Now Streaming: A Bronx Tale, Streisand in Concert, Anthony Perkins
by Randie Levine-Miller
Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller has more discoveries this week. They include the Broadway musical, “A Bronx Tale,” starring rising start Nick Cordero who sadly died of COVOID, a Barbra Streisand concert, and Anthony Perkins in a Sondheim show. And you’ll love her insider sidebars!
A Bronx Tale
I’ve been trying to find the Broadway musical, “A Bronx Tale”, and voila, it’s finally available… Written by Chazz Palminteri… Music by the prolific and multiple award winning composer, Alan Menken… Lyrics by Glenn Slater… Directed by Jerry Zaks and Robert De Niro…It opened on Broadway, December, 2016 and closed August, 2018. It starred the late great rising star, Nick Cordero who was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. One of the featured songs in the show was “One of the Great Ones” … and indeed, Nick was just that!
Sidebar: After the show ended, as it was a press performance, I was hoping to run into good pal, Alan Menken, my BFF, Faye Menken Schneier’s brother…on the far right aisle, I saw a group of folks gathering and figured I’d join in…I was having a delightful conversation with who I believed to be Nick saying: “You look just like Chazz Palminteri, only younger”… to which he replied, “I am Chazz Palminteri!!!” He’s a “regular” guy, so warm and friendly…and, he has a restaurant in the theater district. I hope it will survive the pandemic.
Playhouse 90 “Helen Morgan” (1957)
A real find and a real treat! Polly Bergen won an Emmy Award for her star turn in Playhouse 90’s “The Helen Morgan Story” …co-starring Sylvia Sidney and Hoagy Carmichael, directed by George Roy Hill… The kinescope that I originally found
Is not clear, visually or sound wise… but I found this really easy to view and hear copy which was not intended for broadcast… it was probably a dress rehearsal….. enjoy this legendary performance!
Sidebar One: I idolized Polly Bergen, from the time I was a kid and collected all of her records. When I was still in my teens, people would often say, “you remind me of Polly Bergen” … this went on for years… Later on, I would respond with “that may be, but I have Polly’s old nose!”
Sidebar Two: In the 1980s, I wound up at a dinner party via one of my author clients, and was seated next to Polly Bergen, who I thought for sure, was going to be my new best friend…well, that didn’t happen…though she did give me her home number! In more recent years, we would run into each other at different events …she was always cordial. When I was in charge of special events for the Drama Desk, she won a Drama Desk Award for her performance as Carlotta (“I’m Still Here”) in the first Broadway revival of “Follies” … She was still in excellent voice.
Sidebar Three: About 10 years ago, I ran into her at the Cafe Carlyle …. she was with pal, Rex Reed… we schmoozed for a bit, and I told her that so many people have remarked over the years, that I remind them of her (I have a photo taken with her, that validates it) I always say, “thank you, but I have her old nose!”, to which she replied, “Randie, I never had my nose done…. but I did have everything else done!” Sadly, she died 4 years ago… She was a trouper and truly a fabulous gal…
Yank! 10th Anniversary Celebration @ 54 Belo
The musical “Yanks,“a romantic gay love story set in World War II, garnered rave reviews when it opened at the York Theater… This show was written by Joseph and David Zelnik and has a delightful score … it was rumored that it would go to Broadway, and I don’t know what happened ….all I know is I was at opening night and absolutely adored this musical… To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show, a concert version with most of the original cast was presented at Feinstein‘s/54 below and the audience went wild ….I think it’s a show that most Tomatoes will really enjoy..
Barbra Streisand – European tour 2013: “concert idéal”
This fabulous Barbra Streisand concert is from her European tour in 2013…It’s the same concert I had the pleasure of seeing at the Barkley Center, the same year….I was only able to find Act I which runs 45 minutes, but it’s definitely worth viewing..She was just past 70 and looks and sounds….. like Barbra Streisand! She does a segment with her son, Jason Gould.where they sing a duet of “How Deep Is The Ocean”, and then he does a solo…He’s an excellent singer and not sure why he never made it to the big time..
Sidebar: Marvin Hamlisch was Barbra’s Musical Director and close friend for decades… she does a tribute in memory of Marvin who died just months before ( August 6, 2012)…. showing photos of the 2 of them throughout the years while singing “The Way We Were”… I, too, had a decades long relationship with Marvin… When I asked him how he was able to work so well with Streisand (‘like butter”!), when she had a reputation of being extremely demanding, he said,” if she would say to me, Marvin, I need that arrangement by 11 AM tomorrow, I would say, Barbra, I can’t get it to you at that time… But I can get it to you at 6 PM”. That’s the way he would handle her… And knowing Marvin, he always kept his agreements…
Stephen Sondheim – Evening Primrose starring Anthony Perkins
From 1966, ABC-TV broadcast one of Sondheim’s early musicals where he wrote both music and lyrics…“Evening Primrose” starring Anthony Perkins, Charmian Carr, and Dorothy Stickney… it has a wonderful score….2 of the songs have gone on to have a life of their own, “Take Me To The World”, as well as “I Remember”…
Sidebar: “Evening Primrose” was taped on a Sunday morning at the long ago closed Stern Brothers Department Store in
Manhattan…I’m sure we Tomatoes of a certain age remember Stern’s!
Randie Levine Miller is Director of Special Events for The Three Tomatoes, and co-produces and hosts the annual Tomatoes Got Talent show. Known around NYC as a modern day “hostess with the mostess, she has performed in and hosted benefits for the Actors Fund, the Actors Temple, Multiple Sclerosis, and Prostate Cancer Research. Randie’s performance venues have included: The Triad, The Metropolitan Room, the Laurie Beechman Theater, and the Friars Club. For many years, she was special events director for the Drama Desk Awards. Randie also had a successful 30-year career as a public relations consultant and handled several major health and medical technology clients.