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Brock    3,349

We can rebuilt it from the ground up. All we need to know is there is a derrick and a belt. And a drum. That's a good start.

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JoeySoCal    1,007

Is it just me, or does the singing voice sound like Paula Stewart?

I thought so too. Kinda makes sense! :vanda:

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Luvsbway    2,024

I'll try to post the passage here later, but I found an excerpt from his memoirs with a Lucy Wildcat story. Turns out he was the recipient of the vicuna coat Lucy bought for Desi but decided not to give him after things looked they would not be spending the winter together in NYC. 

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Neil    1,337
7 hours ago, Luvsbway said:

I'll try to post the passage here later, but I found an excerpt from his memoirs with a Lucy Wildcat story. Turns out he was the recipient of the vicuna coat Lucy bought for Desi but decided not to give him after things looked they would not be spending the winter together in NYC. 

Did he write a book?

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HarryCarter    1,038

New York City Center's Encores original production "Hey, Look Me Over!," which will feature excerpts from Wildcat, will star Carolee Carmello as Wildy. I am so disappointed. Lucie said in an interview a couple years ago that Encores had asked her play Wildcat and she wanted to do it. I was convinced she would play the role. 

http://www.playbill.com/article/judy-kuhn-bebe-neuwirth-vanessa-williams-and-carolee-carmello-to-star-in-encores-hey-look-me-over

 

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Luvsbway    2,024
2 hours ago, HarryCarter said:

It’s nice to see everyone compliment her dancing. 

She worked hard for not being a trained dancer. All that about killed her. She had good rhythm, which makes learning how to dance so much easier. 

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Neil    1,337

"Speaking of spitfire!"

This weekend the "Lakewood Community Players" is staging Wildcat for a 2-night run!  In Lake Oswego, a suburb of Portland.   I'll be there.  I doubt "Do you know a fella named Fred Mertz?" made it into the final script.  2 performances: hmmm....I don't have my hopes up for a full orchestra. 

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Neil    1,337

I've concluded from last night's "stage reading" of Wildcat that it IS a salvageable show!

The director made some wise cuts: OUT were the dark moments (Joe actually HIT Wildcat at one point...and Hank too).    In 1960, one reviewer who, like the bulk  of them, loved Lucy but was mild about the show, called N. Richard Nash's book "an unsmiling libretto" a very apt description.   What "N" didn't seem to understand was this was a musical COMEDY and you had  the greatest comedienne of all time willing to risk it with your project.  In Nash's book, there was not enough that was clever or witty about the lines or plot twists, such as they were.   Which put a huge burden on the show's star, who out of necessity  resorted to inserting crowd-pleasing Lucy-isms to win them over---much to N's chagrin and the audience's delight.   It's a testament to Lucy's tremendous appeal and stage presence that she was able to turn this tepid material (book, not score) into an SRO hit.

 I was impressed with this production because the wise cuts moved the show along breezily.   I noted a couple of lyric changes:  in "You're a Liar" they changed "Giving you a BELT I wouldn't mind.  If I knew that you would learn a lesson from the WELT, I wouldn't mind" to something else more in keeping with the PC times.   In "El Sombrero" they changed "how in the world in a Mexican hat, can a MEXICAN stay that way" to "....can ANYONE stay that way..".   Much like the word "Jew", the word "Mexican" has developed a negative connotation.   I'm not sure why.    I've seen one other production of Wildcat and concluded from that one that it really was the dull show the 1960 critics complained about.  But last night's version: I've changed my mind.  And say to Broadway (who have collectively ignored me  to-date)  "BRING BACK WILDCAT".. (If they can "Bring Back Birdie", why not?).  The book needs another revision, but the bare bones for a satisfying evening of musical theater are there: mainly the wonderful Coleman-Leigh score.   Including the melodious "Tall Hope".  I have one minor bone to pick with Carolyn though:  Does anyone PEEL PEAS?

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Freddie2    837

Without having a great foreknowledge of Broadway actors currently working, I think Sutton Foster would make an ideal Wildie- although she’ll probably be “checked out” at the Madison Public Library for a while. However, I feel like a major remounting of Wildcat would take a lot of revising to turn it into a 21st Century hit. Is it even that well known among the Broadway community? 

Compare Wildcat’s run to a couple of shows in similar situations- Applause and Woman of The Year. All three were flawed showcases for big stars that became hits pretty much solely because they had  a huge name in the lead. Both Lucy and Bacall were never exactly praised for their singing, but comparing the two of them makes Lucy sound like Joan Sutherland! (How can we forget Carole Cook’s recent anecdote on that podcast where she recounts accompanying Ethel Merman to see Woman of The Year?) Strangely, despite critical raves for Lucy’s performance, she failed to get a Tony nomination. She had very tough competition: winner Mary Martin in Sound of Music, plus Merman in Gypsy, Burnett in Mattress, and Dolores Gray and Eileen Herlie. Bacall won the Best Actress Tony for both of her shows- pretty much the only major competitive awards of her career. 

As a side note, Neil- I’ve also noticed that “Mexican” has become a touchy term regardless of intent. When getting the script for my high school’s Oscars show approved, our football coach made me change “Mexican” to “Latino” in one line:lucydaze: Mira que tiene cosa etc, etc, etc... Even the “Latino” kids in question thought it was an odd requirement!

 

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Luvsbway    2,024

Neil what a fantastic review and analysis. I don’t listen to the cast album as much as I should. Did not know about the part where people get hit. I think those lyrics went past me.

It’s not so much a forgotten show, I think than it is a show that just never gets done anymore. Kudos for that group for trying it and trying to make it work. As for Sutton, I can see her doing that part.

About those peas. I don’t know how or why you would want to peel peas but hey, Lucy Ricardo peeled her lima beans. Maybe it’s referring to taking them out of the pods. But never heard it called peeling. Shucking I think is the term.

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HarryCarter    1,038

When I saw a production in 2010, I was surprised at how dark the show was at times. Joe slapped Wildy and there were two moments where he grabbed ahold of her and she cried, “You’re hurting me!” I was also surprised at how much time it seemed like Wildy was off stage. It sounds like this production made some cuts for the better. 

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Neil    1,337
4 hours ago, Luvsbway said:

Neil what a fantastic review and analysis. I don’t listen to the cast album as much as I should. Did not know about the part where people get hit. I think those lyrics went past me.

About those peas. I don’t know how or why you would want to peel peas but hey, Lucy Ricardo peeled her lima beans. Maybe it’s referring to taking them out of the pods. But never heard it called peeling. Shucking I think is the term.

Remember Mae West's "Beulah, peel me a grape" line and given Hank's obsession with grapes, maybe that would have worked......

Carolyn used "peas" so it would fit in to her rhyme scheme.  (along with "dimple-y knees" :fabrary:???) 

Heaven knows what un-PC rhyme she would have come up with for "grapes" .......or "SHUCKING", for that matter. 

This Wildcat did the Lucy cry at the end of "You're a Liar" which got knowing laughter from the audience. 

17 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

she failed to get a Tony nomination. She had very tough competition: winner Mary Martin in Sound of Music, plus Merman in Gypsy, Burnett in Mattress, and Dolores Gray and Eileen Herlie. Bacall won the Best Actress Tony for both of her shows- pretty much the only major competitive awards of her career. 

Tony nominations: you're referring to the previous season.  Lucy's competition was (winner) Elizabeth Seal in "Irma La Douse", Julie Andrews "Camelot",  Nancy Walker "Do Re Mi" and Carol Channing in "Show Girl".  I don't know when the Tony nominations were announced in 1961 but maybe the show had already closed (as had "Show Girl").  This was the year bona fide STARS of other musicals were put into the "featured" category simply because their names were not above the title.  So yes, I think Lucy deserved one as did Don Tomkins.    The score (and book) were rolled up into the Best Musical category, not an individual award.  But Wildcat did get a Grammy nom for best Original Cast Album--which is impressive since there were a lot of them that year, and Wildcat made the top 5.  OBC albums were still topping the album charts in 1961.   Wildcat appeared on the charts through August.   I'll have to go back to my research but I think Wildcat peaked at #12 and spent many weeks in the top 20 albums sold.

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HarryCarter    1,038
28 minutes ago, Will said:

Can someone give a list of awards and nominations this play "won"?

Wildcat was nominated for the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre album. How to Succeed in Business... won. 

Lucy won the Aegis Theatre Club Award.

Don Tompkins won the Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical Performance.

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