Alan Menken, George M, Flops, and More

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Our Broadway Babe has some unique finds this week for your YouTube viewing pleasure. A documentary about Alan Menken, the 1970 musical “George M” with a fabulous cast including Joel Grey and Bernadette Peters. Plus a light hearted documentary about some of Hollywood and Broadway’s biggest flops, and the making of the Producers album.

Alan Menken, Musical Renaissance Man

I happened upon this documentary (only 20 minutes) which is an authentically personal profile of prolific composer, multiple award winner, Alan Menken, Musical Renaissance Man… the film traces his roots, including interviews with his parents and of course, Alan, himself. It looks like it was done about 20 years ago. Alan is one of the most delicious, down to earth,multi-tasking,  menschy creatives in show business, which you’ll experience watching this film. 

Alan Menken, George M, Flops, and More

From 2019 …Photo with composer Alan Menken and Tony award winning librettist , Robert Horn who won for Broadway’s “Tootsie”!

George M

A star-studded find… from 1970, the musical “George M” with Joel Grey, Bernadette Peters, Jack Cassidy, Red Buttons, Nanette Fabray, Anita Gillette, Blythe Danner, Lewis J. Stadlen, Jesse White..which was adapted for TV from the 1968 Broadway musical, which Joel Grey also starred in. This TV version was executive produced by Joe Cates (father-in-law of Kevin Kline, father of Phoebe Cates).

Sidebar: Prior to pandemic shutdown, I ran into Blythe Danner, who I think is one of the most beautiful women. I’d met her a few times, and couldn’t get over how great she looks in her late 70’s.  She’s absolutely lovely,and I complimented her, saying: “I can see you haven’t had anything done”. She replied: “Actually, I’ve had everything done!” As she briskly walked away (she was doing a reading at Guild Hall in Easthampton), I blurted out: “So who did your work?” Unfortunately, she didn’t hear my question!


Flops101: Lessons from the Biz

From 2004, “Flops101: Lessons from the Biz” .. a lighthearted documentary of Hollywood and Broadway’s biggest flops, up till that moment.Included are “Ishtar” and Broadway’s “The Capeman” by  Paul Simon and “Seussical, The Musical”, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Two of the noted commentators are Michael Riedel and Frank Rich.

Sidebar: Many Tomatoes know how delightful Michael Riedel is. (He currently co-hosts WOR-Radio’s Morning Show.) Cheryl Benton has interviewed him twice at special Tomatoes events. However, his reputation precedes him, especially when he was writing his theater column regularly in The New York Post.  I used to refer to him as “the poison pen of Broadway”, but truth be told, even though he was feared by producers and theater owners, he’s a really nice guy. When I produced the celebrity luncheon series at the Friars Club, Michael did the honor of interviewing Tony Award winner Len Cariou, as well as interview Tony winning performer, Bebe Neuwirth…. two memorable afternoons. 

Michael Riedel, Beth Geohring, Cheryl Benton, Carol Davis

The Making of the Producers Album

From 2004, Great Performances on PBS-TV, aired a documentary on the making of “The Producers” album…. A very upbeat and delightful 90 minutes, with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Gary Beach, Roger Bart and Cady Huffman, with director Susan Stroman, and the hilarious, irascible creator of “The Producers”, Mel Brooks, in true Mel Brooks form, schmoozing with the cast and adding commentary. The perfect respite from the news of the day.

Sidebar: I was producing and hosting one of my Broadway diva nights at the Friars Club and was just starting to book the show..As fate would have it, I was at an elegant book party at the Library for the Performing Arts, and spotted Cady Huffman, who I had not met up until this point.. I engaged her in conversation and asked if she would be part of my Friars event. I explained that the club wouldn’t be paying her anything but would imbibe and feed her… She funnily replied with: “Oh Randie, free food?  I’m there!” She was a total delight and of course, stopped the show at my event.




Author

  • Randie Levine Miller is Director of Special Events for The Three Tomatoes, and co-produces and hosts the annual Tomatoes Got Talent show. Known around NYC as a modern day “hostess with the mostess, she has performed in and hosted benefits for the Actors Fund, the Actors Temple, Multiple Sclerosis, and Prostate Cancer Research. Randie’s performance venues have included: The Triad, The Metropolitan Room, the Laurie Beechman Theater, and the Friars Club. For many years, she was special events director for the Drama Desk Awards. Randie also had a successful 30-year career as a public relations consultant and handled several major health and medical technology clients.

2 Responses

  1. Ellen Easton says:

    Oh, Randie, yet another treasure trove of fabulous finds. You are officially anointed as the Sherlock of all YouTube entertainment.

  2. I always love reading your post Randie Levine Miller! I’ve been in theater for a bit over 50 years and I always learn something when I look at your post.

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