|Happy Birthday, Steve Lawrence!|
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind
Happy Friday, July 7th, 2016!
I hope this finds all that read these having a good day. You would have to be living under a rock to not know what was going on in the world yesterday and last night. I wrote about it in my log yesterday and I was up till 4AM watching the news. I feel beat up today. I find myself internalizing the strife that is going on in the world. I find myself internalizing everything. When I find that happening to me, I desire to escape into the movies. The movies that do it for me are either musicals or the classic films of old Hollywood.
I also love Carol Burnett's spoofs the movies. Steve Lawrence, who's birthday is today, was featured in many of those, along with his wife Eydie Gorme.
I think today that I desire to escape into the movies!
On Saturday, July 30th, I will be going once again to South Shore Theatricals for their next outing, Blame It On The Movies.
I always love the care and dedication that goes into their shows. Bruce Bider and John Pane co-produce and direct together. If you will be in the tri-state area on the 30th, I hope that you will join me. What a cast! Starring: Kathryn Crosby, Frank Basile, Marie Danvers (Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera”), Rob Gallagher (Broadway’s “Les Miserables”), Jimmy Moore and Judi Mark.
With a staggering collection of over 75 of the most well-known songs from the most well-known films ranging from Gone With the Wind to Footloose, Blame it on the Movies! is a delicious romp through cinematic history. Popcorn in hand, audiences are guided through a cavalcade of the most memorable music from the movies. Blame it on the Movies! features unforgettable tunes from The
To purchase tickets go to http://
In celebration of Blame It On The Movies, I Celebrate the Movies!
I reached out to my Facebook friends to talk about movies that touched their lives. and here are the results.
For Shelly Goldstein, the movie that she blames is the original The Producers. I was about 9. I'd
|Roger Ebert's Review of The Producers|
I also reached out to Bruce Bider, co-director/co-producer of Blame It On The Movies.
On this day in 1935, Universal's Poe-themed shocker THE RAVEN, starring Karloff and Lugosi, opened in theaters.
|The film version of The Pirates of Penzance starring Angela Lansbury and Kevin Kline|
|See Jimmy Moore in Blame It On The Movies July 30th|
|Judi Mark returns to South Shore Theatricals|
For many years, I have been both a stage and musical director in regional, community
and educational theatres at many venues across Long Island. I am also an elementary
general music teacher in the Oceanside Public School District, and direct their annual
middle and high school productions ... coincidentally this year our OHS musical was
State Fair, which on Broadway starred Kathryn Crosby, our special guest star in Blame
it on the Movies!
|Kathryn Crosby Returns|
- a unit of 4th-6th grade Oceanside “Munchkins” under my co-direction was selected to
perform in Madison Square Garden’s production of The Wizard of Oz (starring Roseanne as the Wicked Witch); and just last year, I was invited to bring veterans of my 2012
Oceanside Middle School production of the Ziegfeld/Eddie Cantor musical Whoopee to
perform a special concert version of the show for the Ziegfeld Society of New York,
with myself on piano and narration by society president Mark York.
How long has your summer performances been goin on?
We began in 2013 with An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein, which featured Lee
Meriwether, Marni Nixon and Lee Roy Reams, continuing in 2014 with A South Shore Summer starring Anita Gillette, then last year The Melody Lingers On (the songs of
Irving Berlin) with Kathryn Crosby, and now here we are again with Mrs. Crosby as
well. And with us in every single one of these
How did Southshore Theatricals come about?
SST was formulated in late 2010. My business partner John Pane and I noted the absence
of a professional theatrical venue for many years on the island’s south shore. The desire for such a company was shared by our dear friend, the late Joan Roberts, best known as the
original Laurey in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, but who subsequently relocated to
Rockville Centre and starred in productions at the Long Beach Playhouse and the Westbury
prior to her passing in 2012, brought us together with Angelo Fraboni, artistic director of the
Madison Theatre at Molloy College.
|Doris Day in one of my favorite films, Love Me or Leave Me (also starring James Cagney)|
We love doing musical revues which can feature a large, intergenerational group of performers;
last year we had a hard time deciding between this and The Melody Lingers On ... when we
chose the latter, we knew we had our show for this year as well!What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Blame It On The Movies?
For our older audiences, we hope they have a most enjoyable trip "down memory lane,"
discovery of hearing some wonderful cinematic "pop" standards for the first time and loving
them. I know that happened with The Melody Lingers On, in particular -- in which even some
of the children in our cast mentioned that they got the songs "stuck in their head" and couldn't
stop singing them!
There is an interesting through line that brings us to our next guest today. Jamie Lee Farrar and I both bonded because of our love of the 1965 TV version of Cinderella which starred Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon.
That production also starred Celeste Holm as the Fairy Godmother. Celeste was also married to Frank Basile.
Jamie blames it on Cinderella!
I must have been three or four years old. When I was little, my night time routine usually revolved around watching a movie with my parents after my bath. Around that time, Mom was introducing me to musicals. She had just introduced me to Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang the week before and the VHS had just come out. It was a surprise “just because” gift. She gave me the gift hoping to carry on the tradition from her own childhood.
In what way did it affect you?
Even though I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy months after birth, I was able to walk (ever so slowly) with my leg braces on at the time. This was the first musical I danced to ( The dancing would carry on to Sound Of Music later) I would run around the house dancing to In My Own Little Corner pretending to clean up the house . I still sing when cleaning funnily enough.
On a deeper more profound level, Cinderella taught me to think positively and to be kind to whomever I met despite whatever circumstance came my way.
|Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella|
|with Stuart Damon|
|Stepsisters Pat Carroll, Barbara Ruick, Stepmother Jo Van Fleet|
I think it has evolved over time as I’ve gotten older. It’s something that I can look back on with happy childhood memories and enjoy. It is something that connects me to my Mom, a common ground we share.
night—to take my mind of that unspeakable pain, I began to sing In My Own Little Corner as my mind floated back to the first time viewing the film with my Mom. I sang songs from Cinderella for every painful treatment I had to endure thereafter . It helped me to smile again. And of course
How well do you think it is translated into other versions?
I think the story is timeless. I have fond memories of all the versions I have seen. I’m still waiting for a version with a disabled Cinderella whose prince falls in love with her because she stands out from the crowd in a different way than all the other versions, but I think that’s hoping for a little too much.;) Who knows? Anything is possible right? If they ever do
What are your thoughts on the other adaptations ?
The Disney remake of the musical with Brandy and Whitney Houston came out when I was ten (1997) and while it was wonderful, it didn’t hold the same magic or capture my attention in the same way. Of course, the animated classic has its own charm and I enjoyed that as a child as well. I never saw Julie Andrews' version of the musical, but intend to someday.
Ever After with Drew Barrymore because it gave the character more spunk then previous versions and explained a little more of the back story. It gave the Prince and Cinderella more of a history. The live action remake of the Disney classic did the same thing. It’s tagline was “ have courage and be kind” I loved it for that reason. I loved the changes they made to the 2013 Broadway musical and would love to see it on stage someday.
But the 1965 version will always be my favorite!
Please join me at Molloy College on July 13th as I really celebrate Blame It On The Movies!
Thank you, to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,
Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Dolly Gallagher Levi!
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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com