Broadway Babe’s Picks: Marilyn Maybe, Kiss Me Kate, and More
Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller, has a potpourri of finds including Marilyn Maye’s 2023 New Year’s Eve concert at Birdland; a fabulous British concert version of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate”; a musical segment of “Sweeney Todd” from the old Merv Griffin show; and a 1960 episode of “The Ann Sothern Show”, who baby boomers will possibly remember!
Marilyn Maye at Birdland
A true treat, and a great find! The incomparable Marilyn Maye at Birdland New Year’s Eve, 2023… At 95, she’s still got it! And she shares it beautifully with her audience who are mesmerized by this legendary treasure. She’s supported by a wonderful trio of first-class musicians: pianist/conductor, Ted Rosenthal, Daniel glass on drums, and Tom Hubbard on bass. She’s truly amazing and is a contagion of positive energy. Viewing this video is the next best thing to being there. Enjoy!
Sidebar: When Marilyn first came back to New York, about 15 years ago, I took her to lunch at the Friars Club, and introduced her to the then Dean of the club, Freddie Roman, who immediately knew who Marilyn was. This pleased her so, as she hadn’t performed in New York for decades… She just couldn’t get over the fact that Freddie not only knew who she was, but he was a huge fan.!
The Ann Sothern Show
Here’s a real dinosaur from 1960 — “The Ann Sothern Show”, a sitcom which aired on CBS-TV from 1958-1961, co-starring Don Porter, Ann Tyrrell and Jesse White. It was created by Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf, the same team that wrote many “I Love Lucy” episodes. The executive producer of this very dated series was Desi Arnas. Ann Sothern and her sister, Bonnie Lake, composed the theme music. What I found interesting is that during the credit crawl, it says, “Audience reaction technically produced”. The opening scene is Lower Manhattan, and the second scene is Park Avenue. Nostalgic, but I don’t think it would hold up today. A trip down sitcom memory lane!
Merv Griffin Show
From 1980, this segment from the “Merv Griffin Show” is so entertaining. Merv’s introduction is right on target as he introduces the replacement Broadway cast of Sweeney Todd —the magnificent, voiced George Hearn, as Sweeney, and the astonishingly talented and hilarious Dorothy Louden, as Mrs. Lovett. Merv Griffin was always Broadway friendly, and I considered him, of all the TV talk show hosts of the day, Broadway’s best friend. And his studio was next-door to Sardis on W. 44th St. It was called the Little Theatre, and now it’s called the Hayes.