Broadway Babe: Merrily We Roll Along, Suzanne Somers and More
Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller, has unearthed four fabulous finds, including the must watch 2013 version of “Merrily We Roll Along”, which is currently Broadway’s biggest hit; Suzanne Somers hosting the best of Hollywood Palace; as well as a fabulous concert with Audra McDonald, and a 1971 TV special with Anthony Newley, Diahann Carroll, and Liza Minnelli. Perfect online entertainment to enjoy during the cold weather!
Merrily We Roll Along
One of my most favorite finds… Ever! This is the London production (an excellent professional video) of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along”, produced by the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2013 with a live audience at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Directed by multiple Olivier Award winner, Maria Friedman, she is currently represented on Broadway with the acclaimed revival of the show, which she also directed. So if you want to save a couple 100 bucks, you may want to view this! (with a totally different cast, of course). You will see brilliant performances, and hear the most delicious, melodic Sondheim score. Why it originally flopped in New York in 1981(which I saw, and loved) is something I will never understand. It is now Broadway‘s biggest hit! The poster for the original Broadway production can be found on the walls of Joe Allen’s restaurant in New York, where their walls are decorated with posters of flop shows. This is one of my most favorite musicals, with, in my opinion, one of the best overtures, along with “Gypsy”, and the original “Funny Girl”. Musical theater aficionados will know what I mean. Enjoy!
Suzanne Somers Hosts the Hollywood Palace
From 1992, “The Best of the Hollywood Palace”, an affectionate look back at the ABC-TV variety show that aired from 1964 to 1970, showcasing highlights of the series with some of the biggest stars of the 20th century. The late beautiful Suzanne Somers hosts the show featuring performances by: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Groucho Marx, Gene Kelly, Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole, The Supremes, The Mamas and the Papas, The Jackson 5, Louis Armstrong, Mel Brooks and Cole Reiner, as well as, the awesome threesome of Jimmy Durante, Bing Crosby, and Milton Berle trading wisecracks. This special is very special and is most definitely a baby boomers delight!
Audra McDonald: Evening at Pops
From 1999, “Evening at Pops” conducted by Keith Lockhart, performed at Symphony Hall in Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, starring Audra McDonald, aired on PBS-TV. Audra was 29, and the youngest winner ever of three Tony Awards! The orchestra opens with a delicious Gershwin medley, and then Audra gets to do her thing. Two highlights include her singing “The Man That Got Away” (made famous by Judy Garland); and “Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home” (made famous by Barbra Streisand) — but Audra makes these songs her own…she owns that stage! She is a true original, a true treasure of the American musical theater, and this is a treasure of a show!
The Anthony Newley Show
From 1971, “The Anthony Newley Show”, a very special TV special with guests Diahann Carroll and Liza Minnelli. Newley was an amazing multi-talent — He composed, acted, created, danced and wrote several memorable hits including: “The Candyman”, “Who Can I Turn To”, “What Kind of Fool Am I”. Liza and Diahann add extra class to the program, but this is definitely his show. The three of them end the show with a delightful “Side by Side by Side” by Sondheim. The way Newley uses his hands and his facial expressions is mesmerizing. He was called, “a latter-day British Al Jolson… Actor, singer, songwriter, playwright, and filmmaker.” Sadly, this genius died at only 67.
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.