is cued out of the dialogue of a character who has spent the entire show quoting Dorothy Parker. Jubilee is as tightly written as Oklahoma! is, although it's of course not serious as a good part of Oklahoma! is.

When Jubilee closed after only 5 months, Porter did of course say "the hell with art" and went right ahead to do the haphazardly-written Red Hot & Blue!.

I would argue that there are other shows that have songs that further the plot, even one that you should know well, I Married An Angel. Although Angel has its notorious "Roxy Music Hall" which comes out of nowhere, most of the songs (including the famous title song, and the long "Modiste" sequence) are pretty closely tied to the script, though not as carefully as Jubilee does it.

Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach's The Cat & The Fiddle from 1931 is another show whose songs are tightly woven into the plot, with every song advancing the story.

Another myth is that Oklahoma! was the first musical to open with a solo rather than a big opening chorus number. As early as Peggy-Ann in 1926, Rodgers and Hart were experimenting with this idea, and after a solid 20 minutes with no song at all, Peggy-Ann's first number is a duet.

Jerome Kern's aforementioned Cat & The Fiddle (1931) opens with a quiet solo sung to guitar accompaniment, and Cole Porter followed suit with Gay Divorce (up next season for us), which opens -- just as Oklahoma! does -- with a solo ballad. And Porter's Anything Goes -- the real Anything Goes, not the 1962 rewrite -- also famously opens with the big ballad, Reno singing "I Get a Kick Out of You." (The Lincoln Center version in 1987 restored that as the opening).

That's just off the top of my head -- I am sure there are other shows from the 1930s -- possibly even from the 1920s - that feature carefully written scores that are integrated with the script. Credit Oklahoma! for its groundbreaking use of dance, for the solid way Oscar Hammerstein constructed the story (widely and ever-after imitated), for the use of a dark subplot -- but not for being the first show to feature songs that furthered the plot.

OK. Sorry :(

Actually I meant to say it was the first where the entire score is said to further the plot, and Greg easily points out that even that is incorrect. However, he is correct that that is the conventional wisdom that still persists about Oklahoma!

I actually hadn't even heard that "first to open with a ballad" myth.

I am only holding on to a shred of musical theatre dignity because Greg hasn't shot down my statement that sung-thru musicals were pretty unheard of at the time of The Golden Apple...unless that's a second email heading my way.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Intrepid Annette's Golden Apple review, in brief

Got a little email from Intrepid Annette, the 42nd St. Moon Administrator, today. It included a very brief capsule review of The Golden Apple:
I saw GOLDEN APPLE yesterday afternoon and enjoyed it a lot. Greg has put together a wonderful ensemble -- the show is completely sung-through and a departure from regular Moon fare. You really have to pay attention and listen to follow the storyline. Some of my favorite numbers were "It's the Going Home Together," "My Picture in the Papers," "Store-Bought Suit," "Goona-Goona Lagoon" and "Circe."

If I can expound a bit on what Annette means by a departure from regular Moon fare, well, I write the blog, so I guess I can :)

Anyway, it's not as true now, because the Moon has been doing more and more modern, but rarely-produced musicals, but lots of the Moon ouevre is drawn from shows pre-Oklahoma! know that seminal musical that was the first to feature songs that furthered the plot. (Showboat only went halfway there in case you're about to protest.)

Anyway, besides that point, there is also the point that sung-thru musicals were pretty unheard of until more modern times. The Golden Apple is probably about 20 years ahead of its time in that regard!

I'm seeing it this weekend, and I can't wait.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mack and Mabel Blog Reader Discount is ready

The Golden Apple still has one more weekend to play, but Mack and Mabel is opening hot on its heels. Mack and Mabel starts previews on April 20th a mere 11 days after The Golden Apple's closing performance.

The discount information should sound familiar:

It's 20% off all tix for all performances, excluding only Sunday Matinees. You can order your tix in advance via phone at 415-978-2787 or by walking up to the Yerba Buena Center box office in person.

The magic code is BLOGMACK. I know you're wondering how we keep coming up with these creative and unusual code names. Sorry, trade secret.

As I said the show starts previews April 20th and runs thru May 7th only. All details can be found here.

Mack and Mabel may be rarely produced around here, but it's a Jerry Herman show with lots of well-known songs, plus it was one of the earliest star vehicles for my idol Bernadette Peters. I have a feeling the show is going to sell well, and quickly, so hop on it Moonies!

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