Sing-along Sound of Music: There were about 20 of us in the movie theatre. Richard Rodgers’ music is a pleasure to sing. Oscar Hammerstein II lyrics are uneven and repetitive (didn’t Maria have any other favorite things?). Julie Andrews is lovely and can almost act. Christopher Plummer can definitely act, but doesn’t always bother to. The Baroness is given a bum deal, with even her own hairdo against her. I love this movie. A good time was had by all.
Off-Broadway Close Up: If you’re not aware of the wonderful theatre-oriented evenings at Merkin Hall, it’s time to check them out. (Coming up next is All The Things You Are, a tribute to Jerome Kern with Rebecca Luker and Kate Baldwin.) The most recent evening, Off-Broadway Close Up, included songs from Forbidden Broadway, performed by their originators; “Die, Vampire, Die,” from [tos], with the original cast; Carol Demas doing a sad and lovely version of “Best Friend” from Getting My Act Together; and the insanely energetic, generously talented Jason Robinson doing a medley of Off-Broadway songs.
Nothing Like a Dame: The yearly benefits for the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative always have much to offer, and this year—a tribute to Comden and Green—was no exception. For me the highlights were Polly Bergen singing “The Party’s Over,” Victoria Clark singing a song from A Doll’s Life, Nancy Opel’s manic “If You Haven't But You Did,” everything Marc Kudish did, Mario Cantone, and Jessica Molaskey and John Pizzarelli. A major problem: the show was grossly overmiked in a small theatre in which the bulk of the performers didn’t need mikes at all.