A Christmas Day Concert
In November of 1970, a musical by Richard Rodgers and Martin Charnin opened at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. Based on “The Flowering Peach” by Clifford Odets, Two by Two starred Danny Kaye and Madeline Kahn. As the story goes, Danny Kaye was less than easy to get along with. After the show received mixed reviews, he began to improvise his performances, making working with him difficult. At one point, he broke his foot and appeared on stage in a wheelchair or crutches, using the devices as a shtick to intimidate other actors during each show.
Nevertheless, it was an amazing opportunity for young actor Walter Willison, making his Broadway musical debut in a show helmed by a veritable creative dream team. On top of that, Walter received a Tony nomination for his performance.
This Christmas day, half a century later, Walter appears in and directs the 50th anniversary virtual concert of Two by Two to benefit The Actors Fund. It will premiere at 2 PM ET, and stream through Dec. 28.
Sandi Durell, founder of theatre website, TheatrePizzazz.com, is the producer.
Find out all about the event, how you can view the concert and donate to The Actors Fund here.
Walter Willison is one of my guests on Sunday’s “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” radio show and podcast. You can hear the program on WNYM-AM from 2-3 PM, or on podcast following the broadcast.