Entertainment for Cold Winter Nights
Baby it’s cold outside. If you want to stay warm, cozy, and safe inside, the Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller has some great finds today. As she says, “When others are sleeping, I am musically excavating on YouTube.” Great picks today include “An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner, the 1978 record performance of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” on Broadway, and the “Pioneers of Entertainment” interviews with celebs like Joan Rivers.
An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner
From 1989, “An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner” which aired on Great Performances on PBS-TV… was videoed at the New York State Theatre at Lincoln Center… And great it is! What a cast, what music, what lyrics! Hosted by Kitty Carlisle Hart, this celebration of the great Alan Jay Lerner consisted of a star–studded cast: Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet, composers Leonard Bernstein and Charles Strouse, Lee Roy Reams, Jane Powell, Len Cariou, John Cullum, Hal Prince, Judy Kaye, Hal Linden, Georgia Brown, Douglas Fairbanks,Jr., Liz Robertson, Nureyev, Richard Kiley, and Walter Cronkite. It was musical directed by Donald Pippin. A totally delightful concert!
I found a true Broadway treasure that I know Tomatoes will love…. the totally upbeat Fats Waller musical, “Ain’t Misbehavin,” which won the Tony Award for Best Musical, which played over 1600 performances on Broadway. And I’m happy to say that this video stars the original brilliant, high energy cast: Nell Carter, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard, (and a young Andre de Shields (who went on to win the Tony Award in 2020, for “Hadestown”). This show is absolutely “delicious”. It was produced for NBC Television in 1982. Enjoy!
Sidebar: In the1980s, I met Nell Carter, when we were both in Durham, NC (“fat city usa”), at Structure House,doing the “Jimmy Coco Diet”. When I asked her if she would be joining some of us to go to the American Dance Festival at Duke, her answer was: “I can’t…I’m famous!!” And no, we didn’t become BFFs!
Pioneers of Television
“Pioneers of Television” is a series of unedited interviews with some of the industry’s top stars… You must watch this fascinating “in her own words” interview with Joan Rivers, the pioneer of women in comedy, who broke down the barriers of a male dominated industry and paved the way for today’s female comedians. In this interview, we see the person behind the talent. Joan Rivers started out as part of the nationally renowned Second City Troupe in Chicago, perfecting her craft. That’s also where she learned that when on stage, to “seize the moment”, which she certainly did! This is a magical hour of Joan, up close and personal.
Sidebar: I’d often run into Joan at Sardi’s, after coming from the theater. She was always warm, down to earth and lovely….yes, lovely. One night, she admired a necklace I was wearing, and that led to a fun conversation…. she really wanted that necklace! When I was in PR, I had occasion to book some of my author clients on her daytime talk show…. She was one of a kind, and is truly missed
“Finding Lucy” a documentary about the great Lucille Ball, aired on PBS-TV in 2000… It’s a wonderful companion piece to the current lauded movie, “Being The Ricardos”…We learn about the magic and brilliant comic timing that Lucille Ball created…..It features some truly classic Lucy moments, but more importantly, it tells her story and features commentary by her close friends, Carol Burnett, Van Johnson, Edie Adams, as well as, Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr., who wrote “I Love Lucy”. So much to learn about Lucy and Desi… and it’s all here! Movie clips of her early days are all here, as well, before she became America’s funniest redhead!!! A must not miss!