Now Streaming: Bette Midler, Sondheim, Bobby Short, Jule Styne
by Randie Levine Miller
Check out the Broadway Babe’s fabulous finds this week, starting with the always amazing Bette Midler. Throw in Sondheim, Jule Styne, and Bobby Short, and you have fabulous entertainment this holiday week.
Bette Midler: One Night Only
A true treat for Tomatoes, “Bette Midler: One Night Only”, from 2014, an ITV special hosted by Joanna Lemley…Bette’s first
TV venture in London…..A celebration of Bette’s 50 year career with songs and candid conversation…. We Tomatoes love Bette…. After all, she’s one of us! (Just a little more famous, LOL)
Jule Styne Star Studded Salute
From 1978, a Jule Styne Salute on the Merv Griffin TV Show…a must see…with Ethel Merman, Sammy Davis, Phyllis Newman,Comden and Green, Marvin Hamlisch(who was then young, tall, skinny) and prolific composer Jule Styne, himself (“Gypsy”, “Funny Girl” “Bells Are Ringing”, etc.)who proves to be a great raconteur.. Hamlisch plays a medley of Jule Styne hits before joining the panel and sharing anecdotes of his first Broadway gig, “Funny Girl”, in 1964, as the rehearsal pianist and assistant vocal arranger…which he got immediately following his gig at the all girls Camp Geneva, where I had the privilege of performing many of his original songs in the weekly camp shows!
Sidebar: When I was in high school, I’d “sneak” into the “Merv Griffin Show” rehearsals at The Little Theater(it became the Helen Hayes Theater)…which was next door to Sardi’s…I remember walking into the Sardi’s bar and getting into conversation with Arthur Treacher (Merv’s sidekick) , as well as, some of the musicians who would walk me in to the theater, and I’d get to watch the rehearsals…. I was soooo lucky and so wowed by being up close and personal with some of the greatest talent!
Sidebar, two: In my senior year of high school, I decided to transfer from Music and Art (don’t ask why, LOL) to Professional Children’s School… At graduation, Sammy Davis and Phyllis Newman handed out our diplomas!
Sondheim’s 75th Birthday Celebration
From 2005: Sondheim’s 75th Birthday Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl with his longtime Musical Director, Paul Geminiani conducting the luscious sounding LA Philharmonic… with performances by Len Cariou, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Jason Alexander,Warren Beatty, Ann Hathaway, Audra McDonald, Josh Groban, Barbara Cook, Barbra Streisand, this is an extraordinary concert. This is the shorter version of what probably went on for hours and is the perfect entertainment for all of us quarantined Tomatoes.. Just hearing the overture gave me gooseflesh!
Sidebar: I produced several events at the Friars Club featuring fellow Friar Len Cariou, the Tony award winning “Sweeney Todd” including a star studded musical tribute to him…We became friends over the years. When I affectionately called him “Len-ala”, he stopped me and said “Randala, my Yiddish name is Labele!!”
(And no, he’s not Jewish!)
Bobby Short at the Cafe Carlyle
From 1979, “the great saloon singer of Manhattan”… the incomparable, legendary jazz singer/pianist, Bobby Short who held court for 4 decades at Cafe Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel .. He exuded glamour and class… he attracted a well dressed, elegant, moneyed crowd. This program provides one of his classic concerts, as well as an inside look at Short’s life outside the club. He was the epitome of New York sophistication…He was one of a kind… I know Tomatoes will enjoy viewing this find.
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.