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leenorman    504

cleo.jpeg

 

Luvsbway:  Please, please, please, the immediate four magazine articles:  Magazine, Date, author, if not shown; thanks very much.  Joyce

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Neil    1,299

And that Oscar nomination talk for Lucy's Mame was even started by Angela Landsbury.

I'll just BET it was.  Lucy was always portrayed as the villain for "stealing" the role from Angela; and Angela the hapless victim. Various reports stated Lucy vigorously campaigned for the role;  put money into it; and one said she financed the whole thing!

I don't know who approached who, Lucy or Warners, but Lucy had nothing but praise for Angela.   When asked the rather obvious question many times: why isn't Angela doing it?  Lucy was diplomatic, though skirting the real truth which was of course "They didn't want her".  (I never read that Roz Russell or Audrey Hepburn got the same treatment about Merman and Julie)

Lucy said "She'd had enough of it"or "she's in Ireland taking care of her son who is ill".  The latter statement refers to Angela's son with drug problems.  This prompted an Angela biographer to call Lucy "catty" for "bringing up her son's drug problems in public".

If you ask me, it was Angela who was catty.  While not blaming Lucy for taking the role she said "When I see her picture on those billboards with the cigarette holder clenched in her teeth, I admit I wince".  And "I played Mame Dennis.  She plays Auntie Mame", a statement I've never figured out the meaning of.  Is it a slam?  Sounds like one.

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C L A U D E    2,006

Oh yes, angie the bitch played Mame, Lucy the older, much older Auntie Mame, yup, that's a diss awright.  Problem was, at that time, ange was zero box office, Lucy had had her biggest hit ever back in '68 with Yours, mine and ours which made over twenty million back when a dollar got you in most places.  Now angie baby is old, real old and looks it, she could play Mame's grandmother.  Without make up, LOL!  I'm reminded of what Judy Garland said when she was too stoned to go out and face her audience, they told her some people out there were in wheelchairs, so she said, HEY, THEY WHEELED THEM IN, THEY CAN JUST WHEEL THEM OUT.  So maybe angie baby could do the main number in a wheelchair or something.  She could take breaths out of an oxygen tank instead of a big cigarette holder.  Thanks Neil, for reminding me of some of the things she said at that time, my blood pressure just spiked.  LOL! 

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Neil    1,299

The "Mame" producers had every right to think Lucy could pull it off, based on her musical shows right before she was signed.  In  "Lucy Goes Hawaiian" and even "Lucy the Coed", she moves lithely like a young woman and her vocals are certainly passable, still able to hit notes in an upper register.  I think the broken leg and recovery did more damage than we were aware of at the time.  Considering she must have been in pain still, her effort was nothing short of Herculean.

I'm an Angela fan and by all accounts she was magically as Mame.  But what works in live theater doesn't necessarily work in the movies.  Plus, even though she was 14 years younger than Lucy, Angela photographed much older than her age. Post-Mame on Broadway and up to the movie version, she had two Broadway flops and 2 movies that didn't make much of a mark. (She had yet to triumph in the "Gypsy" revival). So it's doubtful that she was ever seriously considered for the movie role.

Oh yes, angie the bitch played Mame, Lucy the older, much older Auntie Mame, yup, that's a diss awright.  Problem was, at that time, ange was zero box office, Lucy had had her biggest hit ever back in '68 with Yours, mine and ours which made over twenty million back when a dollar got you in most places.  Now angie baby is old, real old and looks it, she could play Mame's grandmother.  Without make up, LOL!  I'm reminded of what Judy Garland said when she was too stoned to go out and face her audience, they told her some people out there were in wheelchairs, so she said, HEY, THEY WHEELED THEM IN, THEY CAN JUST WHEEL THEM OUT.  So maybe angie baby could do the main number in a wheelchair or something.  She could take breaths out of an oxygen tank instead of a big cigarette holder.  Thanks Neil, for reminding me of some of the things she said at that time, my blood pressure just spiked.  LOL! 

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C L A U D E    2,006

It's not like it hadn't happened before, nobody knows the Broadway star so they give the movie to a bigger name in movies, happens all the time.  And I wasn't saying that ange couldn't still work Shel, I was only talking about her doing a revival of Mame.  I watch the Tonys every year, I know she won five Tonys, makes up for the fact that she never got an Emmy for that series of hers.  What is it with the Tony voters, four for Julie Harris and as of this year, FIVE for Audra MacDonald, can't they spread the wealth around.  Never thought of that Neil, that Lucy kept doing these musical episodes on her own show, so people knew she could handle the vocals.  No, I think Lucy saw the show, probably more than once and she felt the same way she had felt about Dolly, "now that's a role I'd like".  She wanted Dolly and Merrick said they had already promised it to Streisand, another big show that bombed, Gene Kelly directing and Streisand starring and great music and it had bombed.  I think the only reason Mame did not do as well as they had hoped was the director, if only her broken leg had not delayed the project and lost them the great Cukor, who knew how to direct female stars to Oscars.  And of course the era of the big blown up musical was now passé and didn't return until "Chicago".  I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I think Lucy did a great job, never looked better on film, the wardrobe alone, and that score, same as Dolly, a Jerry Herman smash!  No wonder Lucy wanted it so much and yes, you're right, the producers wanted her so badly that they delayed the film till she was ready, never considering replacing her.  Now with hindsight however, we know that ange would not have done any better and maybe it would have done worse.

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Luvsbway    1,966

Bway and the Tony's is tough. It's what is that season. All the cards need to fall to have a lot or a little competition. Audra won for play this year but it may have been a musical.

 

Chicago could have been a big hit if Fosse didn't have a heart attack, show gets delayed and opens the season Chorus Line does.

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C L A U D E    2,006

Yeah, i'll never forget Fosse getting the three biggies in one year, Broadway, the movies and that TV special with Liza.  Much later . . . Was shocked that Chicago won best picture, until I saw it and found out how truly deserved it was.  Yeah, imagine such a great show opening the same year as Chorus Line won everything.  And how about the double standard on Broadway's Tonys . . . tv stars ignored, sometimes movie stars also but other times the biggest name wins.  But that happens on the other awards also, seems like the voters just go through the list and pick out the biggest names regardless of a newcomer topping the star. 

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Neil    1,299

.  And how about the double standard on Broadway's Tonys . . . tv stars ignored,

Yes, PARTICULARLY in 1961 when the other contenders were rather weak.  Elizabeth Seal won for "Irma La Douce" which is barely remembered; Nancy Walker wasn't the REAL lead of Do Re MI; Carol Channings "Show Girl" was not a long-running show or even a hit.  I think it had closed before the Tonys.  The 4th: Julie Andrews in "Camelot"?  Well, can't argue with that one, but her role was not as taxing as a certain redhead's. 

So why not give a nod to the person who single-handedly carried a rather so-so show and got rave reviews all around? (except for that oddly worded one by Walter Kerr.  Sort of praise; sort of not).

I don't know if it was only this year of the Tonys that the lead nominee had to have their name above the title, so the stars of "Bye Bye Birdie" (Van Dyke) and "Molly Brown" (Tammy Grimes) won "featured" Tonys which normally go to supporting players.

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Luvsbway    1,966

I'm reading a good book on bway that goes season by season for the best and yes back in the 60’s you did need to have your name above the title for leading categories. Made for interesting wins. Now days a committee votes.

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HarryCarter    990

I don't know if it was only this year of the Tonys that the lead nominee had to have their name above the title, so the stars of "Bye Bye Birdie" (Van Dyke) and "Molly Brown" (Tammy Grimes) won "featured" Tonys which normally go to supporting players.

Tom Bosley won the featured actor Tony the year before for playing Fiorello in "Fiorello!" Yul Brynner won in the featured category in 1952 for playing the King in "The King and I." Nancy Walker was actually billed under the title for "Do Re Me." They were very inconsistent. A few years later William Daniels refused his nomination for "1776" because he was placed in the featured category. The rules were supposedly changed after Rita Moreno won for The Ritz in 1975. The award was then called "Best Actress in a Featured or Supporting Role." Rita was billed over the title and unquestionably the female lead. In her acceptance speech, Rita said, "The only thing I supported was my beads." The Tony rules now are the everyone billed under the title is considered featured and over the title is leading, but the producers can request that someone over the title be considered for featured and vice versa. The Tony committee has to approve the decision.

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