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Neil    1,366

Max just made an incredible discovery:

 

24bu9oo.jpg

 

Sadly, it doesn't appear anything ever came of this. Live stage recordings were extremely rare in those days. If it was recorded, it never received a commercial release, and will probably remained locked in a vault for some time. Most Australian cast recordings that were released on LP have never even been re-released.

I remember reading that the Australian Wildcat tour was not a success and I believe it was cut short, but it would be great if they actually recorded it. If nothing else, maybe you can find the poster color art.  Isn't there some Australian LP data base.  Surely someone outback saw the production.  I believe it was 1962.  I wonder if they rewrote anything to make it more "Australian".   RCA's "Wildcat" LP has the greatest fidelity of any Broadway recording made up to that time.    They must have had some fidelity breakthrough in 1960.  Compare it to RCA's "Happy Hunting" (with Ethel Merman), recorded 4 years earlier.  The difference is remarkable. 

In the book  "Not Since Carrie" covering Broadway "flops" before 1991, when the book was written said " Disappointing as it was, Wildcat opened to sell-out business and there is little doubt it would have gone on for the duration of Ball's contract (18 months) and returned its investment"

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Mot Morenzi    1,549

I remember reading that the Australian Wildcat tour was not a success and I believe it was cut short, but it would be great if they actually recorded it. If nothing else, maybe you can find the poster color art. Isn't there some Australian LP data base. Surely someone outback saw the production. I believe it was 1962. I wonder if they rewrote anything to make it more "Australian". RCA's "Wildcat" LP has the greatest fidelity of any Broadway recording made up to that time. They must have had some fidelity breakthrough in 1960. Compare it to RCA's "Happy Hunting" (with Ethel Merman), recorded 4 years earlier. The difference is remarkable.

In the book "Not Since Carrie" covering Broadway "flops" before 1991, when the book was written said " Disappointing as it was, Wildcat opened to sell-out business and there is little doubt it would have gone on for the duration of Ball's contract (18 months) and returned its investment"

Max did find EMI's catalogue archive and, unfortunately, this wasn't listed. That means even if it was recorded (highly unlikely), it never got a commercial release. So far neither of us have found any poster art for this production but we'll keep looking.

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Mot Morenzi    1,549

I believe Wildcat is the only show with an overture that retains a number ultimately cut from the show

Chicago's overture consists of an entire cut number, "Loopin' the Loop," which was the original finale. It was cut out-of-town because the creative team considered it too amateurish. It was replaced by "Nowadays / Hot Honey Rag" for Broadway.

 

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Neil    1,366

Max did find EMI's catalogue archive and, unfortunately, this wasn't listed.

WAAAHHH!!   The Lucy cry that I imitate is from "Sun Valley" after Ricky calms Lucy down with the promise of another trip and then remembers he has to do a show that week..   Her "WAAHH", after she had been doing it for 7 years already: damn, if she didn't come up with a new and more hilarious way of doing it. 

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Neil    1,366

From a new biography of Martha Raye:

"In 1968 Martha embarked on ANOTHER tour of Wildcat.  Carol Wells, who played Ann Sheridan's daughter in "Pistols 'n Petticoats", played her sister and said the when Martha's character "was offstage, she was usually perched in the orchestra seats watching the action and leading the laughter."

(There were LAUGHS in the proceedings when Wildcat is offstage???).

 

I knew that Martha was one of the many many Wildcats in the surprisingly large number of straw hat-ish mountings of the show but I did not know there were any productions as late as 1968.  I'm not aware of any other Broadway show, especially one that is now historically placed in the "flop" category that had this many productions..... and 7 years after it closed on Broadway.   Obviously Wildcat had 'legs' but in the production I saw of it, albeit a quasi-community theater mounting with minimal sets and piano instead of orchestra, it's hard to see Wildcat's merits beyond the wonderful score and Lucy's star turn.

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Neil    1,366

Add Margaret Whiting to the list of summer stock Wildcats.

 

693304a58fe776a5af3ff96b0b4dd710.jpg

 

And note the date of the opening.....August 6th PERIOD

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Neil    1,366

It seems "Wildcat" had more performances than "South Pacific"!

I have the program for Dolores Gray's Wildcat done for "Charlotte Summer Theater" in 1963.

Included in the song roster is the "Wildcat"song, which along with "That's What I Want..." isn't included in any post Broadway programs I've seen.

 

Of all the Wildcats, Mamie Van Doran stands out (no pun intended) as the one that doesn't fit in with the rest. Certainly the youngest one on record.

But the strangest of all Wildcats was PEGGY CASS.   I can't imagine her.

Fresh from her sitcom "The Hathaways", I just assume her production had Cisco, Oney and Tattoo played by the Marquis Chimps. 

 

Add Margaret Whiting to the list of summer stock Wildcats.

 

693304a58fe776a5af3ff96b0b4dd710.jpg

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Neil    1,366

For the Peggy Cass production co-starring the Marquis Chimps, an effort was made to restage the spontaneous Broadway moment where the terrier went #2 on stage and Wildcat cleaned it up citing the fine print in her contract, so the trainer coaxed one of the chimps to do the same.  But it backfired when Peggy went offstage to get the broom and the chimp, as chimps will do, started flinging his dung at the audience hitting the local critic in the face, who sought revenge in his review: "This one STINKS.  They should rename the show "Polecat"!"

It seems "Wildcat" had more performances than "South Pacific"!

I have the program for Dolores Gray's Wildcat done for "Charlotte Summer Theater" in 1963.

Included in the song roster is the "Wildcat"song, which along with "That's What I Want..." isn't included in any post Broadway programs I've seen.

 

Of all the Wildcats, Mamie Van Doran stands out (no pun intended) as the one that doesn't fit in with the rest. Certainly the youngest one on record.

But the strangest of all Wildcats was PEGGY CASS.   I can't imagine her.

Fresh from her sitcom "The Hathaways", I just assume her production had Cisco, Oney and Tattoo played by the Marquis Chimps. 

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JoeySoCal    1,017

For the Peggy Cass production co-starring the Marquis Chimps, an effort was made to restage the spontaneous Broadway moment where the terrier went #2 on stage and Wildcat cleaned it up citing the fine print in her contract, so the trainer coaxed one of the chimps to do the same.  But it backfired when Peggy went offstage to get the broom and the chimp, as chimps will do, started flinging his dung at the audience hitting the local critic in the face, who sought revenge in his review: "This one STINKS.  They should rename the show "Polecat"!"

:blink:

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Neil    1,366

in Ken Bloom's new book "Show & Tell: The New Book of Broadway Anecdotes", it appears "Desi Arnaz BEGGED his wife not to star in Wildcat.... " (If I ever run into one of these "Wildcat was a flop writers", I'm going to give their nose a tweak and walk away and let them try and figure out what they did wrong.)

I don't think I've ever read that Desi was against Wildcat, let alone BEGGING.  If TV was out, and for that short time it appeared to be; and she was not flooded with big screen offers, just what was she supposed to do with her career in 1960?

 

Why is it that when something in Lucy's career didn't pan out well that, after the fact, ALL these people had advised her against it in the first place?

Wildcat, Mame, and of course "Life with Lucy" which has the room most populated with sooth-sayers including Lucy herself!--if we are to believe the quotes. 

Where were all these people when Lucy took a chance and succeeded?  I'm sure there were those who advised her against trying to top herself by returning to TV in The Lucy Show, bringing in her children as co-stars; told her she was too old to appear as a pregnant women when she made Yours Mine and Ours, etc. 

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Neil    1,366

Online article's headline.......are we any closer to a new production of "Wildcat"? :D

 

"Hot on the Trail of ‘La La Land,’ Here Come More Movie Musicals"

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Mot Morenzi    1,549

Online article's headline.......are we any closer to a new production of "Wildcat"? :D

 

"Hot on the Trail of ‘La La Land,’ Here Come More Movie Musicals"

That begets a good question. Who could play Wildcat from today's crop of stars, either onstage or on film? I could see Tammy Blanchard in the stage revival, though she's probably not enough of a name to headline the film version. They'd probably go for Emma Stone or someone like that.

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HarryCarter    1,067

The New York City Center just announced their annual Encores schedule for next year. They will be doing Grand Hotel and Me and My Girl. They are doing something different for their first show of the season. In honor of their 25th anniversary, they will be doing scenes and songs from shows they haven't done. The title of the event is Hey, Look Me Over! I presume they wanted to do Wildcat, but knew the book wouldn't work, so this is their way to do part of it. I hope this is what I think it is!

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Neil    1,366

Wildcat, but knew the book wouldn't work, so this is their way to do part of it. I hope this is what I think it is!

 

I think you Brock and Brian should rewrite the book.

I'll contribute some jokes, but I have a feeling mine would fall as flat as Bob and Madelyn's Wildcat contributions.

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HarryCarter    1,067

Wildcat will be included!

 

Encores! Hey, Look Me Over! February 7—11, 2018 Conceived by Jack Viertel Featuring The Encores! Orchestra Music Director Rob Berman Tickets start at $35 On sale (Single Tickets): September 25 for Members; October 2 for General Public

 

For 25 years, City Center's Encores! series has been bringing classic American musicals back to life. This is where Chicago, Wonderful Town, and Finian’s Rainbow were reborn—but we’re just getting started. Catch a glimpse at the future of Encores! in this original production Hey, Look Me Over!, a cavalcade of overtures, opening numbers, grand finales, and other excerpts from beloved shows that Encores! hasn’t gotten to— yet. Look for the likes of Mack & Mabel, Greenwillow, Wildcat, and others of their ilk. It’s a lot of numbers that add up to one exciting celebration: Encores! at 25.

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Neil    1,366

Wildcat will be included!

 

Encores! Hey, Look Me Over! February 7—11, 2018 Conceived by Jack Viertel Featuring The Encores! Orchestra Music Director Rob Berman Tickets start at $35 On sale (Single Tickets): September 25 for Members; October 2 for General Public

 

For 25 years, City Center's Encores! series has been bringing classic American musicals back to life. This is where Chicago, Wonderful Town, and Finian’s Rainbow were reborn—but we’re just getting started. Catch a glimpse at the future of Encores! in this original production Hey, Look Me Over!, a cavalcade of overtures, opening numbers, grand finales, and other excerpts from beloved shows that Encores! hasn’t gotten to— yet. Look for the likes of Mack & Mabel, Greenwillow, Wildcat, and others of their ilk. It’s a lot of numbers that add up to one exciting celebration: Encores! at 25.

 

Can you get to the woman who's going to play Wildcat and tell her "PL-EEEEE-ZE don't use a southern/hillbilly accent!"

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Mot Morenzi    1,549

The New York City Center just announced their annual Encores schedule for next year. They will be doing Grand Hotel and Me and My Girl. They are doing something different for their first show of the season. In honor of their 25th anniversary, they will be doing scenes and songs from shows they haven't done. The title of the event is Hey, Look Me Over! I presume they wanted to do Wildcat, but knew the book wouldn't work, so this is their way to do part of it. I hope this is what I think it is!

 

I'm not that familiar with the story of Wildcat at all. Why wouldn't it work nowadays? Just poor construction or would it be considered politically incorrect these days?

 

I think you Brock and Brian should rewrite the book.

I'll contribute some jokes, but I have a feeling mine would fall as flat as Bob and Madelyn's Wildcat contributions.

 

I'm game! Granted, I'll have to read a copy of the original book to know what we're dealing with here. And your jokes would be MOST welcome!

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HarryCarter    1,067

I'm not that familiar with the story of Wildcat at all. Why wouldn't it work nowadays? Just poor construction or would it be considered politically incorrect these days?

 

 

It's poorly constructed, there's a surprisingly large amount of stage time without Wildcat, and some parts of the story are darker than one would think. The book didn't work in 1960.

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Mot Morenzi    1,549

It's poorly constructed, there's a surprisingly large amount of stage time without Wildcat, and some parts of the story are darker than one would think. The book didn't work in 1960.

 

I see. Well, given that certain musicals have had their books tweaked over the years, maybe this one will get a second chance someday. I know it's a longshot, as it never became a classic or anything, but never say never, I suppose.

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Neil    1,366

It's poorly constructed, there's a surprisingly large amount of stage time without Wildcat, and some parts of the story are darker than one would think. The book didn't work in 1960.

 

"Wildcat" is one of the few Broadway musicals that wasn't "based on" something, either another work ("Hello Dolly" from "The Matchmaker") or biographical ("Annie Get Your Gun"), though there are some similarities between Wildcat and N Richard Nash's previous "Rainmaker" play (made into a musical in 1963 "110 in the Shade", not a success but not a flop). 

And other than "The Act", which doesn't really count because it was essentially a one-woman show (Liza), "Wildcat" is the only open-ended run musical (that I can think of) to close still doing SRO business.  (open-ended as opposed to a scheduled limited run).  

Thank God, we have the Ed Sullivan Show clip which includes Lucy's entrance and the entire scene of dialogue leading up to "Hey Look Me Over".  It's very well written, but deceptive because most of the rest of the show isn't. 

Putting together a musical from scratch is a very daunting process and all of the masters have had their share of flops.   Like "Dear World", "Mack and Mabel" and "Merrily We Roll Along", the cast album makes you think it's a better show than it is.

With 6 weeks of tryouts in Philadelphia, you'd think they could have worked some of the kinks out.  But the audiences were so wild for Lucy on stage that I don't think they knew how bad the show was.  The reviews were mostly "Love Lucy; Hate the Show".   These types of reviews killed many a show, but Lucy was such a huge draw the show played to near-capacity the entire run. 

The Wildcat album did surprisingly well, making the Billboard charts well into August of 1961, long after the show closed. 

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