Now Streaming: Peter Pan, A Little Night Music and More
By Randie Levine Miller
Our Broadway Babe Randie Levine Miller has been part of the Broadway and cabaret community ever since she was a child. A performer, and a host of many star-studded benefits. Her invite only Broadway Roundtables where celebs share secrets at Sardi’s are legendary. Here are her picks for this week’s streaming entertainment and her sidebar commentaries with the inside scoop.
Mary Martin as Peter Pan
Wow oh wow oh wow!! A return to our childhoods…Mary Martin starring in “Peter Pan” with Cyril Ritchard, and Sondra Lee by Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh… additional music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Comden and Green…Unbelievable as it seems, when “Peter Pan” opened at the Winter Garden Theater in 1954 (I can remember as though it was yesterday… seeing my second Broadway show), it only ran for 152 performances….. but it certainly has had many lives, as we know… with several revivals… but this 1960 TV broadcast (in color) in my opinion, was the crown jewel!
Sidebar: Moose Charlap, born Morris Charlap, was named Moose, when he was a camper at Camp Onibar in the 1940’s,by my uncle, Herb Saturn who was his counsellor… In the early 1950’s, Moose became the music counsellor at the all girls Camp Geneva….He composed the weekly shows as well as “Peter Pan” on the same upright piano that Marvin Hamlisch used to compose shows at Geneva in the 1960’s!! Sadly, this most talented man died at age 45…
Sidebar, Two: Sondra Lee (Tiger Lilly) in recent years has become a sought out director, in theater and the cabaret worlds… She turns 90 on September 30! Sondra was a regular at my monthly show business “Randie’s Roundtables” luncheons at Sardi’s. When she spoke about her memoir, “I’ve Slept With Everybody”, I immediately chimed in, “we don’t care who you slept with… we want to know who you had sex with!”
A Little Night Music
Something I think Tomatoes will love! Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” produced by The New York City Opera was broadcast on PBS-“”Live From Lincoln Center” in 1990. This excelllent version of one of my favorite shows, stars Sally Ann Howes, Regina Resnik and George Lee Andrews..Directed by Scott Ellis, Choreography by Susan Stroman.. Sondheim’s favorite Musical Director, Paul Gemignani, conducted..Hosted by my late friend and neighbor, Martin Bookspan..
Sidebar: when I was a toddler, my mother and Regina Resnik shared a Manhattan hairdresser…Ms. Resnik was fascinated by this kid’s low and unusual speaking voice, suggesting I might be ripe for show business!
Bette Midler Imagine The Divine Miss M
Must Not Miss! I was totally mesmerized by this documentary, “The Divine Miss M” about Bette Midler produced by the BBC in 2014, which features Bette in conversation with BBC-TV producer, Alan Yentob, as she traces her beginnings in New York in “Fiddler” and the bathhouses to becoming the uber-star and social activist she is. Lots of memorable clips have her singing “Matchmaker” in “Fiddler On The Roof,” as well as her concert performances..and movies….We see how she evolved into this bigger than life personality on stage and how she developed her style…We also see her first appearance on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, as well as her appearance on Johnny’s final show, singing “One For My Baby” to the teary eyed Johnny…..
Sidebar: In 2007, I produced a star-studded musical tribute to Tony Roberts at the Friars Club and Bette decided to show up to see her close friend, Lucie Arnaz perform…Freddie Roman, who was hosting, heard Bette was there…. I begged him not to point her out…she was not dressed for the public – wearing a babushka!….. But, at the end of the show, he “outed” her.. Well the room went crazy… and Bette was surrounded by Friars members… and understandably uncomfortable…. Thank God, my BFF Faye Menken Schneier was my guest, and had shared a dressing room with Bette when they both were in “Fiddler”… 5 foot Faye came to not much taller Bette’s rescue and helped Bette through the gauntlet of people, and managing to avoid the press and escape the crowd… Bette never returned to the Friars Club!
New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: Bernstein on Broadway
Live From Lincoln Center presented the New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve Concert, December 31, 2017… Bernstein On Broadway (Leonard Bernstein was Musical Director for the Philharmonic from 1958-1969) with some of Broadway’s best young award winning performers: Annaleigh Ashford, Aaron Tveit, Laura Osnes & Chris Jackson… Orchestra led by conductor, Bramwell Tovey…Hosted by Audra McDonald.. A deliciously festive, upbeat concert!
Julie and Carol Together Again
‘Julie and Carol Together Again’ with show business icons, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett aired in December, 1989 on ABC-TV .. It was filmed at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood…. I suspect that most all of us Tomatoes are fans of both of these incredible talents, who have maintained a friendship for 6 decades…I already posted their first TV special, but could not resist this one, too!
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.