Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hello, Eve Arden and Ann Miller!

Numerous stars took on the role of Dolly in touring and regional companies of Hello, Dolly! after Carol Channing.
One of the more interesting stars was Eve Arden.

Eve Arden (April 30, 1908 – November 12, 1990) was an American actress. Her almost 60-year career crossed most media frontiers with supporting and leading roles, but she may be best-remembered for playing the sardonic but engaging title character, a high school teacher, on Our Miss Brooks, and as the Rydell High School principal in the films Grease and Grease 2.
 
Ironically,  one of Carol Channing's first jobs in professional theater was as Arden's understudy in Let's Face It, also starring Danny Kaye.
 Decades later, when Carol had to leave Hello, Dolly! in Chicago to film Thoroughly Modern Millie,  David Merrick replaced Carol for four months with Eve Arden. Eve said the reason Mr. Merrick wanted her for this Dolly job was because she fit into Carol's costumes!

  The cast embraced her immediately. While playing Dolly in Chicago, Miss Arden one evening experienced what is now called a "wardrobe malfunction" just as she started down the Harmonia Gardens stairway.
With perfect aplomb and the dry delivery for which she was noted, Arden stopped, said "Waiter, bring me some pins," and after putting her dress back in order, continued her song.
Also in Eve Arden's Dolly company was Danny Lockin (as Barnaby Tucker) who did 6 traveling tours of Dolly (as well as the film). Danny did it on Broadway with Phyllis Diller and Ethel Merman. In addition to touring with Eve Arden, he toured in productions led by Betty Grable, Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Lamour, and Anne Russell.
Audiences loved Eve and she received a Sarah Siddons Award in Chicago for Dolly.Eve Arden and Ann Miller had appeared together years before in Stage Door. They also were both critically acclaimed as Dolly.



Johnnie Lucille Collier, better known as Ann Miller (April 12, 1923 – January 22, 2004) was an American singer, dancer and actress.
Ann appeared as Dolly with the Kenley Players in 1971. “John Kenley added a tap number for Ann Miller in ‘Hello, Dolly,’ ” said Patrick Quinn, a former president of the Actors’ Equity Association and a former employee of Mr. Kenley’s in Ohio. Mr. Quinn spoke in an interview in 2006, the year he died.
It has been a tough day in terms of finding anything on line on either of their productions.
I am seeking as much as possible on either of the ladies and their productions of Dolly! IF you have anything to share, PLEASE contact me!


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Tomorrow's blog will be... MY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JANICE HALL!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


Now, GO OUT AND see Carol Channing: Larger Than Life  now in theatres.


Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS



TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAYRichard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

                                
This Blog is dedicated to ALL the Dollys, past, present, and future and the gifts they give to the world












Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Remembering Zina Bethune!

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
Henry David Thoreau



Happy Tuesday!


I hope you have spent your day elevating yourself and those around you. 

Yesterday afternoon there was another senseless school shooting in the news.

TJ Lane shot five people killing three.

Life is precious and we need to take EVERY moment to realize that. Earlier this month, we lost a great entertainer. No, I'm not talking about Whitney Houston. I'm talking about Zina Bethune. I'm sure that most of my readers will not know who she was, although her body of work was just as important and just as impressive as Ms. Houston's. Fame is a funny thing. It is amazing who gets relegated to that very rare circle and who doesn't.
Just because someone makes it to that elusive circle doesn't make them any more important than those that don't. I was/am a fan of Whitney Houston's. However, for the past 10 years, the media reported every misstep she took as if they were reporting the most important news event in the world. Her death, however, raised her to sainthood. A few days later, I saw a posting on Facebook about the tragic death of Zina Bethune. I don't know how it was reported on the West Coast, but here, no flags at half mast and no dimming of lights on Broadway.
I didn't see it reported on the news.
People Magazine will not put out a commemorative collector's edition on her.
Piers Morgan will not be putting a panel of "experts" together to pontificate on how tragic her death was.
Zina Bethune and Whitney Houston both died on the same day...on my birthday...February 11th .

 Zina Bethune was a child actress who was later a soloist with the New York City Ballet and a choreographer who founded her own company in Los Angeles and was repeatedly recognized for her work with disabled students.
She died after she was struck by two cars on Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles. She was 66 and had stopped on the road to assist an injured possum.
She died as she lived...doing for those less fortunate.
Isn't that worthy of our praise and celebration? That's why I am celebrating Zina Bethune today. She earned it. I first became familiar with Zena because of her appearance on The Judy Garland Show.
I was two when she first appeared, however, I became familiar with her when I started watching and appreciating Judy's show as an adult. After seeing Zina, who I loved, I wanted to learn more about her.

Zina founded the dance and performance outreach effort Infinite Dreams, working with children who have mental or physical disabilities through schools across Southern California.
More than 8,000 students have graduated from the program.
 Infinite Dreams has been commended by the National Endowment for the Arts and by Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton.

Zina had a substantial career in television.

She starred as Amy in a 1958 TV adaptation of "Little Women," and in addition to guesting on "The Judy Garland Show" in 1963, she was a regular on CBS' "The Nurses" from 1962-65. Later she guested on series including "Gunsmoke," "Emergency!" and "CHiPs."
I am now and forever a fan.


 In addition to her mother, Bethune is survived by her husband, Sean Feeley.

I received the following testimonial:   
Zina was a consummate pro. She appeared in my musical 'Funny, You Don't Look Like A Grandmother', at the Santa Monica Playhouse, never missed a performance, was always prepared, and of course, beautiful.  She was a hard worker, and since singing wasn't her strongest suit, she continually worked on the songs in the show and her voice for the entire run (a year and a half) and improved dramatically. She took tremendous pride in her achievement, and she should have---the vocal improvement was substantial, and hopefully put her in good stead for the next musical that she did. 
Her dancing was always wonderful, and her body had a lithe fluidity and elegance that never betrayed her.  I valued having known her, and admired her devotion to her mother and 'family', be it the theatrical one, or her real one. And she always ALWAYS sent a Christmas card. Her Christmas list had to have been acres long!---and her cards were always hand written. She continually strived to do everything just right...be it helping animals, children, or friends. Who would have thought that her generous spirit would have been the cause of her demise? This is indeed a great tragedy.
Sheilah Rae





ZINA'S MEMORIAL INFORMATION
There will be a Memorial for Zina Bethune on March 8 at 7:30 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.
The address is 5269 Lankershim Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91601-3111. The previously announced Memorial will be postponed to a later date.
 
Please RSVP at
323-874-0481 or email at: tommy@theatrebethune.org
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Theatre Bethune (formerly Bethune Theatredanse by credit card at www.theatrebethune.org/contribute.html
or by check to Theatre Bethune, 3342 Barham Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90068.

Donations will be used for Theatre Bethune and Infinite Dreams, which is the participatory dance program
created by Zina under Theatre Bethune for disabled youth. Bethune Theatredanse was the first professional dance company to create such a program.

If you have any questions, please call Theatre Bethune at 323-874-0481.


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

 Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!





                            Tomorrow's blog will be... Eve Arden in Hello, Dolly!









Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

An Evening at "The Men of the Ballet Russes" at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles


Now, GO OUT AND see Carol Channing: Larger Than Life  now in theatres.


Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

                                                 Born: 17-Feb-1945 Died: 11-Feb-2012







Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ilene Graff!


"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's all you need.

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a great Academy Award winning weekend. Lots happened this weekend. Great things! Now I am wrapping up February...looking forward to the week and month ahead. It was a great month!
I had a birthday earlier this month. My Mom and my brother are both February babies...as well as some of my best friends.
And tomorrow is the birthday of one of the finest artists in the business, Ilene Graff.
I wish that I was going to be in California to learn from a great "master" . I'm thrilled that she sat down to take the time for this interview.
Grammy-nominated recording artist, television, cabaret, and Broadway star, ILENE GRAFF, will be teaching a new Vocal Performance Workshop: MAKING THE SONG YOUR OWN, on Saturday, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24/2012 at 1 P.M. in Studio City.


The sessions will cost $25 per class for this special introductory offer. ASCAP Award-winning composer Ben Lanzarone will be the Musical Director.  

The focus of this no-stress workshop includes: choosing a song, analyzing the lyric and the importance of storytelling, understanding the relationship among the words, the music and the singer, and how to be a more confident performer, whether the interest is musical theatre, cabaret, or just the fun of singing for oneself.

 “We want each student to overcome their shyness, pick the perfect material, and find the joy in singing.”
All skill levels are welcome to bring a song and work out in a nurturing, supportive atmosphere.

For more information and to register, email: ilenegraff@gmail.com. To find out more about Ilene, go to www.ilenegraff.com

Best known for playing the mom on the TV series, MR. BELVEDERE, Graff's career started on Broadway, performing in PROMISES, PROMISES, the original production of GREASE (Sandy), and in the original cast of Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart's I LOVE MY WIFE, creating the role of Cleo. 
She's performed her cabaret concert to sold-out houses in Los Angeles, New York and Florida. She has taught master classes in high schools and colleges, as well as serving as a Master Teacher for Crystal Cruises' Emerging Artists program. Ilene serves as a judge in the non-classical voice division of the world-famous Music Center Spotlight Awards for high school students in Southern California. Her Grammy-nominated CD, BABY'S BROADWAY LULLABIES, is a collection of show tunes arranged by husband Ben Lanzarone to help baby fall asleep.

Nikka and Ilene Graff
BEN LANZARONE, a winner of ASCAP's Most Performed Composer Award, is an arranger, conductor, pianist, and Musical Director who has composed hundreds of hours of music for television shows. He conducted and played piano for the original Broadway production of GREASE, and conducted, played and arranged for some of the biggest names in the business including Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Peter Nero, Art Garfunkle, Mary Travers, Anthony Newley, Petula Clark, Lainie Kazan and Mason Williams. He has also played on countless records, jingles and movie scores and recorded his own piano album, IN CLASSIC FORM produced by the legendary Bob Crewe. (Source: Harlan Boll)

 
Ilene grew up in show business. Her dad was a singer who had a group called The Beachcombers With Natalie. They were very successful, toured with Arthur Godfrey, did his radio and tv shows, and worked consistently in Las Vegas during the Golden Age.

As a result, Ilene doesn't remember the first live show she saw…her whole life was live shows! She has a memory (or maybe it's just so many people telling her about it) of being very little, and being carried out on stage at the NY Paramount where her Dad's act was on the same bill as Eddie Fisher. The first Broadway show she saw was THE MUSIC MAN. At 10 years-old she thought it was corny. The next show was FLOWER DRUM SONG, which she liked much better. Nightclubs! Show girls! Now we're talking.
 
Ilene says she was probably in 6th or 7th grade when she had her first professional job and sang in a children's chorus on the Harry Belafonte album, "Streets I Have Walked." She then did several jingles as a young teenager…the most memorable being for Hairspray-A-Go-Go. Really. Here are the lyrics
The Mr. Belvedere Cast
 "Go-go, go-go for Hairspray-A-Go-Go.
For the swingin', natural look, Hairspray-A-Go-Go.
When you get a hairspray you want to be groovy,
Let your hair swing like the jerk or watusi,
"Go-go, go-go for Hairspray-A-Go-Go.
For the swingin', natural look, Hairspray-A-Go-Go."

 
Ilene's thoughts on Arts in Education
My husband Ben Lanzarone and I have always been advocates for arts education in schools. We were both products of New York City public schools where there was music and art in every grade level. He went to the High School of Music and Art, which really started him on the path to being a serious musician. When we had a child, we brought as much of our expertise in the arts to wherever she was…producing shows, raising money for arts programs and just generally being there. Nikka (our daughter, Nikka Graff Lanzarone) attended the Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles and got priceless training not only in her field of musical theater, but for life. There is nothing likes an arts education to learn discipline, teamwork, focus, concentration and the joy of the creative process. That all takes money. Money that is well spent. Give a kid a reason to go to school and you've got a much better chance at having a successful life.

Have you ever felt like you were born in the wrong era? What other period of time do you relate to and why?
I think I'm right where I'm supposed to be! The thought of life without antibiotics or equal opportunity just doesn't appeal to me. And corsets? No way. I did a Civil War mini-series called BEULAH LAND and we had to wear corsets. Can you imagine? The Civil War and corsets? No way. Though I do adore watching "Downton Abbey" more than I can say.

Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing’s Foundation For The Arts)
(I’m campaigning for Carol Channing to receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honor in 2012. If you agree that she should receive this honor, can you say why you think this should happen)
My dad was in the Army with Charles Lowe, so Carol was always a name in my life. Jerry (my dad, Jerry Graff) wrote arrangements for her in the 60's (don't think she remembers!) and my folks would always go see her act when she played in the city. I adore her. We were lucky enough to have Carol and Harry in our home for a rehearsal when Ben was Musical Director of the Kander and Ebb concert for the Actors Fund. It was thrilling to have this icon of American entertainment in our living room!

Of course she should receive a Kennedy Center Honor. I've signed many a petition making my feelings known. She's an all-American girl who has devoted her life to entertaining others…to making us happy. She is the epitome of the hard-working craftsman and artist who has taken her brains, talent and beauty and developed them to the point of perfection. And no one has been a greater advocate for the power of an arts education.

Most recent appearance
Ilene and Scott Porter
I am a recurring character on the CW series, HART OF DIXIE and that was my most recent work. I've filmed 3 episodes so far, playing the mom of Scott Porter (original ALTAR BOYS, and my brother Todd's film, BANDSLAM). There's one more to shoot…the big season finale.

Next appearance
My next appearance is going to be as teacher! My husband and I are starting a vocal performance workshop called MAKING THE SONG YOUR OWN. I'm so excited to be sharing what I've learned in the many years I've been in the business. And for our students to be working with Ben? How lucky can they get! We'll be getting together for the 4 Saturdays in March and see where it goes from there.
 
What is your biggest success in Show Business
The 5-and-a-half seasons I had the good fortune to play the mom on the TV show, MR. BELVEDERE. Those years were absolutely golden. Steady work, great company, lots of laughs, and a fabulous schedule that let me be a hands-on Mom. Ranking right up there as well was creating the role of Cleo in the Cy Coleman-Michael Stewart musical, I LOVE MY WIFE. What an exciting time! We were a hit and I got to be funny, cute and sing my face off.

What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that
I left GREASE on Broadway to do a new Broadway show called TRUCKLOAD. I loved TRUCKLOAD so much…it had a great score by Louis St. Louis, but we closed after 5 previews. It was the biggest heartbreak of my professional life…nothing has come close since. What do you do? Just wake up the next day. No matter how excruciating, somehow I woke up each day and got through…one minute by one minute.

What one change would you like to see in today’s industry?
I wish there were more work for us older rank and file actresses. I don't see "myself" on TV very much…the roles for women my age are being done by movie stars. It gets a little frustrating, but then again this has always been a young person's business.
I also wish there were less pressure for young performers to be outrageous. It seems like you need to be an addict or inappropriate to get any attention. I don't know. I'm just glad I'm not starting out now!
 
How do you deal with receiving invitations from friends/colleagues to events that are either too many or too costly to attend?
I simply say how much I'd love to attend, but have a conflict! And of course it's very important to wish them the very best of luck.

If you could not be in show business, what would you do?
Teach. 
 
Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
I've accomplished a great deal in my career and have gotten to do a little bit of everything, but things do slow down as the years pass. It would be fun to have a concert career…sing with symphonies…tour the world! I'd be thrilled if I could sing every day. And not just in my house.

Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
Pretty much. I'm most pleased that I have a life outside of work and that I've been able to use my talent to raise money for those in need. I was raised in the tradition of doing for others. My mom Judy was always involved in the community and I've tried to carry on her legacy through my work with the Variety Club, the Actors Fund, The Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards and other arts education projects.

What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?
I have an amazing family. A husband who is not only my life partner, but my work partner and creative partner. We have a daughter who is the light of our lives…a talented, beautiful, kind and caring young woman. We have a family of unsurpassed quality…funny, loving and supportive. So, I just think of them and eventually realize how great I have it!
How on earth do you reach theatregoers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can’t pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss.
Advertising has always been prohibitively expensive, so it never was an option for me. At least we have social networking these days. I've found it to be the best way to get the word out about what I'm doing. When we played Birdland in New York, I posted on every conceivable page that I ever had any connection to, and people came! It was absolutely amazing.

A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?
Nikka as Velma in Chicago(Bway)
HEALTH
A huge hit Broadway show written by my brother Todd, starring Nikka, with nice roles for me and my cousin Randy, with Ben as Musical Director. Does that count as 5 wishes all by itself? Too bad.
World Peace. That's for all the Miss Americas. 
 
If you could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, where would you choose, and what would you do?
Italy! I'd eat!
What is the last stage show you saw? Local or professional.  
The last show we saw was MAN OF LA MANCHA at Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, starring Davis Gaines and Lesli Margarita. It was fantastic! Davis sings like an absolute angel, and Lesli is the best trampy slut on the planet. Don't tell her I said that.  

When do you know it’s time for a Ilene Graff show?
I book a show when I think I'll explode if I don't get to sing on stage.
 
What do you see for the future of Cabaret?
Cabaret is a performer-driven art form. As long as we have the need to do it, we'll figure out how. The tough part is finding venues. Nobody goes into cabaret for the money, but we still want to be in nice clean clubs with good sound and lights and a great piano. If there were more places like Birdland, we'd all be happy little chanteuses and chanteurs.

 
Who would YOU like the subject of my next blog to be?
Nikka Graff Lanzarone! I'm an excellent stage mother. Oh! I know! I really want to do GYPSY with Nikka. Me as Mama Rose (which I've done and adored) and Nikka as Gypsy, of course. Perfection. 

The following is from Ilene's husband, Ben Lanzarone:
She is the most amazing human I've ever met. Intelligent, talented,honest and made the best baby one could ever hope for. I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. 


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

 Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!





                                                  Tomorrow's blog will be... Remembering Zena Bethune





Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Now, GO OUT AND see Carol Channing: Larger Than Life  now in theatres.


Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

                                
                                                        Happy Birthday, Ilene Graff!



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hello, Marilyn Maye!

In all the productions of my “Hello Dolly”, Horace Vandergelder of Yonkers, New York, has always sung the song and made the statement “It Takes A Woman”. Until I heard this album, I never realized that it does take a woman with tremendous musical capabilities to sing the entire score of “Hello, Dolly”. Yes, it takes a woman with great versatility and vocal range to perform the varied material and remain true to her style. 
And that woman is Marilyn Maye.

Let’s take, for example, the gentle bossa nova rendition of “Ribbons Down My Back”. Here is Marilyn’s ability to deliver a song with full emotion and very little instrumental accompaniment. Marilyn’s jazz roots surface in her interpretation of “Dancing”. Just try to keep you feet still…. And, of course, the title tune is no stranger to Marilyn. She recorded it on one of her RCA albums and has performed it on stage many times.

And so…it does take a woman. an exceptional woman like Marilyn Maye. I’m proud to know such an extraordinary combination of singing and acting talent has portrayed my “Dolly” on stage and on this album”.
-Jerry Herman Liner Notes for Marilyn Maye Sings All of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!

The first time that Marilyn Maye played the irrepressible Dolly Levi (1970) it  was the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City which was a 9,000 seat amphitheater. She had done ‘Can Can’ there and Dolly was the next thing. She did not audition.  The theatre had been open for twenty years and they broke all attendance records. They played three weeks.

Fast forward … lots of years…until she did Hello Dolly! at the Lone Star amphitheater in  Galveston, Texas in the summer of ’84, ’85 ’86 and ’87. 


As far as the CD referenced above is concerned, Marilyn produced it, it was all hers. She did the CD before the fourth year in Galveston. The incredible arrangements heard on the CD are the exact arrangements used in the show.
They recorded the soundtrack CD in London. 

There are a few lyrics in the Hello Dolly number that are different than the traditional score.
In the middle of the Hello, Dolly number  Mark Franklin, who worked with Marilyn on the musical concepts of this CD and Marilyn added that because she desired the song to come down a little so that she could build to an even bigger ending than is/was always in place. And there are the songs that Dolly didn’t sing.  Those are ALL Marilyn's arrangements.
From Mark Janas: We recorded the score in London in the Spring of 1984 with 50 musicians gigging out from the London Philharmonic and London Symphonies. Our trumpet player was the guy who did the piccolo trumpet solo in the Beatles "Penny Lane". What an orchestra! What a joy to conduct them. And Marilyn's idea about adding the additional choruses in "Hello Dolly" was nothing short of genius. We had one chorus with Marilyn and a quartet of "chefs" from Harmonia Gardens where the only accompaniment was one slap bass, and then the next chorus was a riff on that one with full out Dixieland band where all hell broke loose. There were nights when the audience was on it's feet and applauding so fervently that Marilyn would finally ask, "Would you like to hear that again?" and the audience would scream, and we'd do the whole number over.
 At the Lone Star Theatre in Galveston, they played every other night.  She loved it.  Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday…something like that.  It was a cast of one hundred people!
It was really big.  Mark  Janas was the musical director. 

Marilyn also saw Ginger Rogers  and Pearl Bailey do Dolly.  Marilyn was called the ‘singing’ Dolly.  Her version is kind of Jazzy and very different. 
 The producers in Galveston desired her to do it that way.  They said, “that’s why we wanted you”.   The producer / director’s parents had seen her do Dolly in Kansas City.  They were ‘show business’ kind of people and they said “if you’re going to do Hello Dolly! …”

The director referred to the original Gower Champion choreography,  but some of it was his.  He was a dancer.  Denton Yockey was the assistant. Marilyn loved Dolly, because she’s in charge! And so she had do that, she says.

That’s what all my leading actresses tell me.

Dolly's positive and Marilyn is too.  It’s all positive thinking you know.

  That’s why she loved the part.  She’s positive, moving on to the future’ kind of thing.

One special memory for Marilyn is the night she broke her shoulder in Galveston but continued on with the show. That was early in the game in Galveston.
In Kansas City, Marilyn's Vandergelder was Max Showalter.  Max did Vandergelder on Broadway with Betty Grable.
Marilyn adored Max.  She says he was such a darling person.  He’s gone but they remained dear, dear friends.  One of the aspects of the show that Marilyn adored was the fact that throughout the show, the fourth wall is broken. She loved those moments when she directly addressed the audience. She also had a great time each night with the curtain speech. She loves Dolly's positive philosophy, as I said before, and that’s Marilyn's.  She IS Dolly!  There’s no doubt about it.  She loved the fact that she could sing the way she knows how to sing and that she was allowed to branch out in her way. 

James Stoker always said that the singing was first and then the acting, where with most of them, "I think it was the acting that was first."

Marilyn's thoughts on Jerry Herman
 I think that he writes for the actress and the singer.  I don’t know his process of thinking.  I called him when I was doing the show at Feinstein’s and he sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and said “ Thank you, Love you and Bless you” on the card.  I think he considers the performer when he’s writing his music.  He’s very positive.  “It’s Today” has become my mantra.  In the last five years audiences are disappointed if I don’t close with that these days.  “Before The Parade Passes By” is a lovely thing for me, at my age. 

Marilyn never worked with Gower Champion.She never got to do Broadway.  She did ‘Mame’ at the Music Hall and Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Follies’ in Houston and in San Diego.


Marilyn recorded the song Hello Dolly! on her first album on RCA, the title track. And she did ‘Mame’ on the ‘Meet Marvelous Marilyn Maye’ on RCA.
The incredible, swing’in arrangements were by Manny Albam.  Marilyn had been doing it in clubs for years and did the Louis Armstrong ‘growl’.  It is now on a ‘golden oldies two for’ with ‘The Lamp Is  Low’. 


What do you think is the biggest change in the industry since you did the show?
Well, it’s interesting.  They seem to keep doing revivals.  They don’t seem to hit on anything very successful.  I would love to do another production of Dolly.  I feel I could still do Dolly.  Absolutely.

Do you have any more thoughts on Dolly as we wrap up?
Well, I love Dolly.  I still do ‘Before The Parade Passes By”.  I still do ‘It Only Takes A Moment’.  Those are valuable ‘live forever’ songs that Jerry Herman, wrote.  They’ll always be in the Great American Songbook.  They’ll always be good.  They’re all classics and the lyrics say something.


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!


Tomorrow's's blog will be... My Exclusive Interview with Ilene Graff!









Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Now, GO OUT AND see Carol Channing: Larger Than Life  now in theatres.


Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

                                
This Blog is dedicated to ll the Dollys! Past, Present, and Future!