Now Streaming: Alan Cumming Cabaret, Lerner and Lowe,Tovah Feldshuh, Best of Broadway
by Randie Levine Miller
You will love Alan Cumming in this 1993 very raw portrayal of the Emcee in the original London Cabaret. There’s a fabulous Lerner and Lowe tribute featuring Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet among other stars. Watch the interview with Tovah Feldshuh whom I had the honor of hosting a star studded tribute in her honor, at the Friars Club in 2009. And you’ll love this Broadway Tribute from Ed Sullivan.
See Alan Cumming in his prime as the Emcee in the original London Donmar Warehouse Sam Mendes directed “Cabaret”, by Kander and Ebb from 1993…He won the 1998 Tony Award after coming across the pond to star in the Broadway production…it’s the same role that Joel Grey won the 1966 Tony for. However, this is a very raw portrayal with shock value…. but Cumming is brillliant and stunning…. I don’t recognize the names of his co-stars, but it doesn’t matter, as this is a most unique interpretation with edge! Even if you’ve seen “Cabaret” in other incarnations, I heartily recommend this one!
“The Broadway of Lerner and Loewe” starring Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Stanley Holloway, Charles Nelson Reilly and hosted by Maurice Chevalier, aired as an NBC-TV special (“in living color”) on February 11, 1962…Besides these Broadway stars, the behind the scenes team was equally filled with theater greats, including Carol Haney who choreographed the special, Norman Rosemont who produced and Franz Allers who musical directed..
Songs from the fruitful 30 year musical partnership of Lerner and Loewe, include performances from “My Fair Lady”, “Camelot”, “Paint Your Wagon”, “Brigadoon” and “Gigi”…. You’ll hear Burton sing “Gigi” like you’ve never heard it sung before.. This was truly a magical special…. something we’ll never see the likes of again… other than finding this extraordinary special and others on YouTube or at the Paley Center.
Sidebar: When Charles Nelson Reilly was co-starring in “How to Succeed”, I met him a few times… I had interviewed “How to Succeed” star Robert Morse for my Junior High School 80 newspaper, and was going backstage to visit Morse…. I met Reilly on my way into the theater…. he asked my name, and I told him, “Randie” … he immediately blurted out, “you mean like Randy Paar?” I replied, “no, like Randie Levine!”
Working in the Theater Seminar
The ‘Working In The Theater” seminars produced by the American Theater Wing (and created by the late head of the American Theater Wing, Isabelle Stevenson) aired for many years on CUNY-TV.. A treasure trove of Broadway history…. This is from 2003: Pia Lindstrom talking shop with Tovah Feldshuh, Marc Kudisch, Swoozie Kurtz, Denis O’hare, Lewis J. Stadlen and Rebecca Luker (a shining light of the American theater who is now fighting the ravages of ALS, publicly, with her Tony Award winning husband, Danny Burstein)
Sidebar: I produced a Broadway star studded tribute in honor of Tovah Feldshuh, at the Friars Club in 2009…with great performers Jim Dale, Lee Roy Reams, Len Cariou, Martin Vidnovic, George S. Irving, PJ Benjamin, Douglas J. Cohen, Christine Pedi and Dr. Joy Browne saluting Tovah in song… I had no problem finding the male performers, but finding the women was challenging.. so every time I went to the theater months prior to the event, I loudly asked if anyone in listening distance worked or was friends with Tovah… Christine Pedi, immediately volunteered to perform… And then, my late friend, Dr. Joy Browne shared that she was friends with Tovah…. but she didn’t sing! I said the only way she could be part of the show is if she sings a song to Tovah, so she took the song “I Don’t Want to Show Off” from “The Drowsy Chaperone” and changed the lyrics and sang it as only she could……And Tovah, who host, Freddie Roman brought up on stage at the end to present her with the Friars Thespian Award for Lifetime Achievement, showed off the incredible show stopping star she is with special material she wrote for the occasion..A most memorable night, indeed!
Ed Sullivan’s Best of Broadway
This is one of my all time favorite videos, “Ed Sullivan’s Best of Broadway Musicals”, the best theatrical compendium of
Broadway show-stopping performances with the original stars who performed on the Sullivan show… Hosted by John Raitt, the show features performances by Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews (songs from “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot”), Anthony
Newley singing “Who Can I Turn To”, Gwen Verdon’s showstopper from “Sweet Charity”, “The Impossible Dream” sung by Richard Kiley, Pearl Bailey in “Hello Dolly”, Celeste Holm singing “I Can’t Say No” and Carol Channing singing, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”.
Sidebar: When I was a little girl, my uncle Al took our family to see Carol Channing perform her nightclub act at the legendary Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC… I was mesmerized by her performance…. during her show, as she sang, “Diamond’s Are A Girl’s Best Friend”, she tossed ‘diamond’ bracelets to audience members….. well needless to say, I jumped up and caught a diamond bracelet…. something I treasured and held onto for decades!
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.