Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This month, as we celebrate The Danny Thomas Show over on Sitcom Tuesdays, I thought it fitting to honor another talented entertainer with whom he could have been linked forever had things turned out differently. I’m speaking of the great Kaye Ballard, who auditioned (off-camera) in 1957 to replace Jean Hagen as Danny’s second TV wife, a position that, of course, eventually went to Marjorie Lord. Incidentally, Ballard would later have a sitcom success of her own — however brief — in the following decade, but it’s still her theatrical career for which most of us remember her today.
Accordingly, I’m sharing with subscribers — who comment below to alert me of their interest — access to a live audio of Ballard headlining the 1972 Pittsburgh CLO Production of Minnie’s Boys, in a role originated on Broadway by Shelley Winters. Ballard is a natural fit for this part, and as you can tell from this excerpt of “Be Happy,” she sings the heck out of it. Enjoy!
Come back next month for another musical rarity! And stay tuned for more Danny Thomas!