Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Today In Theatre History

Last week, I posted a blog celebrating the birthday of Tony Award winner Sheldon Harnick. Now besides being known as the lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof, he also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiorello! in 1960. But my favorite show of his, was She Loves Me. By the time I saw it on Christmas Day 1993, I had probably seen over a dozen Broadway shows. All new shows by the way. However the 1993-94 season produced four revivals that year. Which is probably why for the first time in Tony Award history, they separated the Best Revival category into Best Play Revival and Best Musical Revival.

That year I saw all four nominees. Carousel, Damn Yankees, Grease, and of course She Loves Me.Carousel won by the way, winning the most of any show that season with a total of five. However today is all about Damn Yankees.Not only my second Broadway revival, but my first time seeing two greats in the form of four-time Tony Award nominee Victor Garber, and two-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth. The original production, which seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical of the Year, opened on May 5, 1955. Well would you look at that? That's today.

Going in, I wasn't that familar with the show.All I knew, was that I was excited to see if Lilith Crane from "Cheers" could sing and dance. And boy could she. I loved the show. In fact, I went back to see it again one year later, when comic legend Jerry Lewis replaced Garber in the role of Applegate, aka The Devil. That was twenty-five years ago. Now I don't know about you, but I think it's time for another revival once things get back to normal again. Who knows? Maybe an old fashioned musical like Damn Yankees, might be just the thing we need. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

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