Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Program Notes for Future Reference

As the title suggests---Program Notes. While there are times that there are profiles and bios of artists and other material it is hoped that you are kept informed of upcoming things of interest on all the programs. So--Sunday Simcha.

April 15, 2007 is the date this year for Yom Hashoah. Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This program will commemorate the occasion with readings from a book put together by the father of Daniel Pearl ---read by Bill Hahn---music to mark the day. The music will not only address the Holocaust and its remembrance but also the bigger picture of Man's Inhumanity To Man. It will end on an uplifting note and also a piece that is performed by one of the greatest voices of all time and is used in the liturgy of Remembrance.

TRADITIONS: A week before this --April 8-- a confluence of two major holidays that are ever so meaningful in the Judeo / Christian Tradition. Easter and Passover.

That confluence will be celebrated on the April 8 edition of Traditions. We start with what I always start with ---a joyous piece from Croffut and Addis. The holidays will blend, through music, after that. From Bluegrass to liturgical you will get it all if you are tuned in.

New York residents can rest easy since their alternate parking rules have been suspended for more than one week due to the confluence of these holidays. Praise God. Don't praise the Parking Authority---we leave for them a later holiday that will encompass horrors and ghouls.

In addition a few new CDs of special interest will be aired and then a few thematic surprises having to do with the relationship of what I consider one of the best Bway musicals I have ever seen to sea chanties and how well it all blends. The year for this musical---1958. The show was New Girl In Town and was based on the story of Anna Christie. The Eugene O'Neil work. It featured an amazing cast---Thelma Ritter, Cameron Prudhomme, Gwenn Verdon, and so many more. Strangely, it is never revived. The music shows the perfect blend of Broadway takes on Sea Music and Traditional Sea Music. As you will see some music you think is traditional is not and some you think is not is "traditional".

For those interested the idea for this came about from a piece by a very interesting duo---Curtis and Loretta--and a traditional piece of theirs about "bugs". They will be featured on the program as well and their bio and background will be talked of then.

Back for a moment now to New Girl In Town.

The show was on Bway in 1958---seats were priced at about $10.00 for Orchestra. Thought you "boomers" might like that fond long ago memory.

As to the show. If you do not know of it let me give you some of the details---Harold Prince produced (who else) it and it featured a book by George Abbot, choreography by Fosse, and music by Bob Merrill (How Much Is That Doggie In The Window)(not Robert Merrill, Opera). The performers---Gwen Verdon, Thelma Ritter, Cameron Prud'homme, and George Wallace (no---not the lovable Alabama gov.) All this is based on a Eugene O'Neil tale---Anna Christie. Great material for a musical. Right?

It may well be the only musical that is akin to West Side Story and its Romeo and Juliet theme. You will not see its likes again. You have Lloyd Webber and the Disney productions on 42d St. now.

Perhaps one day it will be revived as others have been. It has only been done once, it seems, in an Encores presentation.

A last thought is to compare it to other productions that have been revived. Fiddler, Oklahoma, and Chicago. Just as touching, deep, and personal as all of them. Perhaps someday it will be revived. A timeless tale with great music.

West Side Story, as well, should be revived. Admittedly the subject matter is dated but the Shakespearean basis is timeless.

No comments: