A MEMO FROM THE PRODUCER: Essentials, Treats, & News

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! Today’s post is meant as a “thank you” to all who have given me unwavering support and encouragement throughout the three years that I’ve been blogging. I’m grateful for your online companionship, humbled that you are interested in what I have to say, and glad that we continue to have “this time together.” Although I worry that I don’t always make explicit this gratitude and too often overshadow my intended goodwill by an inherent know-it-all nature, please know that I treasure each and every reader and, particularly, all of my regular subscribers, who make this more than just a hobby — it’s a joy. Thank you.

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There are several orders of business on today’s agenda, both for fans of Musical Theatre Mondays and Sitcom Tuesdays. We’ll start with the former. I’m introducing a new element to our Monday coverage — one inspired by our recent Wildcard Wednesday series of Pre-Code Essentials, in which we discuss the most important films of the era. Since we started those posts last month, I’ve wanted to do the same for the musicals we’ve covered here, selecting my choices for the cream of the forgotten (that is, by those who don’t run in our circles) crop. Over the past 163 weeks, Musical Theatre Mondays have highlighted 162 mostly forgotten musicals. (Jubilee is so good, we talked about it twice!) I have selected the 52 that I believe are seminal for all who consider themselves aficionados of this period in Musical Theatre history. I’m listing them below. And from now on, when any of the shows we cover here feel like appropriate additions — and there are quite a few of those coming up in the months ahead — I will continue to update and expand this list. Did your favorites make the cut?

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Two more Musical Theatre related things to address. The first is an announcement. I’m happy to reveal that I am now a freelance contributor to Performer Stuff, an online resource geared toward students and young performers who are seeking material for both audition and study. I will be contributing two posts per month — on the 1st and the 15th — to their blog, “More Good Stuff,” which you can find here. On August 1st, expect to see the first in a series on Great Dames of the American Musical Theatre, this initial entry covering Ethel Merman. These posts, which will go up monthly, are designed to introduce classic Broadway figures to young theatre lovers. On the 15th of the month, their blog will debut a list I’ve compiled of Female Solo ideas from the Golden Age of Broadway (1943-1967). This list is tailored for college-aged theatre majors — but I guarantee it’ll be the only place online to suggest songs from Top Banana (1951) and Man With A Load Of Mischief (1966), so it’s worth checking out just for a few of my off-beat picks alone. More suggested material will follow in the months ahead, including Male Solo, Male-Female Duet, and so forth. I encourage any reader who may be interested in Performer Stuff’s services (or those who are just interested in clicking around to see the content I’m providing), please go give them a look and let me know what you think!

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The last musical theatre thing on our agenda — I have some treats! I have two Cole Porter audios that didn’t get offered in the musicals’  corresponding posts. They are the 2006 Lost Musicals production of an essential, Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929) and the 2009 Lost Musicals production of The New Yorkers (1930). Subscribed readers who are interested in obtaining either or both of these recordings should kindly comment below! I’m also pleased to share a complete copy of Max Liebman‘s unreleased TV production of Best Foot Forward (1941), another essential, which aired on November 20, 1954 and starred Bob Cummings, Jeannie Carson, Charlie Applewhite, Pat Carroll, and Marilyn Maxwell. This is a great production of a phenomenal show — it’s slightly more faithful to the original than the ’63 revival, and includes a hot rendition of “That’s How I Love The Blues” by Maxwell. Enjoy!

Now, there are several things of note for my Sitcom Tuesday readers. The first is a “heads up” regarding our second annual holiday contest, the details of which I will be announcing in early December. I’m not 100% sure what the rules will be yet, but I know that it won’t be about guessing my favorite sitcom episodes of the ’80s (because we won’t be done with the decade by then), it’ll be less involved than last year’s (which required probably too much of a time commitment), and that all participants will be rewarded in some way (nothing big — but a worthwhile incentive, rest assured). As with last year, expect the prizes to be scripts, unreleased shows, and rarities of that nature. Study up now, because it will — in some degree — involve knowing what’s been covered on this blog and understanding my accompanying commentary.

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I also have another announcement that I’m hoping will excite you. I am exploring the possibility of expanding our collective love of television into a forum in which I can showcase some of the material we discuss here. Last week, I conducted a live experimental broadcast on Ustream, in which I showed episodes of December Bride and The Governor And J.J., along with footage from the 1957 TV Production of Annie Get Your Gun starring Mary Martin and dailies from one of my favorite Xena: Warrior Princess episodes. I am interested in doing this periodically for the readers of this blog, but I need to know if there’s an interest, and if there’s a time of the week/month that works best for a majority of the regulars here. I’m thinking that most of what I show will be sitcoms, primarily unreleased, but possibly also MVEs from our Sitcom Tuesday posts, occasional Xena episodes, Pre-Code films, and any appropriate Musical Theatre gems that I can offer. Let me know what you think in the comments below!


And, finally, I have some treats for you as well. In a Dropbox Folder, I have uploaded the first season of The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971-1974, CBS). Subscribers who are interested in obtaining a link to this folder, please comment below! The link will remain active until 10:00 PM EST August 09, 2016 (two weeks from this publication). Also, below is an episode of The Paul Lynde Show (1972-1973, ABC), which was highlighted here early last year. This installment is entitled “To Wed Or Not To Wed” and it originally aired November 01, 1972. Enjoy!


*Also — check out my updated About Me page, along with our new section on Coming Attractions!



Come back next Wednesday for a new Wildcard post! And tune in on Monday for another Jerome Kern musical!