btw why did the musical version starring Liv Ullman flop on Broadway?
By 1979, Broadway audiences had become accustomed to edgier musicals such as Sweeney Todd and Evita.
Critics found Mama to be old-fashioned and corny, and all were quick to describe the musically disinclined Ullmann as miscast.
The New York Times reviewer wrote: "At the end of its much-postponed and choppy progress...this big and expensive musical had buried most of the strengths it possesses under a mass of cliches and a pervading, forced cuteness.... Miss Ullman is unsuited to it."
Advance box office sales, particularly for matinée performances, had been strong enough to keep the show alive in its early weeks, but attendance quickly dropped in numbers dramatic enough to warrant closing. It was Rodgers'last musical.
An original cast album was never recorded, but a studio recording with Hearn and Irving reprising their stage roles and Sally Ann Howes replacing Ullmann was released in 1985.
It's a good movie. It is a bit dry, though.
In the studio recording Pat Routledge was Aunt Jenny.
Tante trina var lesbisk!
Irene Dunne said it was her favorite role. Played Mama in the Lux Radio Theatre version and the audition for eventual television series which starred Peggy Wood from 1949-57.
The movie tonight starts at 8:00ET on TCM.
Ya and Ellen Corby's birth name was Ellen Hansen, the family name in the production.
"I NEVER miss a Liv Ullman musical!"
The Divine Miss M, channeling Bruce Valanch
Also the book and movie are VERY episodic with no real through line.
Episodic musicals rarely work.
They made up a conflict for the musical by having FATHER leave the family to go find work.
Therefore he's the "bad guy"
I knew tired, old R8 would show up on clue.
I need new cyber-friends.
Hey, some people have never heard that joke!
R8, ready for a nap
[quote] btw why did the musical version starring Liv Ullman flop on Broadway?
Probably because it was a musical starring Liv Ullman.
Whatever happened to Liv Ullman, anyway?
r9, wasn't "father leaving the family for work" used on "Good Times?"
Yeah, R8, a joke from an ugly, hate-filled homophobic bitch about screen goddess Liv Ullmann. No doubt Midler was jealous of her beauty and talent.
Corny, sappy, over sentimental, but shit, I love that movie.
I always get this movie mixed up with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I know they are different things but in my head they are the same, like Shane and Bambi. I always think Angela Lansbury is Barbara Bel Geddes even though I know that's not true. Or vice versa.
I think I drank too much Bacardi a long time ago.
Even without Midler, Liv Ullmann made a joke of herself by appearing in TV commercials for the show in which she reminisced about her girlhood in Sweden when she adored the lovely tunes of Richard Rodgers. It was an unintentional reminder of how quaint and dated his music sounded to audiences of the late 70s.
I believe there was some backstage drama where lyricist Martin Charnin had an affair with Liv Ullmann during the out-of-town tryouts, at which time he was also the show's director. Then Ullmann broke off with him and he was replaced as director by Cy Feuer.
In the tradition of many an impending flop, the show played five long weeks of previews in NYC while its creators tinkered and tried to pull a hit out of it. Sadly, Richard Rodgers' last show would limp through the summer of '79 and expire on September 2nd, just thirteen weeks after it opened. Rodgers died on December 30th the same year.
Oskar Homolka rocked!
They did some location shooting in SF for this movie.
You know, I saw it on Broadway in previews and I don't remember a thing about it....except maybe for some lovely costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge.
There was just no reason for it to be.
And btw, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an incrediblly moving film.....far better than I Remember Mama.
Ian Ziering played the son!
[quote]they are different things but in my head they are the same, like Shane and Bambi.
How are Shane & Bambi the same?
Wasn't the musical directed by Martin Charnin, the One Hit (Annie) Wonder? No wonder it tanked.
r16, simmer down.
The butt plug either goes in or it comes out.
Make up your mind.
Midler's comment about never missing a Liv Ullman musical was in reference to "Lost Horizon" the big budget Ross Hunter stinkeroo that had Liv singing and dancing with children, dubbed by a woman who sang with an English accent.
Mama doest like! Ease good to have the kärleksmussla to be succulent as oven warm schtudel.
I remember mama and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn -- the mid-century light and dark about poor girls who grow up to be writers.
Now we have people who pretend they are poor girls (or drawf boys) and write fake stories in first person.