Broadway Babe: Understudies, White House Cabaret, Lost Treasures
Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller has unearthed some true treasures today for our entertainment pleasure. There’s a 1966 CBS special saluting Broadway standbys and understudies; a White House cabaret concert from the Clinton years; a TV special featuring Nancy Dussault and Karen Morrow; and TV show that only ran for 3 episodes, but is worth watching. Enjoy.
Broadway Standbys and Understudies1966
There’s much acknowledging these days about Broadway‘s standbys and understudies, so I thought I would post this program from 56 years ago. “Broadway Standbys and Understudies1966” which aired on WCBS-TV, featuring: Linda Gerard, “Funny Girl”; Kenneth Nelson, “Half A Sixpence”; Marilyne Mason, “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman”; John C. Attle,“Fiddler on the Roof”; Lesley Stewart,”Skyscraper”; Michael Davis, “Sweet Charity”: Pat Lysinger, “On A Clear Day”; John Stratton, “Sweet Charity”. This is truly a trip down memory lane… And outside of a few names that I recognize, I’m not so sure that these folks got the recognition and accolades they so richly deserved!
White House: Cabaret
What a delightful find! ‘In Performance at the White House: Cabaret” aired on PBS-TV in 1994… starring: Dixie Carter, Len Cariou, Blossom Dearie, Shirley Horn and Bobby Short, with the much in demand, Mike Renzi, musical directing…This concert took place in the Clinton White House with Hillary and Bill introducing the show and doing commentary… OMG, they look so young and he’s so gorgeous in this video. A concert I just know my sister Tomatoes will enjoy!
Two of Broadway’s shining lights in the 1960’s were best friends then, as well as now, Nancy Dussault and Karen Morrow are “Singin”, a CBS special from 1981. This is a lost treasure I think sister Tomatoes will enjoy. Nancy Dussault was the first female co-host, with David Hartman on “Good Morning America”. She also starred on TV’s “Too Close For Comfort”, but primarily, was a Broadway ingenue, leading lady. She introduced the song, “Make Someone Happy”, in Broadway’s “Do Re Mi”. Karen Morrow starred in several Broadway shows, including: “I Had A Ball”, “The Grass Harp”, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. She was often compared to Ethel Merman…Personally, I think she was better than the “Merm!”
Sidebar: Nancy Dussault,who is absolutely ageless at 85, has attended my virtual “Randie’s Roundtable” and is a wonderful storyteller….she is truly lovely and gracious. As a teenager, I was friendly with Karen Morrow, also 85, who was one of the nicest and most generous actresses. I was such a fan and in those days, it was easy to go backstage after a show, and tell the backstage doorman, “I’m here to see Karen Morrow,” and he’d send me to her dressing room. She actually took me to lunch at Sardi’s a few times. I’d love to reciprocate!
The Shape of Things To Come
“The Shape of Things To Come”, an NBC primetime show from 1982, was cancelled after 3 episodes! It was supposed to be a feminist answer to “Laugh-In” with that program’s producer George Schlatter, at the helm. It starred Rita Moreno, Eileen Brennan, Elayne Boosler, Alan King, Howie Mandel, Robert Guillaume, and Nancy Dussault, who also hosts. Oh, and then there are the scantily clad Chippendales who are the women’s sex objects. Basically a bad imitation of “Laugh-In”, it was panned by critics and audiences alike! But this relic is worth watching for its “historical” value..