Broadway Babe’s Picks: Shirley MacLaine, Julie Andrews, Jerry Herman, Betty White

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Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller, has some wonderful YouTube picks today. There’s a fabulous Shirley MacLaine concert; a Julie Andrews documentary as she prepared for Victor, Victoria; Jerry Herman and the Boston pops; and Betty White in her own words. Plus some fun sidebars with Randie’s personal anecdotes.

Shirley MacLaine Live at the Wilshire Theatre

From 1984, Shirley MacLaine Live at the Wilshire Theatre—A 90 minute concert I think sister Tomatoes will enjoy… Most of us don’t remember Shirley.as a singer/dancer We tend to think of her as an actress, but here,.MacLaine proves to be a wonderful performer who really struts her stuff as the first class entertainer she was, in spite of the fact, that she has a limited vocal range. She’s supported by an ensemble of dancer/singers and first rate material– original music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Christopher Adler; as well as additonal material by TV veteran writers, Buzz Kohan and Larry Grossman.. Her musical director was the highly regarded Jack French.

Sidebar: I saw her show in Las Vegas, in the early 1980s in Las Vegas and was totally wowed by her performance and the way she connected with her audience.  I also saw Chita Rivera around that time, also in Vegas… and Shirley was every bit as good as Chita!  I thought her show was one of the very best I’d ever seen.


Julie Andrews – Back On Broadway

This is a fabulous 1995 PBS Great Performances documentary as Julie prepares to star on Broadway in “Victor, Victoria”. We see her performing with her costar, Tony Roberts. It features footage, photos and performances from her youth including her early successes, and includes interviews with Carol Burnett; Scenic designer and director,Tony Walton who was her first husband; as well as her longtime husband, the late Blake Edwards; and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. A must-see for Julie Andrews fans.

Sidebar: Julie is one of the most beloved stars who enjoys a terrific reputation (although, it’s been rumored that Julie can curse like a sailor!).  I’m a patron at the Bay Street Theatre which was started by her daughter and the late Sybil Burton. And for some reason, I’ve always been intimidated and never approached her, until this fall, when Tony Walton was honored by Bay Street for his body of work.  The testimonials were incredible, and heartfelt… Tony and his wife, Gen Leroy Walton are 2 of the nicest people one could ever meet.. At the end of the tribute, Tony spoke about being the luckiest man in the world, having had 2 great wives. They are all one happy family.  I approached Julie after the event, and said, “how lucky you are, that all of you, including exes are one blended family.”, to which she replied, “Tony and I grew up together and even after the marriage ended, we chose to remain as family!” A class act, indeed.




Jerry Herman at the Boston Pops

From 2003, “Jerry Herman at the Boston Pops” which aired on PBS.  I just can’t get enough of Jerry Herman’s lilting, melodic,hummable, and memorable songs…They don’t write ’em like this anymore (except for Alan Menken’s melodic scores!).  Keith Lockhart musical directs the Pops with outstanding performances of Jerry’s songs, by Broadway stars Marin Mazzie, Faith Prince and John Barrowman.  A truly uplifting, delicious concert.


Betty White in Her Own Words

This Pioneers of Television episode features Betty White, in her own words, up close and personal,uncut and unedited. She shares compelling stories and anecdotes about her life and career, from her earliest days in the early days of television to her becoming a much beloved television icon.  What a career and what a well lived life! Tomatoes will really enjoy this portrait of Betty.

 

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.

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