Now Streaming: Martin, Sinatra, Bernstein, and More
by Randie Levine Miller
Oh my Tomatoes, l have some fun finds for you today, starting with a bit of Christmas TV Nostalgia with the Martins and the Sinatras. There’s a centennial tribute to Leonard Bernstein; Chicago Encores with Ann Reinking, who passed away earlier this week; and a hysterical episode from the TV series “Phyllis” which featured Cloris Leachman.
Christmas with The Martins and Sinatras
A bit of Christmas TV nostalgia… “Christmas with the Martins and the Sinatras”… Dean Martin and his BFF, Frank Sinatra and both of their families performing on NBC TV’s“Dean Martin Show” in December 1967….Pure delightful family entertainment… They don’t make them like that anymore…Enjoy!
Leonard Bernstein: A Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood
From 2018 Leonard Bernstein: A Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood which aired on Great Performances.. the Boston Symphony with 5 conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, John Williams, Keith Lockhart….featuring performers from Broadway, opera and the concert worlds: Audra McDonald, Tony Yazbeck, Isabel Leonard, Jessica Vosk, Yo Yo Ma, Thomas Hampson. And, wait till you hear Audra sing “Somewhere”!
Sidebar: I attended what would be Bernstein’s final performance. In August,1990, I went to Tanglewood and saw the dress rehearsal of Bernstein conducting the Boston Symphony. He was coughing during the rehearsal, and had to leave the stage..Good friend, Judy Kaye, who I did not know personally at the time, was the special guest artist…Bernstein who was very sick, died 2 months later, on October 14, 1990 at 72
This is a real find! From April, 1996, a half hour of musical performances from the original Encores concert production of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago” at City Center with the same cast that opened on Broadway in November,1996 and continued it’s incredible run up until the pandemic interrupted…The Encores cast which moved to Broadway included Ann Reinking (who also choreographed using Bob Fosse’s choreography from the original 1975 production as a template), Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton, Joel Grey and Marcia Lewis..
“Chicago” became the longest running revival on Broadway, winning every possible award in every category. Sadly, Ann Reinking, died at 71 died earlier this week.
Sidebar: I love going to Encores Saturday matinees because after the performance, there’s a talkback with the creative team and cast members.. I attended the Saturday matinee of “Chicago” at City Center in April, 1996… it was one of the most extraordinary performances….it was so perfect….until it wasn’t… it became a bittersweet afternoon. In the middle of the first act, an audience member had a heart attack and 911 was called… the cast finished act one… the gentleman was taken out of the theater on a stretcher….Everyone was upset and concerned,and we were praying he’d be ok….. Act Two didn’t begin until over an hour later…. once it started, the magic began again and continued to the end with a standing ovation…The talkback began and many of us in the audience shouted out:”This should move to Broadway!!”… Producers Fran and Barry Weissler did just that!
Phyllis and the Little People
Ok, I don’t normally post episodes from sitcoms…. but I just couldn’t resist this one… It’s from 1975, “Phyllis” starring Cloris Leachman (spinoff from the Mary Tyler Moore Show)…. it is one of the most hilarious sitcom episodes I’ve ever seen and politically incorrect today… My dear friend, legendary Broadway press agent, Josh Ellis sent this to me and he said, “Truly the biggest laughs I’ve had since early March!” It’s pee in your pants, funny! Enjoy…
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.