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November 19, 2000

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The St. Louis Muse

A recurring feature in which we take note of what's playing on local stages, including and interview with Bill Grivna, director of the HotHouse Theatre Company production of Ben Elton’s dark comedy Popcorn, running through December 3rd.
PLAYLIST
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University is presenting Sondheim’s Company through Tuesday, November 21st.
Company Company (OC 1970) Dean Jones and company Harold Prince produced this Stephen Sondheim musical (book by George Furth, based on a collection of 11 of his one-act plays) about a swinging bachelor and his crazy, married friends. The first of six Sondheim/Prince collaborations, it opened April 26, 1970, and ran for 690 performances. Praised and derided in equal measures by critics at the time, it enjoyed a successful revival in 1995.
Being Alive Company (OC 1970) Dean Jones and company The cast includes Barbara Barrie, Charles Kimbrough, Beth Howland, Elaine Stritch, and Donna McKechnie. Dean Jones’s previous work was in TV and mostly-Disney movies; shortly after opening, Larry Kert replaced him in the lead due to illness. The year-long tour of the show starred George Chakiris.
Southwestern Illinois College presented the world premiere of Alan Friedman’s Woody, a play about the life of filmmaker Woody Allen, this weekend. This gives us an excuse to play some recordings of Allen’s early career as a nightclub comic.
Private Life Woody Allen: the Night Club Years, 1964-1968 (1972) Woody Allen Woody brings us up to date on major events in his life. The LP version of this material is long out of print, but it has recently been reissued on CD under the title Woody Allen: Stand Up Comic.
The Moose; Kidnapped Woody Allen: the Night Club Years, 1964-1968 (1972) Woody Allen The Berkowitzes lock horns with a stunned moose and Woody becomes embroiled in a standoff between kidnappers and the FBI.
Washington University just completed a two-week run of the musical Man of La Mancha this weekend.
Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) Man of La Mancha (OC 1965) Richard Kiley The hit of the 1965 Broadway season (2,328 performances - five years and seven months), with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and book by Dale Wasserman based on his earlier television play I, Don Quixote.
Dulcinea Man of La Mancha (OC 1965) Richard Kiley Richard Kiley is magnificent in his career-defining performance as the deluded wannabe knight Don Quixote. Other Don Quixotes during the show’s run included Jose Ferrer, John Cullum, Kieth Michell, and Hal Holbrook. Kiley would reprise the role in New York in 1972 and again in 1977. Kiley and Joan Diener (Aldonza/Dulcinea) had earlier co-starred in Kismet (1953) as the Caliph and Lalume.
I Really Like Him Man of La Mancha (OC 1965) Irving Jacobson The score was revolutionary in its time. The orchestra had no violins--just brass, woodwinds, percussion, and flamenco guitars.
The Impossible Dream (The Quest) Man of La Mancha (OC 1965) Richard Kiley “A favorite of lounge singers everywhere”, Michael Simmons opines. If you can still listen to this and be even a tiny bit inspired, there’s hope for all of us yet.
Man of La Mancha was made into a movie in 1972, with such non-singing stars as Peter O’Toole, Sophia Loren, and James Coco. That soundtrack was panned as a “disgrace” and a “desecration”, so we elected to spare our listeners selections from it.
Wilkommen Cabaret (OC 1966) Joel Grey The smarmy MC at the Kit Kat Klub welcomes you in three languages. Joel Grey was in St. Louis this weekend for a series of concerts with members of the St. Louis Symphony.
Man of La Mancha was made into a movie in 1972, with such non-singing stars as Peter O’Toole, Sophia Loren, and James Coco. That soundtrack was panned as a “disgrace” and a “desecration”, so we elected to spare our listeners selections from it.


Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.


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