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Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidential Broadway

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO VOTE IN ROUND 4 OF HOT AND HOTTER
AND THIS MONTH'S BROADWAY POLL (LOOK TO YOUR LEFT!)

Politics and Broadway shows are hit and miss.  Hit: Born Yesterday, 1776.  Miss: Ben Franklin in Paris, November.  Presidents are featured: Annie, Abe Lincoln In Illinois.  Presidents are subjects: Assassins.  As we take a moment to honor the leader of our country on this President's Day, let's look at 2 shows about the office that have a lot in common.


The first is Teddy and Alice, a musical about Teddy Roosevelt, his family and his outspoken daughter, Alice.  The other is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a musical about the White House - a concept musical about "The President" and the White House Staff.

Aside from a common address, the two shows have other things in common:

  • Tried and true theatre stars in the lead: Len Cariou as Teddy Roosevelt (Teddy and Alice); Ken Howard as The President (1600 Penn)
  • Brilliant composers of the score: John Phillip Sousa (Teddy and Alice); Leonard Bernstein (1600 Penn)
  • Alan Jay Lerner: Creative Consultant (Teddy and Alice) and Book and Lyrics (1600 Penn)
  • Beth Fowler: First Lady Edith Roosevelt (Teddy and Alice); Singing Ensemble (1600 Penn)
  • Short run on Broadway: 11 previews, 77 performances (Teddy and Alice); 13 previews, 7 performances (1600 Penn)

Beth Fowler

Alan Jay Lerner

On the positive side, Teddy and Alice did feature a few up and comers - Richard H. Blake (Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, Wicked, RENT) - he was a young child in Teddy, Ron Raines (Follies 2011), and future Tony-winner Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains).

I hope, considering the material, the playwright and the (literally) all-star cast, that Broadway's next foray into politics, Gore Vidal's The Best Man, is a HUGE hit!

Jeff
3.176

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