Broadway Babe: Nostalgic Finds
Our Broadway Babe has unearthed some true nostalgic treasures, including a star studded tribute to Marvin Hamlisch (4 months after his death in 2012) with the New York Philharmonic; a German produced 70th birthday salute to Stephen Sondheim with some of the best orchestral interpretations of his work; a tribute to Kander and Ebb at the 1984 Tony Awards; and Sinatra getting the Kennedy Center Award in 1983.
“One Singular Sensation! Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch”
A truly fabulous find…somewhat bittersweet, but oh, so joyful…. from start to finish. This concert celebrating the body of Marvin’s works took place on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2012, just 4 months after Marvin died, featuring Paul Gemignani conducting The New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. It aired live on “Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS-TV; and was directed by the much in demand, Lonny Price. The cast included: Audra McDonald, Kelly O’Hara, Josh Groban, Raul Esparza, Maria Friedman, Joshua Bell, Megan Hilty, Michael Feinstein, Lilla Crawford and Beth Behrs. Totally upbeat, knowing Marvin (as I did from the age of 12), he would have “kvelled” from this delicious New Year’s Eve celebration of “One Singular Sensation,” known as Marvin Hamlisch!
Sidebar: I produced a star studded tribute to the late Broadway Tony winning producer, Marty Richards for the Friars Club in 2003, with old pal, Marvin Hamlisch hosting. One of the evening’s highlights was when Marvin sat down at the piano to accompany a young Brian D’Arcy James, who had just starred in Marvin (and Craig Carnelia’s) “Sweet Smell of Success” on Broadway. Brian sang the haunting “At The Fountain” that night, just as he does in this concert, and totally wowed the audience. He also sang the song at Marvin’s memorial. Both he and Kelly O’Hara who co-starred in “Sweet Smell Of Success” in 2002, have become major Broadway stars in these last 20 years!
A Must See for Sondheim Lovers
I have no idea how I found this extraordinary concert, “Love Is In The Air: Stephen Sondheim’s 70th Birthday Concert”, produced in Germany (can’t find any info on the internet), conducted and orchestrated by American theater and recording veteran, Don Sebesky, but it’s one of the richest sounding orchestras and Sondheim interpretations I’ve ever heard. Also featured is an incredible songfest by “German” actress and singer, Helen Schneider who actually hails from Brooklyn, New York! I’ve never seen her before, but she is an absolutely mesmerizing singer. This is a must for Sondheim lovers.
Tribute to the Songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb
From the 1984 Tony Awards show, A totally fabulous tribute to the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb with Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon, Nancy Dussault, Raquel Welch, Robert Goulet, Marilyn Cooper and Anthony Quinn… Being introduced by Robert Preston… A trip down memory lane with some delicious performances by some of the performers who introduced the songs…This plethora of Kander and Ebb, goes up to 1984! This is 2022, and many more songs were added to their songbook throughout the years. A must watch for musical theater and Kander and Ebb fans!
A Salute to Frank Sinatra
The Kennedy Center Awards honored Frank Sinatra in 1983, with his good friend, Gene Kelly, hosting this 15-minute segment. There are several film clips of Sinatra’s early beginnings, as well as highlights of his career. Sinatra had never danced until he worked with Kelly, who actually taught him how to dance; and they did several musical films together. Singer Perry Como also appears doing a singing tribute to his friend, Frank Sinatra, with a group of kids, as backup singers. It’s hard to believe that this took place almost 40 years ago!