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Best Actress in a Musical, 1964: Who deserved the Tony, Carol Channing or Barbra Streisand?

It's still unbelievable to me that Barbra Streisand did not win the Tony for FUNNY GIRL, but it makes sense if she had to lose it to anyone it would have been to Carol Channing for HELLO, DOLLY!

Who should have won?

by Anonymousreply 16111/26/2012

Jesus fucking Christ, how GAY are you?

by Anonymousreply 111/19/2012

[quote] Jesus fucking Christ, how OLD are you?

Surely this is what you meant?

by Anonymousreply 211/19/2012

No one on DL in 2012 probably can really answer this question unless they are minimally well into their 60s. I was 11 in 1964 and I could not tell you who should have won. I do know that Streisand's notices for Funny Girl were/are perhaps the best I have ever read for anyone on B'way. But she was new and Channing was an established star. Perhaps their peers thought Streisand would easily go on to win one- instead she never returned to B'way and got an honorary Tony in 1970.

by Anonymousreply 311/19/2012

I think both did. Shoulda been a tie. Carol was a respected broadway veteran which probably weighed in her favor.

by Anonymousreply 411/19/2012

Maybe too many votes showed up on nights where she was phoning it in. Almost as legendary as her brillance in the part is the way she walked through it out of boredom more often than not.

I wasn't even born yet, but the OBC recording captures something really remarkable; word is, she rarely bothered delivering that in the theater once opening night was behind her.

by Anonymousreply 511/19/2012

Babs was pretty much phoning it in night after night.

After the show was locked, she said every night was torture. Almost like prison.

As a result, there were three different versions of the show. The regular version, a shorter version, and the ultra short version.

Cast and crew would never know which version would be done. It was all dependent on Babs mood.

As a result some Tony voters felt short changed.

And Carol Channing was doing it full out, 8 times a week. Taking no short-cuts.

by Anonymousreply 611/19/2012

Did Babs do the matinees or was that her understudy?

by Anonymousreply 711/19/2012

She did the Matinee. But she missed performances. Linda Gerard her understudy went on over 20 times. btw Linda had to sign a confidentiality agreement, never to alert the press of ticket holders that she was going on. That was Babs rule for her understudy after the Lainie Kazan fiasco.

by Anonymousreply 811/19/2012

r6, where did you hear or read that? Streisand, as talented as she was, was not a Broadway star UNTIL that show and, presumably, would never have been able to pull off having ANY say in what "version" of the show existed. Perhaps she just "shortened" it, herself, some nights by skipping over dialogue or rearranging blocking or some such thing. Which would have infuriated a director and royally pissed off her co-stars. Who wants to have to "adapt" to the whims and moods of a diva? Did the other performers hate her?

by Anonymousreply 911/19/2012

R9 she was a star before Funny Girl.

In terms of the different versions of the show

Sometimes she wasn't up to doing the whole two and a half hours eight times a week. George Reeder recalled that there were three versions of the show, and which they did ay any given performance depended on Barbra. "There was the full version, then a shorter version where she wouldn't do one or two of the reprises. In the shortest version we'd eliminate entire scenes and all of the reprises except 'Don't Rain on My Parade' at the end"


-Streisand, Her Life By James Spada Page 176

btw George Reeder was in the cast of Funny Girl. R9 if you have a dispute about this, take it up with him!

by Anonymousreply 1011/19/2012

R9 Streisand already had albums out, had wowed everyone with "Miss Marmelstein" in I Can Get it For You Wholesale, and had appeared on The Judy Garland Show, before doing Funny Girl. She was quite famous before FG opened.

Her antics onstage are well-known. She would cut verses often (I'm not sure how she ensured it would happen- may she spoke to the conductor?).

Gwen Verdon supposedly used to skip "Where Am I Going?" in Sweet Charity. I can see how they would easily accomplish that, but I would have been furious. Best song in the show.

by Anonymousreply 1111/19/2012

Phoning it in? .. Antics?? What are you people talking about??? .. I was in my early twenties at the time. I saw two different performances of Funny Girl during the initial run. One, about two months after it opened and another one somewhat later on. Streisand gave it everything she had and was pure electricity. Her commitment carried the whole cast. She was still in the early phases of her career and had to prove herself constantly. (As she already had done as Miss Marmelstein in "Wholesale." ) She is known for being a perfectionist, and those of you who were born later must know that till this day she fusses over details. This is what has sustained her at the top for all these years. It's hard work and dedication. You just don't decide you're a DEEVUH and sit on your ass having your nails done, ordering people around. I tell ya ... Some of you fairies ... Really!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 1211/19/2012

Barbra was having an affair with Sidney Chaplin(Charlie Chaplin's son) during the Funny Girl run.

Jules Styne said that Barbra's performance in FG was the best Broadway performance that he ever witnessed. I wonder how Ethel Merman felt about that?

Madeline Kahn was also notorious for phoning it in. She gave a fantastic performance in "On the Twentieth Century" when the show first opened, but walked through the role after the show was established.

by Anonymousreply 1311/19/2012

Oh yeah! Funny Girl gets yet another thread of its own!

by Anonymousreply 1411/19/2012

r12, sounds like you got lucky. I've heard about her cutting reprises, scenes and being generally lazy on certain nights. Is it so hard to believe?

It is hard to believe that there was a time when Broadway theater was not so rigid and more informal that stars could just up and say "fuck this song, cut it" in mid-performance. Maybe since everything nowadays is queued up to a computer, an actress playing Fanny Brice who decides to cut a reprise could really screw up a lighting change or a set piece could kill someone.

Broadway before I started seeing the shows in the 80s is a fascinating, unique place - not just creatively, but technically. Not to mention tickets to see Babs in Funny Girl for the price of a movie ticket today.

by Anonymousreply 1511/19/2012

I'm sure it was just verses and encores. Fine, a reprise. Things that probably seemed like a good idea in the excitement of opening but months later when you're doing it 8x a week just seem like torture. Less is more.

by Anonymousreply 1611/19/2012

Carol of course for her towering creation. Babs can sing but Carol is a star

by Anonymousreply 1711/19/2012

R15, where did you hear these things. All I heard in the 60s and later in the 70s was how great she was- no queens that I got to know as I came of age in the early 70s ever said Streisand phoned in any performance. In fact is was at that time that I became more aware of her, and how good she was- she kind of had no peer. I know a few older guys who saw Funny Girl many time on the stage. We used to go to shows multiple times in the early 70s as well. I think I say Chorus Line at least 3 times, same with Hair.

by Anonymousreply 1811/19/2012

I saw both and Carol deserved it. Hands down.

by Anonymousreply 1911/19/2012

[quote]the Lainie Kazan fiasco.

Only a control freak monster would have considered that a fiasco, either.

by Anonymousreply 2011/19/2012

Carol Channing was making a comeback in HELLO, DOLLY! She had endured a long, lean period in her career after GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. Her success as Dolly was a feel-good story. Channing is a very funny performer when seen in person.

HELLO, DOLLY! was so critically well-received, it won more Tonys than any show before THE PRODUCERS. Being part of that momentum probably gave Carol the edge over Barbra. DOLLY is a better show than FUNNY GIRL and that may have helped Channing too.

Besides, everyone knew Streisand would be going to Hollywood. Unlike Eve Harrington and the Sarah Siddons Award, the real Broadway community probably didn't care to give its highest honor to an actress who was never coming back to the stage.

by Anonymousreply 2111/19/2012



by Anonymousreply 2211/19/2012

There was no talk of Streisand phoning in anything until some of these trashy, unreliable bios came out in the 80's and 90's, the kind that rely on gossip and innuendo to generate sales. The very thought that she could get away with 'phoning in' a performance at that stage in her career is ludicrous. Streisand was working very, very hard on her career at that time. The whole time she was doing Miss Marmelstein on Broadway, she was heading downtown after the performance finished to sing in nightclubs, trying to capitalize on her newfound celebrity and build an audience. She was also recording albums (two and sometimes three a year at that point) and taking every guest spot on tv that she had time to do. Judy Garland's show was the last guest starring she did. After that, she had her own special, which was a smashing success and which she filmed while starring in Funny Girl on Broadway. Barbra was working her ass off. SHe didn't become famous by accident.

by Anonymousreply 2311/19/2012

Better go 'n' get the smelling salts. R23 has the hy-strikes!

by Anonymousreply 2411/19/2012

But she wasn't committed to a stage career, and people are saying you could tell. Even then she was eyeing Hollywood.

Besides, Dolly is a better show; it at least gives one or two other people significant things to do, and doesn't completely run out of steam an hour before it ends.

by Anonymousreply 2511/19/2012

I was about 16 when I saw Barbra in Funny Girl. Johnny Desmond had already replaced Sydney Chaplin so it was probably at least 8-10 months into the run.

I had been a huge fan of her first albums and knew the Funny Girl score quite well from the OBC album, but even I, who had only seen one other Broadway show, Baker Street, a few weeks earlier, knew she was "walking through" the first act. She was fine once she sang People and Don't Rain on My Parade and performed a spectacular Act II, but I'm the Greatest Star and Cornet Man, among others, were sadly disappointmenting.

Carol Channing and Hello, Dolly! were an unparalleled phenomenon in NY that year. Carol was constantly all over TV talking about the show and she clearly loved every moment of it. Though she was as much of a cartoon then as we think of her now, it was fresher then so quite fun.

It was no surprise Carol won the Tony, as did Hello, Dolly! for Best Musical. In spite of Barbra's unanimous raves, Funny Girl did not get great reviews across the boards.

IIRC, also nominated that year were Carol Burnett for Fade Out, Fade In, Bea Lillie for High Spirits and Inga Swenson for 110 in the Shade. Each one of them a performance that might have easily won in a less competitive year.

by Anonymousreply 2611/19/2012

I don't think anyone accused Streisand of phoning in her Funny Girl performance out of laziness.

It was out of boredom.

There is a difference even though one is not better than the other.

by Anonymousreply 2711/19/2012

R21, in 1964 everyone knew Streisand was going to TV, not movies. She had a contract with CBS and they wanted to eventually ease her into a TV variety show. (LOL). Babs in movies was a very far fetched notion in 1964-66, except in her mind. Really.

Hello Dolly was the bigger hit and it had a hit song in the cover by Louis Armstrong. It was also used in LBJ's 1964 presidential campaign (Hello Lyndon), and in countless variety shows (link below). Yeah, 'People' was a hit, but the Columbia studio version we think of was out after the Tonys.

Streisand performed her role in Funny Girl like she was doing an impression of Jerry Lewis after a few months. The Tonys, however, are not based on how lousy a performance gets over time.

by Anonymousreply 2811/19/2012

It doesn't matter, r26/27--you suggested that Streisand might not have always done everything better than anyone in history had ever done it. That's not allowed.

by Anonymousreply 2911/19/2012

I have a feeling R28 was not alive in 1966.

by Anonymousreply 3011/19/2012

I have a feeling you're not alive today, charlie.

by Anonymousreply 3111/19/2012

I am not a huge Streisand fan, but I saw both "Funny Girl" and "I Can Get It For You Whole" while I was in college. She was superb in both shows. Either the 'phoning it in' is exaggerated, or I was very lucky.

by Anonymousreply 3211/19/2012

Channing's performance is simply iconic. She inhabited the role of Dolly. Others have done it, but no one has come close to matching Channing. (And that includes Barbra, even though she is good in the movie) She was also very dedicated and well loved in the theater. Watch her recent documentary. It's not a stretch that she won.

FUNNY GIRL is good, but not in DOLLY'S league. The movie version shows the glaring weaknesses in the material. Barbra herself has said that she got very bored doing the same thing night after night, so that was not made up. She had no intention of doing anything else on Broadway.

It doesn't matter, because she received an honorary tony years later (A bizzare "Star of the Decade" award that was never given again).

by Anonymousreply 3311/19/2012

[quote]Jesus fucking Christ, how GAY are you?

I'm gayer than Christmas. I'm gayer than a treeful of parrots. I'm gayer than springtime. I'm gayer than an Ungaro frock. I'm gayer than Jeremy Renner's last trip to see ladyboys in Phuket. I'm gayer than a naked Kevin Spacey wandering into the steamroom of a London bathhouse. I'm gayer than a crazy quilt in Elton John's Atlanta topwnhome's bedroom. I'm gayer than a beaded clutch purse at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at a Ned Rorem concert. I'm gayer than a box of Jujubes at a Maria Montez revival film festival. I'm gayer than an rhinestone-studded outfit exhibit at the old Liberace Museum in Las Vegas. I'm gayer than the gay is long.

Why? Do you think there's something wrong with being gay? You're gay too, you know.

by Anonymousreply 3411/19/2012

R6 here. Maybe saying 'phoning it in' is a bit harsh.

But she was cutting corners. For theater goers, they deserve 100%.

Carol Channing was giving it to them. Barbra for all her brilliance was presenting a watered down show.

If you disagree with George Reeder who explained it all at R10 you should take it up with him. He was there and that is what he says happened behind the scenes.

On some nights she was starring in a watered down version of Funny Girl. Carol was not.

That is why Carol won the Tony Award.

by Anonymousreply 3511/19/2012

Here's Carol Channing's OWN take (from her autobiography "Just Lucky I Guess") on the suspense as to whether she or Barbara would win the Tony for Best Actress, and what it felt like to go through it... as read by the awesome Carol Kane!

(And as an added side treat: presented in counterpoint is Mario Cantone reading Lauren Bacall's take on what it felt like to go head-to-head against Katharine Hepburn a few years later for the same award!)

by Anonymousreply 3611/19/2012

Thanks R36-

by Anonymousreply 3711/19/2012

I have never understood the love for Channing. Lousy singer and over the top performer. One note, one role, thank you, good night.

Babs? The greatest star, by far, and everyone knows it.

by Anonymousreply 3811/19/2012

I saw Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin in Evita in May of 1980 and in Sept of 1980, and there was a dramatic difference in the performances. The second one was horrible, yes, they walked through it. It happens to actors in every show, even your gay icons.

What I find really objectionable is this unrealistic love of Babs like she couldn't possible walk through a performance. Then there's her dismissal of it. I got bored, I hate the theater, blah blah blah. She used to excuse her non-existent lip-syncing ability in movies with "I can't do it the same way twice." Bullshit. She should have done her job and stopped complaining and making excuses.

by Anonymousreply 3911/19/2012

The rule in theater is that you have to give 100% performance.

The audience has paid good money, some waiting months to see the show.

They deserve nothing less than an outstanding performance each and every time.

That is a life in the theater.

by Anonymousreply 4011/19/2012

[quote]I have never understood the love for Channing. Lousy singer and over the top performer. One note, one role, thank you, good night.

I can't stand her voice, either! I have a CD of Broadway songs, which features her rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." The first time I listened to it, I thought it was a man singing. Her voice is that deep in the intro. But then it turns shrill. Eek!

by Anonymousreply 4111/19/2012

Channing is an acquired taste. But frankly, so is Barbra.

by Anonymousreply 4211/19/2012

"What I find really objectionable is this unrealistic love of Babs like she couldn't possible walk through a performance."

And this sentence means what? Why not be a fan of Barbra's or Carol's? Why not? Both are talented. And talent like Streisand's somes along once or twice in a lifetime. Remember that Steisand was 22 when Funny Girl opened- kind of extraordinary.

R39- Google her reviews on her current tour at age 70, diminished voice and all. Probably no active performer in the world has had equal notices at any time in their career. Why is this so- because she is that good.

Not everyone's taste to be sure. But come on- I could not stand Sinatra- I thought he was the biggest asshole in show business. But sometimes I listen to some of his older recordings and there is no denying his artistry, and yes talent.

To each their own I say- most important is to be moved by great art and appreciate it- it's good for the soul.

by Anonymousreply 4311/19/2012

R34 is my gay hero.

I've always wondered why "People" became the hit song from Funny Girl? Why is this the hit song from the show and not "The Music that Makes Me Dance" or even "Who Are You Now"? I've read the script before (never seen it live) and know the "People" a "great" song. It's as if "Small World" emerged as the big hit from Gypsy and not "Everything's Coming Up Roses."

by Anonymousreply 4411/19/2012

I can think of plenty of singers who are around Streisand's age and who get the great notices that she gets. And whose voices are in much better shape. Gladys Knight still sounds as good as she did forty years ago. Shirley Bassey is another one.

There's really no excuse in not knowing that in this day and age. Navigating Youtube isn't rocket science.

As for Barbra, her voice started out great at the beginning of the tour, but if you watch clips towards the end, it diminishes greatly. Partly her own fault, because she's always been too lazy to properly prepare herself vocally.

Not that she wasn't a force to be reckoned with in her prime. But one must learn to be objective and realistic in their assessments.

by Anonymousreply 4511/19/2012

I feel like we have this discussion very often on DL.

by Anonymousreply 4611/19/2012

Comparing Carol Channing to Streisand is like comparing Ruth Buzzi to Bette Davis. One is a joke and the other is a legendary icon.

by Anonymousreply 4711/19/2012

Saw Streisand in San Jose toward the end of her just finished tour. Not only was her voice not diminished in any way, she was magnificent. Though the voice is lower, it has lost none of the power, sweetness, clarity and subtlety. The Youtube videos do not accurately capture or do justice to Babs live.

by Anonymousreply 4811/19/2012

Streisand sounds AMAZING at 70...Judy Garland couldn't belt like this even in her prime.

by Anonymousreply 4911/19/2012

Charlie you are so delusional. You should not be posting in any thread that mentions Streisand's name. You act like she's a relative and you must defend her -- no one can say anything about Streisand that's not fawning fan worship.

by Anonymousreply 5011/19/2012

[quote]Comparing Carol Channing to Streisand is like comparing Ruth Buzzi to Bette Davis.

No, it is like comparing Matisse to Modigliani. They all achieve greatness in their unique ways.

Carol Channing gets a bum rap because she is so hideous on TV and in movies. She is really funny on stage. No other Dolly could get away with some of the things she did. She got the kind of laughs in Dolly that audiences wanted but didn't get from Lucille Ball in Wildcat.

by Anonymousreply 5211/19/2012

You're full of shit, poster who said her voice was 'diminished' by the end of the tour. I saw her closing night at the Hollywood Bowl and she was belting her head off. Her Rose's Turn/Some People/Don't Rain on My Parade was off the hook and got a standing ovation in the first act. She might have had a few bad performances on Broadway in Funny Girl--who doesn't have an off night??--but we have two out of three posters here who saw her and say she was great. The third said she was great by the second act. And no one is saying Barbra can do no wrong. But you naysayers won't be satisfied until you trash her and drag her name through the mud, and for no good reason, it seems, except the joy of trashing someone.

by Anonymousreply 5311/19/2012

Barbra, give it a rest. It was a long time ago.

by Anonymousreply 5411/20/2012

Carol: your dentures are older than I am. STFU

by Anonymousreply 5511/20/2012

Interesting that people have apparently forgotten Mary Martin ("The Sound of Music") winning Best Actress in a Musical over Ethel Merman ("Gypsy") in the 1959-1960 season.

That seems like a bigger upset than Channing-Streisand. And both Martin and Merman had more significant Broadway careers than the two ladies we are discussing here.

by Anonymousreply 5611/20/2012

Mary Martin wasn't good enough to smell my shit!

by Anonymousreply 5711/20/2012

Of course, Streisand deserved to win for "Funny Girl." She was a sensation. But everyone figured that Barbra would have another chance on Broadway. No one figured that she would never do Broadway again.

On the other hand, Channing was a big Broadway star, so out of respect, Carol won just because she was better connected with the Broadway community.

Carol's enduring enthusiasm for her role in "Hello, Dolly" does not mean that she gave a better performance. Barbra gets it, hands down.

by Anonymousreply 5811/20/2012

Barbra is so fabulous. I mean, the corn in her shit can be buttered and eaten again! Could you say the same about Carol's corn? How can you say Carol is as good as Barbra if you can't re-eat the corn in Carol's shit?!

by Anonymousreply 5911/20/2012

This is the great failing of awards, and it's even more true for the Academy Awards than it is for the Tony's: the voters don't generally just vote for the best performance of the year. They take into account the actors past, his personal life, whether they like him/her or not, whether the actor has kissed their asses often enough, whether they did publicity for the show/film, etc. All this bullshit that has nothing to do with anything. If the best performance of the year actually won it would be so much more interesting to actually watch these idiotic shows. It's absurd that Mary Martin would win over Ethel Merman and it's absurd that Channing won over Streisand. And I'm sure these are just two of many examples where the Tony awards got it wrong. I could point to many, many missteps made by the Academy Awards, many of which have been hashed and rehashed here.

by Anonymousreply 6011/20/2012

The sexual equivalent of this thread is:

Which giggling bottom deserves to be the first to insert the 12 inch double headed dildo into his bleached, hairless winking hole? The blonde twink with body glitter or the Asian twink with lavender tips?

by Anonymousreply 6111/20/2012

R60. I can well imagine that Martin gave a stronger all-round performance than Merman, even though Rose is the more complex role. Merman simply wasn't as good an actress--even though her voice was not the clarion trumpet that Merman's was, Martin was the better actress, with more range and more of a sense of a real human being. And if you have never seen Channing in the book scenes in Dolly, you really can't compare. Her monologue to Ephraim, which precedes "Before the Parade Passes By" (the one about the leaf falling out of her Bible, "with life or color") is a masterclass in moving from the comic to the dramatic and then back again. I got chills when she did it in the theatre and I still do when I see it online, even with bad and distant videotaping. Streisand, like Merman, is a force of nature vocally--obviously, each was a better singer per se than the competition (e.g. Martin for Merman and Channing for Streisand), but the award is for Best Performance by an ACTRESS in a musical. I loved Streisand in the film of "Funny Girl," but even there you see the journeyman (woman?) actor getting her legs. She adapted to film better as time went on--I think her Katie in "The Way We Were" is a perfect performance of a certain kind, so I am not a Babs hater by a long shot (I found "Yentl" very touching, even if I could never believe her as a boy.)

Incidentally, if "starriness" were removed from consideration, I suspect Inga Swenson may have given the best all-round performance. I did not see her in "110," but, based on the OCR (and recordings can be deceptive, I concede), she wedded a gorgeous singing voice to the acting talent she was born with and had trained by Alvina Krause at Northwestern. I wish her stage career had continued--a whole generation knows her primarily from her role on "Benson."

by Anonymousreply 6211/20/2012

[quote]No, it is like comparing Matisse to Modigliani. They all achieve greatness in their unique ways.


by Anonymousreply 6311/20/2012

R63. Thank you. Even in my sleepy stupor this evening, that deserved a "Mary" and made me laugh.

by Anonymousreply 6411/20/2012

But I once went to dinner party at Barbra's Malibu house and creamed corn was don't mean that..that. Oh Heavens! I should have kept some and re-corned it as gifts to my close associates.

by Anonymousreply 6511/20/2012

No love for Bea Lillie here?

by Anonymousreply 6611/20/2012

But no one is disputing the fact that Babs cut corners. She did watered-down versions of Funny Girl night after night.

While Carol Channing did the full show night after night.

Plus Babs was younger than Carol, and she couldn't do a full show, only shortened versions.

Streisand fans please try to spin that.

by Anonymousreply 6711/20/2012

[quote]But you naysayers won't be satisfied until you trash her and drag her name through the mud, and for no good reason, it seems, except the joy of trashing someone.

R53 must be an escapee from an Anderson Cooper thread who pumps out "Ben hater" accusations. Any moment he'll work his way up to Babs hater accusations if you don't genuflect before the Streisand altar.

There's no doubt that Carol Channing's off-stage work contributed toward that Tony Award. As soon as Dolly opened, she was off and running to every possible venue to promote her show - TV variety shows, radio shows, meetings with entertainment writers, luncheons, banquets, etc. She was everywhere and she never ran out of steam. It's not as if she was on a campaign to win a Tony, she simply wanted everyone to be acquainted with a woman she adored - Dolly Levi Gallagher.

Channing already knew how to work the media. Streisand's performance in her role was brilliant most of the time but she didn't know how to work the media on a par with Channing.

by Anonymousreply 6811/20/2012

Wasn't Babs one of the first Broadway musical stars to use body mikes?

by Anonymousreply 6911/20/2012

It wasn't that Barbra didn't know how to work the media. She simply wasn't interested in the media.

I clearly remember seeing footage of Carol on the local TV news shows the day after Dolly opened to rapturous reviews, out in front of the St. James Theater serving free hot cocoa to the scores of people on wintry West 44th St., waiting on line to buy their tickets to the show.

Carol loves audiences, loves her fans, loves people. Those feelings were never a big part of Barbra's focus.

by Anonymousreply 7011/20/2012

That's a very nice way of saying it, r70.

by Anonymousreply 7111/20/2012

Bea Lillie and Carol Burnett deserved to share the Tony Award in 1964.

by Anonymousreply 7211/20/2012

I think Streisand started all the phoned in performance crap herself because she said she got bored with the show- then the blue biographers got hold of it. But that does not mean she was not a professional. No one I know who saw Funny Girl was less than thrilled by her performance. It put her on the cover of every major news magazine of the time. I had the chance to see her in it, but I did not go. (In those days my Mom would buy tickets to half a dozen shows over the holidays for various combinations of family and friends home from school/on vaction-I did not get to go to all the shows she got tickets for- I remember I wanted to see Purlie badly- and ended up disappointed- so I did not always make the best choices.) The musical theatre in general is not nearly as good now as it was in the 60s and even 70s.

Lots of bullshit on this thread. Carol Channing was great and so was Barbra. Why compare? Why trash either of them? Channing won the award for any number of reasons, chief among them was that Dolly was a better show or so I am told. I never saw Funny Girl. I did see Dolly, with Carol Channing and later Pearl Bailey. It was fun- rather I remember having a good time. But neither Carol nor the show were as magical or memorable to me as Camelot or Little Night Music for instance-

Streisand is not perfect. And she is not everyone's cup of tea. She is simply a great singer, one of the greatest- still thrilling her audiences in a very grand setting (full orchestra, choirs) and she dominates the procedings with her voice however aged. She has also been a role model and template for years to all manner of singers and performers. Why do you suppose all B'way and Hollywood and half the opera world turn out for her concerts? Why does that bother some of you so much? And her music catalogue over the years is vast, much of it includes the best popular music ever written along with some misses. Yes her voice has diminished, but it is still thrilling if a bit deeper, huskier with a rasp from time to time.

About 5 years ago I went to a small Ann Hampton Calloway performance in upstate NY. She was terrific. Great musician. Later there was a reception for her at a private home and I got to speak with her a bit. She was "on" but charming and I got to ask her some questions about Streisand (Calloway has written for her.) It was facinating and pretty obvious that Ann thought Barbra was in a catagory occupied by only a handful of singers over the past 100 years. And, not easy to work with- not because she is mean or a diva, but because she works harder than anyone around her. Bob Schulemberg, the illustrator, who knew Barbra very well pre Funny Girl on the stage says the exact same thing. Bob never said Barbra phoned in a Funny Girl performance.

Barbara Cook is even more amazing in terms of longevity. But her voice is very diminshed as well. But she is still thrilling to hear sing live.

It just seems so stupid to trash any of these great singers and performers- and I mean seriously, not those who poke fun or are witty.

by Anonymousreply 7311/20/2012

PS, I met Carol Channing and her awful overbearing then husband Charles Lowe a number of times at Andre Oliver around 1980. She was very nice, not at all funny, smart. The husband was a piece of work- made me think a screw was lose in Carol's head to live with the guy- full length white mink coat, lots of rings, you get the picture.

by Anonymousreply 7411/20/2012

I stopped reading R73's post after the third or fourth sentence. Did it ever get interesting?

by Anonymousreply 7511/20/2012

Thank you, Streisand freaks--I've finally encountered something worse than the Meryl Loon, or the Madge fanbois.

by Anonymousreply 7611/20/2012

I knew the unsigned R73 was charlie.

by Anonymousreply 7711/20/2012

I just love this from Barbra's concert last month--Make Our Garden Grown/Somewhere with full choir.

by Anonymousreply 7811/20/2012

[quote]Lots of bullshit on this thread. Carol Channing was great and so was Barbra. Why compare?

Because they were both up for the same Tony. That's the entire point of this thread: voters had to compare them back in 1965, so how would you have compared them if you had been a voter then?

charlie, you get too worked up and angry on these Barbra threads. You should know as a doctor you should stay off them to reduce your blood pressure. You have no objectivity where Barbra Streisand is concerned.

by Anonymousreply 7911/20/2012

Charlie how do you spin the fact that Babs did a watered down version of Funny Girl.

Yet Carol did a full version of Hello Dolly, and she was older than Babs?

by Anonymousreply 8011/20/2012

Do you think over 4 decades from now today's little gaylings will be starting threads entitled, "Best Actress in a Musical, 2004: Who deserved the Tony, Idina or Kristen?"

Just wondering.

by Anonymousreply 8111/20/2012

No, actually, I don't think anyone will be wondering that four decades from now. Neither has gone on to have anything like a legendary career. Unless you count a whole lot of TV guest appearances as the sort of thing that will inspire rabid fandom anywhere short of a group home restricted to viewing reruns on the Lifetime network 24/7.

by Anonymousreply 8211/20/2012

I have this image of charlie posting a "LEAVE. BARBRA. ALONE!!!" video while he sobs uncontrollably.

by Anonymousreply 8311/20/2012

[quote]Yet Carol did a full version of Hello Dolly, and she was older than Babs?

I'm not defending Babs walking through the show or her alleged diva antics, but I don't think that this comparison is particularly apt. Fanny Brice in Funny Girl is a far more difficult score to sing than Dolly Levi. I'd also imagine that Funny Girl is more exhausting because the focus in the second act is almost entirely on Fanny and she sings five of the six songs in that act along with being in seven of the ten songs in the first act.

I remember reading that Jerome Robbins was the one who suggested trimming the other parts of the show and make it basically "An Evening with Barbra Streisand" because of how the audiences were reacting to her.

by Anonymousreply 8411/20/2012

That is exactly right. Dolly has subplots involving the Vandergelder niece and his two employees, and Irene Malloy. There's lots of times when Dolly is not singing or acting or dancing or even on stage. Funny Girl is all about Fanny. She sings almost all the songs and is onstage almost the entire show. And to the poster who keeps screaming about the 'watered down' version of Funny Girl Barbra allegedly did...give it a fucking rest. Cutting a couple of reprises is not watering down the show. And if you had to do a two and a half hour show eight times a week, I assure you that you would be cutting reprises too, every chance you got.

by Anonymousreply 8511/20/2012

[quote] And if you had to do a two and a half hour show eight times a week, I assure you that you would be cutting reprises too, every chance you got.

What a shit counter-argument.

by Anonymousreply 8611/20/2012

'Every actress on Broadway' is not doing a show that rests and revolves solely around her. If you're feeling off one day, or in bad voice, why kill yourself doing fucking reprises? Some of you people are just idiots and have obviously never been under the gun performing onstage in your lives.

by Anonymousreply 8711/20/2012

Plenty of actresses do shows revolving around them. And plenty of people in the chorus have a really busy track that has them onstage for virtually the entire show.

Evita has about equal stage time to Fanny Brice, and yet you don't hear of any actress who's played that role cutting out any of it. Same with Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz - onstage almost the entire show, and it revolved around him, and there are no reports of him making a few snips here and there.

by Anonymousreply 8811/20/2012

[quote]Evita has about equal stage time to Fanny Brice, and yet you don't hear of any actress who's played that role cutting out any of it.

Don't most productions of Evita have the understudy do the matinees so that the actress playing Eva only does six shows a week instead of eight?

by Anonymousreply 8911/20/2012

R80, I don't have to spin it because no one here has offered an iota of proof that Streisand had the show trimmed. And no one I know in the last 40 years has ever suggested it. What I do know is that the show changed right up to the opening night, when it was frozen. I do not doubt that changes might have been made after it opened, but I have not heard of them. On the other hand one of the main criticisms of the show was that it was too long. So who knows. In any case, Streisand did not have the power or clout to shorten the show, only the producer (Ray Stark) did. Fanny Brice was his mother in law.

It was actually a very flawed show that was rescued by turning it into a Streisand showcase. That is why you have never seen revivals- it's very old fashioned and ponderous with some great numbers... almost all for the lead. Practically every number in the show has Fanny front and center which is rare in a musical.

by Anonymousreply 9011/20/2012

Some but not all productions of Evita do that. Elaine Paige didn't start out with an alternate. It was only later in the run that Marti Webb did 2 of the shows a week to prepare for taking over the part.

There are countless other examples though. Victoria in Victor/Victoria is only offstage for the scenes with the gangsters. The actress playing Mame has a lot more to do than in Dolly.

by Anonymousreply 9111/20/2012

"Jerome Robbins was the one who suggested trimming the other parts of the show and make it basically "An Evening with Barbra Streisand" because of how the audiences were reacting to her."

Actually, that was because the play was so bad.

by Anonymousreply 9211/20/2012

The gays and their divas, like the sun and a sunburn.

by Anonymousreply 9311/20/2012

R78. That video was brilliant! Thanks for posting.

by Anonymousreply 9411/20/2012

[quote]And Carol Channing was doing it full out, 8 times a week. Taking no short-cuts.

And continued for the next forty years. A one note wonder, and please don't drag out "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", the show and her performance are loooong forgotten. The female Yul Brenner.

by Anonymousreply 9511/20/2012

R90 George Reeder who was in the original cast confirms the various watered down versions of Funny Girl.

Sometimes she wasn't up to doing the whole two and a half hours eight times a week. George Reeder recalled that there were three versions of the show, and which they did ay any given performance depended on Barbra. "There was the full version, then a shorter version where she wouldn't do one or two of the reprises. In the shortest version we'd eliminate entire scenes and all of the reprises except 'Don't Rain on My Parade' at the end"


-Streisand, Her Life By James Spada Page 176

You wanted proof Charlie, there is your proof. If you think original Funny Girl cast member George Reeder is lying, take it up with him.

Again people pay good money, and wait months to see a Broadway show. They deserve nothing less than 100% of a performance.

That is BROADWAY. Period.

If it was draining on her, then maybe TPTB should have cancelled Matinees and focused her on one performance a night. Have an understudy do the Matinees.

by Anonymousreply 9611/20/2012

Have the book R96- James Spada is a hack- and most of his book is a halo about Barbra- he is a huge "fan". He gets just about everything wrong. It sucks. The other really bad one was written by Anne Edwards. I suppose I will get around to reading the new one by Mann although it cannot be better than:

In my opinion, by far the most interesting and I imagine accurate account of Streisand was written by her old friend/mentor/lover Barre Denin (sp?) I think he nails her including her later self because part of the book is a negotiation between Barbra and Barre over letting him use some of her letters (I think). In the book he goes over each of their interpretations of past events letting the reader decide where the truth lies. And he does not sugar coat Barbra preparing for her Funny Girl role which was somewhat harrowing. My guess is that she was at the height of her career insecurity after that success- in part because she could not grasp all that had happened in less than 5 years.

Barre was clearly hurt by Barbra, but she has a pretty good case for being hurt by him as well. It's a good read- short too. It just rings true because he really was close to her. It is also a great look at the Village in the early 60s. It's not unlike Patti Smith's book about herself and Robt Maplethorpe (10 years later).

by Anonymousreply 9711/20/2012

Charlie this is not about James Spada.

That is George Reeder's OWN WORDS.

He was in the original cast.

Again if you think he is lying, take it up with him.

But Original Funny Girl cast member George Reeder stands by his statement.

by Anonymousreply 9811/20/2012

For Charlie more proof about the 'watered down' versions of Funny Girl

Barbra Streisand performed the role of Fanny Brice on Broadway through December 26, 1965.

There was a group of young theater fans who saw Funny Girl numerous times and were aware of any changes that Barbra integrated during the run of the show.

One of these fans recalled, “We had many adventures with Barbra, Elliott, Roslyn [Kind], and Diana [Kind]. The group saw hundreds of performances of Funny Girl.”

As the first year of Funny Girl came to a close, Barbra's theater groupies noticed that Streisand started performing shorter versions of the show for audiences.

“Wednesday matinees were the shortest performances,” one fan told Barbra Archives, “with the least amount of material. Barbra cut the second choruses of most of her numbers. (e.g. ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ ended with ‘Hey Mr. Arnstein here I am!’).”

The fan recalled that on closing night Barbra “did the full show, with more emotion than she had on opening night.”

by Anonymousreply 9911/20/2012

The Barbra Archives online (which I'm surprised isn't ran by charlie) quotes fans saying she performed shortened versions. Obviously not the most reliable source. But her repeated references to becoming neurotic during the run of the show suggest that it's not unbelievable that she would cut sections.

The only thing I can't imagine is how this would be handled. There would probably need to be a second mark-up of the score or a rehearsal of the shortened versions for the stage hands and orchestra. With Verdon, cutting "Where Am I Going" would mean just moving to the next scene in the restaurant, a clean break in the show.

by Anonymousreply 10011/20/2012

Would love to know how many people here who speak with such assurance actually saw either show when they first opened. I did, and although I am second to none in my adoration of Streisand, Channing was incandescent in that role and I very likely would have voted for her myself. And also, as many have said when wondering about certain shows winning over certain others, never bet against the show (or performer) who makes the audience feel joyous.

by Anonymousreply 10111/20/2012

I see Barbra Streisand as a prima dona who didn't want to do the work when she should have. She was so spoiled. She never realized that the world didn't revolve around her -- even at the beginning of her career.

She did a shortened show because she's a tired 23 year old. She hated the stage did a shitty performance and wanted out. She acted unprofessionally and always thought she was a professional. Carol knew what it took and was willing to go out there and do the publicity, do the show. No matter how good her voice, there is no excuse for Streisand's egotism in the theater.

by Anonymousreply 10211/20/2012

In defense of Barbra, you have to understand her meteoric surge to superstardom in the early 60s.

Of course, she got bored with Funny Girl!

She was only a 22 year old kid and, while she understood the show was catapulting her to a new level, she also knew she was trapped in it for 2 years on Broadway and then another year in London.

Do you realize how long 3 years appear to a kid of that age who knows the world is beckoning her on to Hollywood films and all sorts of other temptations?

by Anonymousreply 10311/20/2012

R103, how about being a true professional? She was 23, not 3!!!

by Anonymousreply 10511/20/2012

One of the examples you give of a show that revolves around one performer--Victor/Victoria--caused Julie Andrews such vocal strain that she ended up losing her voice for good. It has already been said that actresses playing Evita had their understudies do the matinees. This was not an option for Streisand because her audiences came to see her and her only and when an understudy was announced, they stormed the box office wanting a refund. So, again, I'll say: if you have a two and a half hour show which revolves around you, features you in nearly every scene and every song and you feel like cutting fifteen minutes of length during one or two of the eight shows a week, well, who wouldn't? Those of you who cannot understand this have obviously never performed a day in your life.

by Anonymousreply 10611/20/2012

r103, I agree that's completely a bullshit defense.

A 23 year-old is an adult in anyone's eyes, and has to live up to her commitments.

by Anonymousreply 10711/20/2012

I saw Funny Girl very early in the run and she was electric and did the whole show. Later on she cut Who Are You Now. I saw Sweet Charity twice: the first time Verdon did the whole shoe; the second time she cut Where Am I Going? She also cut a song from Redhead when she was in that.

by Anonymousreply 10811/20/2012

That's because it is not unusual, despite what one or two trolls on this thread are loudly proclaiming. It is absolutely common practice for a song or a reprise to be cut later in the run. Like it or not, many have done it. The wear and tear on the vocal cords is one reason. It is not easy to sing eight shows a week. You've got to be in tip top shape all the time to sing a difficult score like Funny Girl, Sweet Charity, Victor/Victoria. Nobody is at their best every single day.

by Anonymousreply 10911/20/2012

And Funny Girl and Sweet Charity were before body mics.

Overall subtle amplification, yes, but nothing like what we have today.

by Anonymousreply 11011/21/2012

Fucking fuck! WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT WHO WON A FUCKING TONY IN 1964? Some of you fags are just insane. I'm gay and I never give a fuck about who wins what award, especially from 48 years ago! Get a life.

by Anonymousreply 11111/21/2012

Exactly R106. They belong to the brigade that thinks you should do 8 shows a week and then sign autographs for 90 minutes after every performance. These people are clueless obsessives, holding performers to impossible standards. Luckily, they don't make the rules.

by Anonymousreply 11211/21/2012

R111, perhaps you should get one too. That might calm you down. And you can find other things to do than read a thread you're not interested in.

by Anonymousreply 11311/21/2012

Hoping R106 goes to Wicked and they decide to leave out Defying Gravity. Y'know, cos the actresses were tired!

Also, V/V didn't cause Julie Andrews voice to go. It may have strained it, but plenty of other actresses have played it since. And Sweet Charity isn't a difficult score to sing. No score that Gwen Verdon ever took on was a difficult sing.

I see you've ignored Jackman in The Boy from Oz. When an audience pays to see a show they should get getting what the authors put together, and what people on every other night are getting. Streisand and Verdon cutting primarily on matinees shows so much disrespect.

And "you get up there and do it!" doesn't cut it as a way of defending them.

by Anonymousreply 11411/21/2012

R112, in 1981, 64 year old Lena Horne played 8 shows a week and then signed autographs for 90 minutes after every performance. And she sang ALL of the songs in the over 2 hr show.

If you care about the show, you do it. Why couldn't a 22-23 year old Barbra Streisand handle what a 64 year old could? Streisand took the show's success for granted.

by Anonymousreply 11511/21/2012

Interesting that Charlie has vanished from this thread. After all he was the one who proclaimed that people didn't offer one iota of proof that Babs did shortened versions of Funny Girl.

And when proof is offered, he seems to have disappeared. Charlie can dish it out, but can't take it when he is proven wrong.

In terms of justifying Babs doing shortened versions, if it was anyone else there would be such outrage.

But because it is Babs, she gets a free pass.

She herself described her time in the show as 'prison' a 'nightmare' and was totally bored with the show.

The shorter versions where because she totally bored, not because it was hard and exhausting.

One more time, there is NO excuse for cheating the audience with doing half a show.

People pay good money, wait months to see a show. Performers should give no less than 100% on every night.

That is Broadway. Period.

That is being a professional on stage.

And one reason why Babs has never returned to Broadway. The repetition, the same scenes over and over again.

by Anonymousreply 11611/21/2012

Let's get back to li'l ol' me!!!

by Anonymousreply 11711/21/2012

Streisand's boredom had a lot to do with her immaturity, r116, and the press encouraged her to say such things -- every idiotic thing she said at the time was thought to be "cute" and "kooky." Notice how she says stuff like that now and expects the press to treat it the same way? LOL.

by Anonymousreply 11811/21/2012

[quote] you should do 8 shows a week and then sign autographs for 90 minutes after every performance.


by Anonymousreply 11911/21/2012

Here's footage from the hoopla surrounding the opening night of Funny Girl. It was the biggest opening night in Broadway history. Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Noel Coward, Sophia Loren, Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn, Ethel Merman, Sophie Tucker, Lauren Bacall, Natalie Wood, Ed Sullivan, Elizabeth Taylor were all there.

by Anonymousreply 12011/21/2012

R116- I do have other things to do than post on DL 24/7. And R102- James Spada? James Spada is about as truthful about anything he has written about, including most of the syrupy praise in his bio of Streisand, aas Rush Limbaugh on Obama. Spada is a hack, a nice hack, but a hack.

Shows are often altered after they open. I do not doubt that Funny Girl was- it was too long according to critics. But you can be certain that the call was not Streisand's. Ray Stark had total contractual control over both the play and the movie. That is why talk of Streisand trimming parts to emphasize herself in the movie are bullshit. She simply did not have the legal authority to do so in either case. She did later in her career, but not at all with her first 3 pictures.

Jesus Christ, one of the greatest star performances in the history of the musical theatre and a bunch of queens who were not alive at the time deciding on how it was- idiocy.

Read the Barre Denin book about Barbra's early career and decide for yourself the "truth" about Streisand during this period of her career. It's ten times more interesting than the silly stuff on this thread. By the way- she went on to London after B'way with Funny Girl with repeated success. I suppose she walked through it all over there too.

You know fellas- it does not make sense that a singularly ambitious and hard working performer would not do her best, as much as she possibly could- one with a reputation as a perfectionist. I wonder which dig is more true or accurate? Being bored with a show does not mean you don't give it your best. I'm sure Channing got bored too- but was just too wise (and appreciative) to say otherwise.

Anyway- two of the greatest performances of their time- and all time.

by Anonymousreply 12111/21/2012

There are posters who talk about "every time she missed perfomances", but it was my understanding that she missed almost none. Is that correct?

by Anonymousreply 12211/21/2012

charlie, the name is Barry Dennen, not Barre Denin.

by Anonymousreply 12311/21/2012

[quote]I do have other things to do than post on DL 24/7.

Wow, you could have fooled us.

by Anonymousreply 12411/21/2012

Mimi Hines, Streisand's replacement, also did shortened versions of the show. I have a live recording where she ends Act I with "Hey, Mr. Arnstein - here I am".


I stopped listening at that point.

by Anonymousreply 12511/21/2012

On book jacket of "My Life with Barbra", he spells his first name Barre- as for the last- that's why I put a (?) after it the first time I wrote it. Could not remember that part. I did think is kind of pretentious to spell "Barry" that way, but that's how it appears on the cover.

R124, get together with R116 and decide which one of you is correct.

by Anonymousreply 12611/21/2012

charlie, you blithering idiot, the copy of My Life with Barbra that I am holding in my hand right this very minute says BARRY DENNEN -- on the cover, on the spine, all through the book. No Barre.

by Anonymousreply 12711/21/2012

More proof:

by Anonymousreply 12811/21/2012

Charlie why don't you ever read posts?

You say at r90

[quote] no one here has offered an iota of proof that Streisand had the show trimmed. And no one I know in the last 40 years has ever suggested it.

As I had said in R98

Charlie this is not about James Spada.

That is George Reeder's OWN WORDS.

He was in the original cast.

Again if you think he is lying, take it up with him.

But Original Funny Girl cast member George Reeder stands by his statement.

by Anonymousreply 12911/21/2012

Who the fuck is George Reeder other than possibly some forgottem embittered chorus boy who never found any real show biz success that his word should be believed?

I mean, perhaps he's telling the truth but what is known about him that he should be trusted as a paragon of anything?

by Anonymousreply 13011/21/2012

Charlie kills me. It's perfectly fine for him to call other singers stupid if they don't fit his criteria, but when it comes to Streisand it's blasphemy to suggest she's anything less than completely perfect all of the time.

Give me a break. And Streisand can be as flaky and weird as the best of them.

by Anonymousreply 13111/21/2012

Inga Swenson should have won for 110 in the Shade.

Channing second.

Streisand a distant third.

by Anonymousreply 13211/21/2012

George Reeder was in the original cast of Funny Girl. He also was the understudy to Sydney Chaplain.

Like I said if you think he is lying, then take it up with him.

by Anonymousreply 13311/21/2012

R133, please provide us with contact details for Funny Girl Original Cast Member George Reeder.

by Anonymousreply 13411/21/2012

George Reeder at Link Below

by Anonymousreply 13511/21/2012

Charlie is right a bout Barry Dennin's first name. It is actually spelled Barre with an accented e at the end. If you don't like it, take it up with his mother who gave it to him. But he goes by Barry because he obviously realizes how pretentious it looks. It was always pronounced Barry, by the way, and not BahrAY.

by Anonymousreply 13611/21/2012

[quote]I mean, perhaps he's telling the truth but what is known about him that he should be trusted as a paragon of anything?

He's bound to be more sane and sober than the crazed Barbra queens on this thread.

by Anonymousreply 13711/21/2012

[quote]the copy of My Life with Barbra that I am holding in my hand right this very minute says BARRY DENNEN -- on the cover, on the spine, all through the book. No Barre.

I think Dennen's given name was Barre. He changed it to Barry later. I remember reading this either in his book or in one of the other Streisand books.

The article below also refers to him as Barre.

by Anonymousreply 13811/21/2012

So Barre Dennen and Barbra both refuse to have regular spellings for their names?

Does Ballet Barre also have perfect fingernails?

by Anonymousreply 13911/21/2012

[quote]IIRC, also nominated that year were Carol Burnett for Fade Out, Fade In, Bea Lillie for High Spirits and Inga Swenson for 110 in the Shade.

"Fade Out, Fade In" was the following year (1965) and the only nomination it got was for Jack Cassidy. Carol wasn't nominated. Inga Swenson was nominated again in '65 for Lead Actress in "Baker Street," but lost to Liza Minnelli.

by Anonymousreply 14011/21/2012

I'm wondering if the performances that Barbra shortchanged were the ones in which she had to co-star with George Reeder as Nicky Arnstein?

by Anonymousreply 14111/21/2012

[quote]That is why talk of Streisand trimming parts to emphasize herself in the movie are bullshit.

I beg to differ

by Anonymousreply 14211/22/2012

Love this thread.

The one thing I still believe: it's a shame Barbara never returned to Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 14311/22/2012

Burnett's "Fade In, Fade Out" open exactly two months after "Funny Girl." The former show opened too late to be included in the Tony Awards that year...same thing that happened to Merman's "Gypsy."

by Anonymousreply 14411/22/2012

Now that this has been settled:

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical 1962: Who deserved the Tony, Phyllis Newman or Barbra Streisand?

by Anonymousreply 14511/22/2012

It doesn't matter whether Barry Dennen was called Barry or born Barre -- charlie told us Barre was on his book and it was not. Another lie.

by Anonymousreply 14611/22/2012

I saw both Streisand & Newman in their respective roles. I would have voted for Newman because her role was bigger, and she played a more complex character so well.

To continue...

I also saw Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly. I would have voted for Streisand by a mile.

Finally, On Mary Martin in TSOM and Ethel Merman in Gypsy. This is easily the most difficult. Merman was sensational. But Martin was beloved, especially because of the live TV broadcasts of "Peter Pan." She was the only Broadway star who regularly received high TV ratings. And no one ever accused Martin of walking through a performance. Utimately, I would have voted for Merman because she gave the better performance. Tough, tough decision.

by Anonymousreply 14711/22/2012

r147, the TV broadcast of Peter Pan was in 1960 -- several years after the MM-EM Tony battle.

by Anonymousreply 14811/22/2012

"the TV broadcast of Peter Pan was in 1960 -- several years after the MM-EM Tony battle."

"Peter Pan" was broadcast live in 1955 right after the Broadway show closed, and live again in 1956 (both times) on NBC. I'm sure because I watched both telecasts. When watching Martin in "The Sound of Music," in mid-1960, several times she reminded me of her Peter Pan performaces in the mid-1950.

There is a 1960 version that was recorded in color, and most importantly not live. Martin was always too old for the part but stikingly so in 1960, and it was broacast sevral months after the 1960 Tony voting (not years).

by Anonymousreply 14911/22/2012

[quote]the TV broadcast of Peter Pan was in 1960 -- several years after the MM-EM Tony battle.


by Anonymousreply 15011/22/2012

You gotta understand that when Peter Pan was broadcast live those two years, EVERYONE in America was watching. For one thing, there were only a couple of other choices and no Tivo.

So even by 1960 her performance was well-remembered and beloved.

Unlike Merman, who great as she was in Gypsy, never came across well on TV.

by Anonymousreply 15111/22/2012

Isn't there a kinescope around of the second Martin live broadcast?

I was a kid when they reran the 1960 broadcast - I think they reran it once a year, in fact - sometime around the late 1960s - and I remember reading about the other broadcasts, but this was a big deal (the 1960 one) because of the color.

by Anonymousreply 15211/22/2012

Classical music and Broadway performers were royalty on TV in the 1950s.

Mary Martin did a TV special almost every year. She was careful to pick projects that appealed to children, older people, and sometimes people who rarely watched TV. The 1959 programs were broadcast live just months before "The Sound of Music" opened in New York.

Some examples:

1955: "Together with Music" 90-minutes live with Noel Coward

1957: "Annie Get Your Gun" two hours live with John Raitt

1959, Easter Sunday: "Magic with Mary Martin" for kids in the afternoon & "Music with Mary Martin" for adults in the evening

by Anonymousreply 15311/22/2012

Martin was beloved, but she was also wonderful onstage. It wasn't just admiration that won her the Tony.

by Anonymousreply 15411/23/2012

I'm Broadway's "Star of the Decade." From now on, please address me as "Barbra Streisand, Star of the Decade." Thank you, and God bless.

by Anonymousreply 15511/23/2012


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I needed a major guffaw.

by Anonymousreply 15611/23/2012

R155, that decade ended 42 years ago. Plus Babs never mentions god.

by Anonymousreply 15711/23/2012

That's it?

by Anonymousreply 15811/26/2012

It is on the book jacket I have R146.

by Anonymousreply 15911/26/2012

So Charlie will you now concede that Babs had three different versions of Funny Girl at her disposal to perform.

You said no one offered one iota of proof (your words) but we have.

So know will you admit that you were wrong?

by Anonymousreply 16011/26/2012

PROVE IT. Take a picture and upload it.

by Anonymousreply 16111/26/2012
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