Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 6:35 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Falling off of the balcony while watching the world premiere showing of NINE TO FIVE, landing on top of DOLLY PARTON and bouncing back up to the balcony, both of us were not hurt.

 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 8:29 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a great admirer of spoken theatre. Everything you can do on stage you can do better on screen, as fluid camera work and editing can make even the clunkiest play come alive (I know, I tried to sit through The Woman in Black in London - and failed!). That being said, I sometimes go to the theatre to watch really great actors live at work. Of course it's mesmerizing to see artists you only know from either the silver or the small screen perform just a few meters away from you.

What are your fondest "stage memories"?

Now, what are yours?


I have far far too many. First, I saw William Finn's wonderful "March of the Falsettos" in Hollywood with most of the New York cast, and was so thrilled by it that I wrote the cast a long and detailed letter of appreciation, and a few days later went backstage and met everyone, and Chip Zien said to me that something I had written about a moment in his great performance made him very nervous that he would flub it the next time he did it -- but he didn't. Saw that show 12 glorious times.

In the early 1980s, before they took "Evita" to Broadway, I saw the American cast with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin and Bob Gunton 6 glorious times, although that was 5 1/2 times for Patti LuPone, who was obviously losing her voice the closing night and was replaced by Teri Klausner. But throughout that first act, I sat in the 2nd or 3rd row center, ridiculously tan in a bright canary polo shirt looking like Mr. Clean, and people around me said they were SURE that LuPone was staring at me throughout. I think she was too.

Going back to 1965, there was a touring production of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple," which I took my mother and her best friend at the time to see, and they loved it. Richard Benjamin remains, in my book, the finest Felix Unger EVER ... he had this hilarious squeal in his voice that truly had us rolling in the aisles with tears in our eyes, and I've always wanted to tell him how much pleasure he gave us (and hilarious is an understatement!). Now, 48 years later, my mother and her good friend are in their 90s and still with us, and while they may have forgotten that matinee, I've not. And who played Oscar Madison? Old time actor Dan Daily -- who didn't stand a chance against the wonderful Richard Benjamin!!!

On the night they buried Robert Kennedy after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel here in Los Angeles, I went to see "I Do, I Do" with Mary Martin and Robert Preston, neither of whom need any introduction. It was a rainy night in Los Angeles and several people had been killed while clamoring to see the train carrying Kennedy's body (back east, of course). Mary Martin came out before the show started and said very softly that they had considered canceling the performance that night because of what was going on, but they felt that in sad times like that we needed things like their show to take our minds off them. And she was right, and both Mary Martin and Robert Preston were simply amazing, and their performances are preserved in a wonderful original cast recording -- check out "When The Kids Get Married" and "Flaming Agnes!"

One last one. In 1975 there was the touring production of Stephen Sondheim's beautiful "A Little Night Music" at the now gone Shubert Theatre in Century City on the Westside of Los Angeles. I went to a number of preview performances, once sitting right behind Sondheim. It was a lovely production starring Jean Simmons and, as her mother, Margaret Hamilton (the evil witch in "The Wizard of Oz"). But as wonderful as they were, I was most taken with the sultry and deep voiced Andra Akers as the Countess, and I had written her a letter and met her. A few nights later I was bicycling home from a performance and the light suddenly changed as I passed Stephen Sondheim and I knew that my brakes had this embarrassing screech and I didn't want to embarrass myself, so I made an abrupt right turn towards the back of the theatre and decided to join the crowd clamoring to see the stars. As I stood there, the campy Akers, obviously a crowd favorite, came out, spotted me, and, in her deepest voice, bellowed "RON!!! YOU CAME BACK!!!!!" What a thrilling night! You just can't beat live theatre, and I would see THAT production a glorious 12 times! And at least Jean Simmons' songs can be found on the London cast recording of the show.

I realize that too much of this is ME ME ME, but these are some of the memorable moments that stood out tonight as I wrote this.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 4:22 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Great stories, Ron. I would have loved to have seen that production of 'EVITA'. That recording is probably my favourite. I went to the UK touring production a few nights ago. Not bad, better than what I was expecting from what I had previously heard.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 5:46 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Yesterday, when in London, I saw a poster for a forthcoming piece of theatre which will feature James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave.



Darth Vader meets Mary, Queen Of Scots?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Kate Nelligan as the above's Definitive (sorry, mighty Meryl) tragic anti-heroine.



Alan Rickman & Lindsay Duncan's equally
unforgettable pairing in



[ Pivotally, twas his appearance on Broadway in this that got him his breakthrough role in "Die Hard". ]

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

smile

Notwithstanding the fabulous fact their exquisite collaborations at Stratford Ontario's
Shakespeare Festival are legendary







Brian Bedford & Maggie Smith's sublime symphony of talented titans and
consummate timing was ne'er so breathtakingly brilliant than their GLOrius El Lay
appearance



in

wink

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 11:19 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: Great stories, Ron. I would have loved to have seen that production of 'EVITA'. That recording is probably my favourite. I went to the UK touring production a few nights ago. Not bad, better than what I was expecting from what I had previously heard.

Thanks so much! Yes, that was the quintessential cast, which made the casting of the movie so darn frustrating, although I still think that it's the best filmed interpretation of ANYTHING by Lloyd Webber. I wrote Bob Gunton that as I sat there the weekend "Evita" was released, I was able to imagine HIS gorgeous voice as Peron, to some degree hearing HIM instead of Jonathan Pryce. And Mandy Patinkin was amazing -- one night I decided to NOT take my eyes off him, so I watched him from start to finish, and it was interesting to see him sitting thoughtfully off to the side when he wasn't in action. And I love that it's your favorite recording, because I was absolutely thrilled when they released it and felt that it accurately represented what we had seen in the theatre. I wrote in my DIGITAL AUDIO review of that recording that it had a real sense of occasion, a line the editor deleted, but I still stand by that. The review contrasted the American and British original cast recordings, and the one with LuPone and Patinkin and Gunton won hands down -- but I'll always love Elaine Paige. These days when I see Mandy on "Homeland" it's hard to believe that he's the same guy I saw in "Evita." Thanks for writing!

To Arthur Grant Re: "The one I wish I could have seen was: Arthur Hill and Uta Hagen in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Me too, me too! But I am the proud owner of the 5 or 6 LP boxed set of the original cast recording of the entire play with Hill and Hagen. Back in 1964 I used to play that recording in my marine barracks in Iwakuni Japan, driving some of my fellow marines crazy! Would love to find a digital copy of it or transfer it to digital. Now if I could just get my USB-enabled turntable to work with my new computer!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

Veteran's Day starring Jack Lemmon and Michael Gambon.

Peter O'Toole in Jeffery Bernard is Unwell.

The legendary BRIAN BLESSED!!!!!! in Metropolis.

All in 1989 (if I remember right) when I was seeing a girl who worked on theatrical productions in London. She had worked on the costumes for Dustin Hoffman's Merchant of Venice.

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 9:07 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: Veteran's Day starring Jack Lemmon and Michael Gambon.

Back in 1969, when I spent a month in London, I saw Douglas Rain, the fine actor who was the well-modulated voice of HAL9000, the computer, in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" on stage in "Hadrian VII" Also, while in London, I saw Mart Crowley's "The Boys In The Band," and, interestingly, I had recently seen all but 2 of the original Broadway cast in Los Angeles, and it turned out that that London production had the 2 remaining members I hadn't seen. Really enjoyed theatre in London.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 10:20 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

In New York:

--The 2nd Broadway production of "Nicholas Nickleby" -- just an amazing, powerful, uplifting, overwhelming experience.
--"Sweeney Todd" with Lansbury and Cariou
--The Transport Theatre Group site specific revival of "The Boys in the Band"
--Paul Newman in "Our Town"
--Original production of Maltby and Shire's "Starting Here Starting Now"
--Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia"
--"Noises Off" with Dorothy Loudon
--Original production of "March of the Falsettos" at Playwrights Horizons
--A lovely, lilting musical version of William Saroyan's "The Human Comedy" at the Public Theatre with music by Galt MacDermot -- one of my idols, Bonnie Koloc, played the mother
--Original production of Sondheim's "Assassins"
--Terrance McNally's "A Perfect Ganesh"
--Original production of Lanford Wilson's "A Tale Told" (aka "Talley and Son")
--Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Trilogy"

In London:

--Albert Finney giving the single best performance I've ever experienced in "Tamburlaine Parts I & II"
--Tom Stoppard's "Jumpers" -- 1976 production with Michael Hordern and Julie Covington

I know I'll kick myself for forgetting something!

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: Tom Stoppard's "Jumpers" -- 1976 production with Michael Hordern and Julie Covington

Ahhh ... the great Michael Hordern! Saw him in some hilarious film roles! And Julie Covington ... what a gorgeous voice! She was the original Eva in what some of us refer to as the "White Album" of the Lloyd Webber/Rice "Evita" which introduced us to that great music.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Amy Irving's shattering performance opposite Yvonne Bryceland
and author Athol Fugard in 1988's New York production of

BRAVOOOOO!!!

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Ahhh ... Amy Irving! Anybody remember her in the movie "Voices" with Michael Ontkean? She played a deaf girl who wanted to be a dancer. Very touching movie, and I've always loved the music -- I think Burton Cummings sang for Ontkean. Wish they'd bring it out on DVD! And what about Amy in Streisand's "Yentl"? Mandy Patinkin's attraction to her was palpable!!! In the case of "Yentl," I broke down and bought it on DVD, just assuming they would never put it on Blu-ray -- but if they do, I'll buy it again! First VHS, then DVD, then Blu-ray. What's next? Digital downloads rather than hard discs?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



As to that, her sublime perf remains aurally available (opposite
another no less legendary an icon) in the above recording:

It bears keeping in brilliant mind Ms. Irving came from quite a theatrical pedigree long before her celebrated first marriage to Meester E.T. - her father Jules was one of the founders of Lincoln Center Rep and mother equally esteemed actress Priscilla Pointer.



Her film appearances have rarely tapped the classically-trained gifts

she has in such breathtaking abundance ...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

Sir Michael Hordern had a voice that was so soothing-he is regularly heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra in various repeats-it's almost like comfort food listening to him.

Plus he was the voice of Paddington Bear when Colin Firth was in short trousers...

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 8:10 PM   
 By:   Dr. Nigel Channing   (Member)

Sweeney Todd in its original production at the Uris Theatre in New York (now the Gershwin Theatre), with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. I'll never top that!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 2:36 AM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

To Arthur Grant Re: "The one I wish I could have seen was: Arthur Hill and Uta Hagen in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Me too, me too! But I am the proud owner of the 5 or 6 LP boxed set of the original cast recording of the entire play with Hill and Hagen. Back in 1964 I used to play that recording in my marine barracks in Iwakuni Japan, driving some of my fellow marines crazy! Would love to find a digital copy of it or transfer it to digital. Now if I could just get my USB-enabled turntable to work with my new computer!



To Ron: Same here! I listened to the same performance on Reel to Reel tape over and over! That's why I wish I could have seen it. I was wondering if they ever put that out on c.d..

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 8:56 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: To Arthur Grant Re: "The one I wish I could have seen was: Arthur Hill and Uta Hagen in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Me too, me too! But I am the proud owner of the 5 or 6 LP boxed set of the original cast recording of the entire play with Hill and Hagen. Back in 1964 I used to play that recording in my marine barracks in Iwakuni Japan, driving some of my fellow marines crazy! Would love to find a digital copy of it or transfer it to digital. Now if I could just get my USB-enabled turntable to work with my new computer!

To Ron: Same here! I listened to the same performance on Reel to Reel tape over and over! That's why I wish I could have seen it. I was wondering if they ever put that out on c.d..


Had I been able to find that complete "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" on reel-to-reel back then, I would have bought it myself! Anything but LP!!! I had long adored my LP set of Sharkespeare's "Macbeth" with the great Anthony Quayle and Gwen Ffrancon-Davies, and had longed to have it on CD. So you can imagine my joy when I finally found it on CD, about the same time I found "The Tempest," with Hugh Griffith as a memorable Caliban on CD too, from the same company.

Which brings me to one of my Holy Grails: Sheridan's "The School For Scandal" directed by and starring John Gielgud and, again, Gwen Ffrancon-Davies. I'd love to replace my boxed set of LPs of it with CDs, but can't find that it has ever been released that way. I DID find a recording of the play on CD with different artists, but if I can't have the one with Gielgud, I don't want it. Or I'll just have to wait until I can figure out how to connect my turntable-to-USB to my NEW computer! Another incentive to do so!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

When I was a kid I saw Pearl Bailey on Broadway in "Hello Dolly." She was amazing. After the curtain calls she emerged from behind the curtain to chat with the audience. Apparently this is something she did a lot. However, this time she said "Ladies and Gentlemen we have a special person in the audience tonight, Miss Leontyne Price! Leontyne honey, come on up and sing us a song!" Miss Price did as she was told and brought the house down.

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: Pearl Bailey and Leontyne Price

Wow! That's fantastic! My sentimental favorite version of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" is with Leontyne Price and Richard Tucker, and I first bought it on reel-to-reel back in 1963 when I was stationed at the Marine Air Base in Iwakuni Japan, and I used to drive my fellow marines batty by playing it repeatedly with my big Akai tape player and separate speakers. I was overjoyed when BMG brought out SACDs of that Price/Tucker "Butterfly" a few years ago, and it sounds wonderful, but look what happened to SACD!

As for the Pearl Bailey revival of "Hello, Dolly!," which was one of the first, if not the first, times they re-did a Broadway show with an all-black cast (when it hadn't originally been created with such casting in mind), it is one of my favorite versions of that show and probably the one I return to the most. Pearlie Mae is a delight, Cab Calloway suave, and Emily Yancy, who sings "Ribbons Down My Back" probably sings it better than anyone I've ever heard do it before or since. Gorgeous! There's also a very energetic black cast for "Guys And Dolls," which is probably the most MUSICAL version of that show (even better than the digital remake from 1992 with Peter Gallagher and Josie De Guzman), and I highly recommend it -- they used to have cheap copies of the CD in discontinued bins at record stores, making it one of those lost treasures. I see that Amazon has copies for a penny over the $3.99 shipping and it's well worth it. It stars Norma Donaldson, Robert Guilaume, Ernestine Jackson, and James Randolph, and it has a white cover with black text. I love it.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.