Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Some Love Van Cliburn! But, My Sweet Henry, I Yearn, Just To Hear Your Golden Melody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                        And hear it we will, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!  Remember, you heard it first, here!

                                        Several years ago, back in the Spring of 2013, I think, when I saw and wrote about the Beautiful Soup Theatre Company's production of one of my favorite musicals, "RAGS," I had established a bit of contact with its Artistic Director, Steven McCasland, who informed me he had been wanting to  do "Henry, Sweet Henry," but was having trouble getting the rights.  I told him if he was successful to let me know, because I would certainly come and see it.  Hell, I would perform it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Alas, I never heard.

                                          Prior to this, even before 2010. the year I met my husband (yes, darlings, my beloved has become my husband!!!!!!!!!!!!) I saw a scaled down version of the show at Musicals In Mufti.  It demonstrated just how great the Bob Merrill score was, and the actors (especially those playing the girls) were superb!

                                           Alice Playten was still alive at the time.  Now, back in 2004, I had seen her do her signature song from this show, "Nobody Steps On Kafritz," and let me tell you, darlings, time stood still!  Alice's still clarion voice stopped the show, and I felt proud to have witnessed it.

                                            Because I had wanted to see "Henry, Sweet Henry" on Broadway. Back in 1967, when it played the Palace, my then Sixth Grade teacher saw it, and told my parents it would be perfect for me.  My parents promised to take me, after the Holidays.  Unfortunately, the show closed on December 31, 1967.  The cast album keeps it alive for all us 'Henry' fans!

                                             At the Mufti performance, I wondered if Alice Playten, or Neva Small, (the original Marian Gilbert, whose rendering of "I Wonder How It Is," made her a Legend Of The Musical Stage) would be there.  I heard, through the grapevine, they were at one of the weekend performances, and that Alice wanted to go on, as Kafritz!  Oh, my God, wouldn't that have been fabulous???????????

                                            Well, that was Then, this is NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Sweeties, I have just heard, that on June 14--Flag Day, no less, and my friend, Mary Ann's birthday--Feinstein's 54 Below is going to host a "Henry, Sweet Henry" Evening, hosted by cast member Neva Small.  Age appropriate actors will perform the score, Neva will interject, I am sure, and it will be an evening for all us 'Henry' groupies to revel in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             I have already gotten my tickets!  It starts at 7PM, so be there, or be square!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             If only Alice were still with us!  I know she would have been there!!!!!!!!!  But I wonder if "Chorus Liners" Baayork Lee and Priscilla Lopez will be, because they were in the Original Cast.  As were Pia Zadora, and Robin Wilson!!!!!!!!!!  Will Robin, if still alive, fly in from Hawaii, just for this?  My God, this year, the show turns 50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             This is going to be the theatrical event of the Season, darlings, so get set, now!  The girl playing Neva's role has a tough job; no one I have heard do "I Wonder Like It Is"--including yours truly--has ever reached the emotionally plaintive level of Neva, when she gets to "Sometimes, I just visualize..." Oh, my God!  It makes me tremble just to think of it!

                                              Forget a time machine!  Forget "The Twilight Zone!" This will be better than both!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              I love you, Neva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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