I am reposting this because Public Broadcasting is finally showing the Musical Evening at the White House that Thomas Friedman referred to in the New York Times editorial that is linked a few paragraphs down in this post. I am looking forward to seeing the show on PBS Wednesday October 20th and yes Channel 13 I will probably renew my membership before then. Thanks for finally broadcasting the evening, I have bee looking forward to it.
One of the many reasons why people visit New York City is theater. Great big Broadway productions and teeny tiny off off Broadway productions like the shows in the NYC Fringe Festival every August. My earliest trips to New York were to see Broadway shows. Times Square looked like the postcard above left when I first started coming in to see shows in the late 50’s.
While de-cluttering my apartment, I found an old Playbill from the 70‘s for the musical “Ballroom”. I hardly ever save Playbills and I barely remember the musical “Ballroom” so I knew I was saving something inside. The Playbill immediately opened to an essay called “A Legacy of Musicals” by Bert Shanas.
Since I couldn’t find it anywhere on line or at Playbill’s website, I’ve uploaded my copy for you all to read. I’m sure Playbill won’t mind when I email and tell them about the link I’ve posted to Playbill's website - a great source for planning Broadway and Off Broadway theatre jaunts for those of you who plan your NYC trips in advance.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was able to contact the author Bert Shanas. He didn’t mind my posting this. In fact he said “...thanks for saving the Playbill piece. That someone thought enough of it to keep it all these years means a lot to me.”
I hope Playbill reprints the essay for future generations of playgoers. I love reading the articles in Playbill just before the most magical time in any live theatre performance - the few seconds between the lights going down and the curtain going up.
Which reminds me, there's an unread book on my newly organized bookshelf that I bought at the Museum of the City of New York (which has a wonderful New York theatre collection) called "Our Musicals, Ourselves", by John Bush Jones .The book looks at the history of musicals as a social history of the United States. I'll start reading it and post a review later.(I have started the book. It is fun.) If you finish it before me, post your review here.
On the same day, I happened to read a New York Times article by Thomas Friedman called “Broadway and the Mosque”. The author realized while watching a performance of musical comedy music at the White House that the rest of us have yet to see (I hope it will be broadcast really really soon), that diversity gives the United States the fuel for creativity.
(While I might personally have some mixed feelings about the Mosque location and financing and its claim to be just like the 92nd Street Y, I will save those thoughts for another post.)
I agree with Mr Friedman that diversity, disagreement, and the creativity generated make NYC a desirable destination for visitors from all over the world. I also believe, we have the power to significantly improve the NYC visitor experience by “connecting the dots” between (or among) resources but I will save those thoughts for other posts.
Jerry Orbach, who most people know from Law and Order, had an extensive creative and diverse career in TV, live theater and the movies (AND, according to subway posters, after his death, his eyes were donated to provide sight for two people in need). Thanks to the wonders of You Tube, I’ll no longer end here with Jerry Orbach’s rendition of Lullaby of Broadway because it was taken down from You Tube. Instead, here is Jerry Orbach's obituary from the Washington Post.