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DL vocalists: Why is Rogers and Hamersteins' If I Loved You so difficult to sing.

This popular song from the musical Carousel has been recorded by many artists. IMO the recording made by Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae from the Broadway run is still the best.

MacRae is perfection. Shirley Jones is close to it. Other artists' recordings sound pitiful in comparison, even Barbra's.

Why is this song so difficult to sing well?

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by Anonymousreply 277November 27, 2021 12:29 AM

Freebie: it’s Richard Rodgers, not Rogers.

There are many great versions - including Streisand. Barbara Cook and Nancy Lamott did very soulful takes. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who could handle the song vocally who has turned in a bad performance. People who can’t handle it rarely try.

It’s a lot of long sustained phrases, has a range that requires a seamless flip in vocal register, and has a lyric that is mostly about subtext. Really, it’s one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best songs.

by Anonymousreply 1November 18, 2021 2:32 AM

[quote]IMO the recording made by Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae from the Broadway run is still the best.

They were in the movie, not the Broadway show.

Frank Sinatra was supposed to make the movie but walked out at the last minute (on location in Maine). He sang it later w/Shirley on his TV show.

Why is it hard to sing?

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by Anonymousreply 2November 18, 2021 2:33 AM

Shirley Jones was once asked whether it would have been a better movie if Frank Sinatra had played Billy (he refused to do it in the end because they insisted on filming every scene twice--one with the regular cameras, and once with the Todd AO cameras--and Sinatra hated doing more than one take, and said if they wanted to film it twice they would have to double his salary).

She suggested Sinatra would likely have acted it better, but said firmly no one could ever have sung the score better than MacRae did. I think she's right--his voice is perfectly made for the part.

by Anonymousreply 3November 18, 2021 2:37 AM

^^ Shirley was obliged to sing in a lower key here to accomodate Sinatra who sounds very good. Not Gordon MacRae, but very good.

by Anonymousreply 4November 18, 2021 2:40 AM

R1. Barbra's recording IMO is awful. Terrible phrasing, pauses, etc.

by Anonymousreply 5November 18, 2021 2:42 AM

Gordon MacRae sang beautifully. He didn't look very good. He looked like he aged 10 years since his Doris Day musicals 2-3 years earlier. His acting was pretty good, it's true Sinatra would have acted it better.

Sinatra didn't like doing more than one take because he had no acting technique and only felt he could appear spontaneous on the first take. After that, he felt he got worse. Though sometimes he had to do more than one take, or course.

Not sure that was the actual reason he walked off the film.

by Anonymousreply 6November 18, 2021 2:47 AM

Just listened to the Barbara Cook recording and I don't find it pleasing to my ear as she seems to be struggling with breath control which is one of the challenges of this song as pointed out by R1.

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by Anonymousreply 7November 18, 2021 2:56 AM

I don't think Frank Sinatra had the physical stature to play Billy. MacRae was believable as a menacing bully. OK perhaps a bit over the top, but skinny little Frank in the role doesn't appeal.

by Anonymousreply 8November 18, 2021 3:04 AM

Who sings it well and who ruins the song is strictly a matter of opinion. It also important to consider that many singers recorded the song more than once, so you have to be specific when pointing out strengths or flaws in a performance...

That said, it is a very difficult song for most singers. Why? First off, it's a song with long, sustained vocal lines. It has places where you can clearly breathe -but they can be farther apart than most people can handle. Rodgers wrote it for experienced, trained singers. Another thing that makes it a difficult song to pull off is that the melody contains a lot of challenging intervals (the distance between the notes) that are hard to sing in tune. Because of these things, music directors will often ask a singer to do this song at an audition or callback. There is no place to "hide" in the song -either you have the vocal technique or you do not. And if you do, the song provides a serious acting challenge that shows who is a singer and who is a singer-actor. It's like a musical striptease. At the end you are laid bare for all the world to see your flaws. This is even more true in a production of Carousel where the song exists as part of an extended musical scene, with many different musical sections and transitions to navigate in a single take, eight times a week.

by Anonymousreply 9November 18, 2021 3:22 AM

[quote] Freebie: it’s Richard Rodgers, not Rogers.

You would mention this, R1, but nothing for OP’s silly “Hamerstein” flub? You are disqualified. Back to the training program with you.

by Anonymousreply 10November 18, 2021 3:28 AM

It was a pop hit for Chad & Jeremy during the British Invasion.

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by Anonymousreply 11November 18, 2021 3:42 AM

From the sublime....

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by Anonymousreply 12November 18, 2021 3:47 AM

To the schmaltzy..

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by Anonymousreply 13November 18, 2021 3:49 AM

Studio recording with Jan Clayton and John Raitt

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by Anonymousreply 14November 18, 2021 3:50 AM

I cracked up when Barbra interpolated a Barbara note for the climax at “never, never to KNOW.” But she also clearly cracked there, as you can hear from the obvious splice that follows.

by Anonymousreply 15November 18, 2021 3:52 AM

A BARBRA note.

by Anonymousreply 16November 18, 2021 3:52 AM

More schmaltz...

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by Anonymousreply 17November 18, 2021 3:53 AM

Back towards sublime end of things...

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by Anonymousreply 18November 18, 2021 3:53 AM

Julian Ovenden & Sierra Boggess, not that bad....

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by Anonymousreply 19November 18, 2021 3:54 AM

Here, OP. This is exceptionally well performed.

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by Anonymousreply 20November 18, 2021 3:56 AM

College junior sings it .

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by Anonymousreply 21November 18, 2021 3:56 AM

Michael-Hayden, and Sally Murphy in 1994 revival...

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by Anonymousreply 22November 18, 2021 4:00 AM

This bit from Playbill about 1994 revival sums things up in regards to OP's query.

Carousel wants actors who are also singers with trained legitimate voices. Going back years this was pretty much the standard formula. But it was also somewhat easier to find actors with enough drawing power who also had legit trained voices. Today of course it's largely other way round, drawing power trumps voice, so accommodations often must be made.

There was of course some variation, musicals by Sondheim often have starring actors who don't have much of an instrument. But with right number (read a song more spoken than sung such as "Send In The Clowns"), they're fine....

If I Loved You has become one of those Broadway standards that everyone who sings (or think that is what they're doing), feels they must perform. Like those poor deluded but well meaning souls who get up in church and try to belt out "Climb Every Mountain..."

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by Anonymousreply 23November 18, 2021 4:09 AM

Jan Clayton was one of the many leading ladies Richard Rodgers fucked, like Shirley Jones and Diahann Carroll.

He just adored her voice, as did Hammerstein and Jerome Kern, who together wrote the song "Nobody Else But Me"- especially for her when she starred in the first revival of "Show Boat." It's a song I just love because the lyric is about the virtues of being simple while the music is some of the most complex Kern ever wrote (the key keeps changing every few bars).

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by Anonymousreply 24November 18, 2021 4:23 AM

[quote] Gordon MacRae sang beautifully. He didn't look very good.

I don't know when it started to be obvious but he was a hopeless drunk. In "Oklahoma!" his face is puffy and red. His wife was Sheila MacRae. She wrote a hilariously trashy memoir called "Hollywood Mother of the Year" in which she recounts her brilliant career (snort) and the timeless, deathless love she and "Gordie" shared. He gambled away their earnings and wrecked their finances and drank and drank and drank but she said she probably would not have divorced him if he had remained the "lusty lover" he once had been. She said they would have sex every day, sometimes several times a day. She reiterates that she was a "wanton" who couldn't get enough of sex. She also reiterated that she was a gorgeous, incredibly talented goddess and men were constantly wanting her bod. But she, being the moral and devoted wife that she is, she would never dream of cheating on Gordie. At one point in the memoir she actually says "Nervously, I clutched my pearls", when Lyndon Johnson makes a pass at her. Some of the dialogue she attributes to characters in her memoir are lines from movies. Like I said, her memoir is hilarious trash.

by Anonymousreply 25November 18, 2021 4:25 AM

[quote]I don't think Frank Sinatra had the physical stature to play Billy. MacRae was believable as a menacing bully. OK perhaps a bit over the top, but skinny little Frank in the role doesn't appeal.

Billy Bigelow isn't a menacing bully. Carousel is based on Ferenc Molnar's Liliom, which was played by smallish actors like Joseph Schildkraut, Charles Boyer and Burgess Meredith. Obviously Rodgers & Hammerstein as well as a lot of other people approved of the casting.

by Anonymousreply 26November 18, 2021 4:33 AM

R6 Some have said that Sinatra needed to get back to wife Ava Gardner who had threatened to have an affair with Clark Gable.

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by Anonymousreply 27November 18, 2021 4:55 AM

OP here, thank you for all of the above. Are you of the opinion then that If I Loved You may be the most important song in musical theatre ever composed?

It's such a gorgeous piece. If I composed one song this lovely in all my life I would be a very grateful man.

by Anonymousreply 28November 18, 2021 5:31 AM

John Raitt's voice in the clips above make me want to marry him. He was hot, too.

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by Anonymousreply 29November 18, 2021 5:41 AM

Yeah baby!

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by Anonymousreply 30November 18, 2021 5:48 AM

I never found "If I Loved You" a hard song to sing, at least not for men. It's a pretty standard old school musical theatre song, and it's not particularly demanding vocally. A singer with intermediate vocal technique can sound excellent on it.

It depends on how your voice is conditioned. If you have a big voice that's pretty vibratoey, it's a pretty easy song to sing and sound good on, and if you're used to singing that way, it's much harder to sound good on a Backstreet Boys or NSYNC song, to be honest.

The hardest songs for men to sing would be anything by Freddie Mercury because of its range, or anything by Brendon Urie (who is probably the best contemporary male vocalist at this time).

by Anonymousreply 31November 18, 2021 5:48 AM

Gordon and Sheila on What's My Line directly after visiting the White House. Gordon can't get a word in.

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by Anonymousreply 32November 18, 2021 5:51 AM

I liked Robert Goulet's version of this song. And he made a handsome Billy Bigelow, too.

by Anonymousreply 33November 18, 2021 6:12 AM

[Quote]There is no place to "hide" in the song -either you have the vocal technique or you do not.

Yes, this and phrasing is important, isn't it? On a few recordings I've heard "words wouldn't come in an eezeee waaayah". It grates. I find this song very difficult to sing WELL.

by Anonymousreply 34November 18, 2021 6:13 AM

Was it Goulet's 'If I Loved You' that made Elvis shoot out the TV screen in his Las Vegas suite?

by Anonymousreply 35November 18, 2021 6:19 AM

[quote] Was it Goulet's 'If I Loved You' that made Elvis shoot out the TV screen in his Las Vegas suite?

Uh, no. He just disliked Goulet for some reason. Maybe he was jealous of Goulet, who was a handsome black haired man with a great voice. Elvis was very immature.

by Anonymousreply 36November 18, 2021 6:25 AM

I wish Bonnie Raitt would record some “duets” with her dad a la Natalie Cole.

by Anonymousreply 37November 18, 2021 7:13 AM

Unless you're talking about using same technology that Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, and others used to create their "duets" recordings, I shouldn't bother.

By time Bonnie Raitt hit her stride John Raitt's instrument was shot.

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by Anonymousreply 38November 18, 2021 7:25 AM


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by Anonymousreply 39November 18, 2021 7:35 AM

IMHO there are more difficult songs from musical theatre for males than IILY.

There's Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) for a start.

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by Anonymousreply 40November 18, 2021 7:39 AM

Bring Him Home from Les Miserables also comes to mind.

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by Anonymousreply 41November 18, 2021 7:42 AM

Elvis probably disliked Robert Goulet in large part for professional reasons.

Though he did make an attempt (god bless his soul) IILY was just beyond Elvis's technical capabilities.

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by Anonymousreply 42November 18, 2021 8:21 AM

I love this thread.

I'll make the obvious observation that acting talent is necessary in "If I Loved You" to transition from the evasive, disingenuous, "No , I don't" when asked if they love each other to the truth : that they've fallen in love with each other at first sight.

As a kid, seeing the film for the first time, when I first watched Shirley Jones and Gordon McCrae transition from lying to each other, then to heartfelt truth cloaked in the word "If", it thrilled me.

Sentimental fool that I am, I get kinda teary-eyed at the poignancy of "If I Loved You"; such unsurpassed beautiful words and melody...

by Anonymousreply 43November 18, 2021 12:08 PM

[quote]She also reiterated that she was a gorgeous, incredibly talented goddess and men were constantly wanting her bod.

I couldn't keep my hands off her. She was a great piece of ass.

by Anonymousreply 44November 18, 2021 1:14 PM

Billy and Julie aren't lying. They mean every word they say.

Everything that leads up to "If I Loved You" is consistent. Marriage isn't for them and they articulate their reasons for that decision. But Fate has other plans for them. Fate and Richard Rodgers, who helps Fate along with the most achingly romantic music every written. Add a little sexual chemistry and all their plans and convictions go off the tracks.

Combine that with some acacia blossoms and it doesn't matter what you think or what you say, when Fate steps in, you're toast.

by Anonymousreply 45November 18, 2021 1:20 PM

Too bad we will never see Carousel again until Broadway becomes un-woke.

by Anonymousreply 46November 18, 2021 1:56 PM

I've been in piano bars where everyone sang it without injury.

by Anonymousreply 47November 18, 2021 2:20 PM

"If I Loved You" is the classic "conditional love song."

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by Anonymousreply 48November 18, 2021 3:00 PM

It's the second act reprise that brings me to tears every time.

"Soon you'll leave me Never ever to know to know How I loved you How I loved you.

It's very personal reasons I won't go into.

by Anonymousreply 49November 18, 2021 3:50 PM

Laura Osnes @ r20 really nails this song IMO. And with only a piano. Fablous.

by Anonymousreply 50November 18, 2021 5:12 PM

I was interested to hear what Tony Bennett did with 'If I Loved You' but no, according to his song list he never recorded it which seems odd on first consideration.

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by Anonymousreply 51November 18, 2021 5:24 PM

I'm impressed with vocalists who can sing well while seated like Jan Clayton and Patrick Lawrence above. Many voice coaches will ask artists to practice singing seated and lying down to learn to project and hold notes under stress.

I was talking to a gay cousin who is a flamenco dancer about how the flamenco ladies project so forcefully while seated and he explained they lean forward on the pelvis to open things up. Here is a good example

I realize the music is not to everyone's liking, but it's a good example. I'm a Spaniard from southern Spin so I live for this.

Jan Clayton appears to sing "If I Loved You" in this position as well.

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by Anonymousreply 52November 18, 2021 7:08 PM

Lola Flores lives in you, R52!

by Anonymousreply 53November 18, 2021 8:04 PM

r50 Haven't you heard? We hate Laura Osnes now.

by Anonymousreply 54November 18, 2021 8:20 PM

R49 = Joan Crawford

by Anonymousreply 55November 18, 2021 8:25 PM

R53. She does. In fact we are from the same city, Jerez.

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by Anonymousreply 56November 18, 2021 10:03 PM

[Quote]Haven't you heard? We hate Laura Osnes now.

Kindly remind me why again.

by Anonymousreply 57November 18, 2021 10:21 PM

For r57

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by Anonymousreply 58November 18, 2021 11:01 PM

^^ Oh, dear. It reminds me that I was in Walmart last week to get a Covid booster. Two guys were in line to get their FIRST shot. Up until now they had been too apprehensive.

by Anonymousreply 59November 19, 2021 12:14 AM

"Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables is garbage compared to "If I Loved You".

RE: Jan Clayton. I'll always remember from "Lassie".

Instead of New England the story of Liliom should have been placed in New Orleans. What a missed opportunity. It's the one setting in the US that would have all of the elements: the sea, religion, superstition, violence, music....etc.

by Anonymousreply 60November 19, 2021 12:41 AM

That is hilarious, R25. I only remember her peddling detergent when I was a kid.

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by Anonymousreply 61November 19, 2021 12:51 AM

My gosh, the staging in the clip at R12 is light-years better than the film.

For the film, why in the world did they go with blocking that was so awkward? Why did they abandon the bench? And the lovely and significant moment with the flower petals?

Shirley Jones is lovely but Jan Clayton is on a whole other level. Her acting is superb. And John Raitt is sexy and powerful. They reveal the sentiment of the lyrics in a way Jones and MacCrea barely tap.

by Anonymousreply 62November 19, 2021 1:04 AM

And the clip with Sinatra. So simple and beautifully done. An era that is long gone. Prime time TV today would have no time for something like that.

Sinatra had an easy natural "speaking" quality to his voice when he sang that 's wonderful with those lyrics.

by Anonymousreply 63November 19, 2021 1:13 AM

[Quote]My gosh, the staging in the clip at [R12] is light-years better than the film.

I a gree. The blocking in the film is strange. Awkward. The eye jumps all over the screen. And those goddam trees!

by Anonymousreply 64November 19, 2021 2:25 AM

Buck could sing it.

by Anonymousreply 65November 19, 2021 2:49 AM

Combine that with some acacia blossoms and it doesn't matter what you think or what you say, when Fate steps in, you're toast.

R45 I don't think they were acacia blossoms, this takes place in Maine.

by Anonymousreply 66November 19, 2021 3:14 AM

Nope, R66. They are acacias. If not in CAROUSEL, then certainly in LILIOM.

[quote]The dialogue about blossoms and the wind originates in Liliom, the play by Ferenc Molnàr, which is the source material for Carousel (they are acacia blossoms specifically). This is exquisite poetic metaphor. Hammerstein is clever enough not to musicalize these metaphors – that would be unbelievably corny – so he uses them as part of the interstitial dialogue. The blossoms – and their incipient descent to earth – represent Julie’s emotional vulnerability and her actual virginity.

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by Anonymousreply 67November 19, 2021 3:57 AM

You are 100% wrong, r67. An acacia tree is a tropical tree that does not grown in either Hungary or Maine, regardless of what your link says . A black locust is called a false acacia or Hungarian acacia, but it is not an acacia tree.

by Anonymousreply 68November 19, 2021 4:07 AM

Acacias are specifically mentioned in the play. That's the point being made.

by Anonymousreply 69November 19, 2021 4:14 AM

R&H briefly considered placing Carousel in New Orleans as did the creatives of both La Cage aux Folles on Broadway and the film The Birdcage. I guess they all had their reasons for deciding against it.

by Anonymousreply 70November 19, 2021 9:49 AM

When R&H agreed to take on play Liliom and turn it into a musical they both knew at once Budapest, Hungary was O-W-T, out. Year was 1944 when this was playing out and Hungary had allied itself with Nazi Germany during WWII, so for obvious reasons an American musical set in that country wasn't going to happen. But where else to set this musical version of Liliom?

Yes, New Orleans was considered by R&H, but it was felt the dialect and other musical considerations just wouldn't allow that place to work. Eventually a Maine fishing village in years 1873 t0 1888 won out.

New Orleans dialect also likely was one large reason why La Cage and Birdcage weren't set there either.

Of course original film that both were sourced from was French, but a French film is one thing, American actors/singers having to deal with script and musical score with New Orleans creole dialect, and worse making themselves understood to say middle American audiences would be quite another thing.

by Anonymousreply 71November 19, 2021 10:11 AM

Carousel is Rodgers at his most Puccini-esque.

Both Rodgers and Hammerstein said in separate interviews over the years that Carousel was their favorite of all their shows.

It's reminiscent of both Gilbert and Sullivan saying separately that The Yeomen of the Guard was their favorite of their shows. Yeoman was different from the rest of their work together. More romantic and yet more realistic with a lush score.

Carousel is a similar example in the works of R&H.

by Anonymousreply 72November 19, 2021 10:13 AM

Billy Bigelow more sympathetic than the beggar Liliom in Molnar’s play. R&H knew this was crucial if Carousel was to be a success, and Hammerstein took on this softening of Billy Bigelow's image by writing that wonderful piece known as the “Soliloquy” solo. If whoever is cast as BB cannot get this right, then whole thing is lost.

By "right" one does not mean just technical aptitude say by hitting proper notes, he must convey the range of emotions Billy Biegelow feels after learning he is going to be a father. You have a guy who is basically a bastard or worse a no good SOB, he now realizes there is something more important than himself.

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by Anonymousreply 73November 19, 2021 10:44 AM

John Raitt

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by Anonymousreply 74November 19, 2021 10:50 AM

From operatic side of things Mr. Hampson has a go....

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by Anonymousreply 75November 19, 2021 10:52 AM

Joshua Henry and Jessie Mueller!

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by Anonymousreply 76November 19, 2021 10:57 AM

Raitt was a tenor, not a baritone. He was often encouraged to take more vocal lessons and language training so that he could have an operatic career -- he had the voice for it -- but he wasn't interested.

by Anonymousreply 77November 19, 2021 11:03 AM

Well John Raitt did give opera arias a go.....

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by Anonymousreply 78November 19, 2021 11:09 AM

Nathan Gunn

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by Anonymousreply 79November 19, 2021 11:11 AM

Julian Ovenden

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by Anonymousreply 80November 19, 2021 11:13 AM

Gordon MacRae was a fine talent we lost far too soon.

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by Anonymousreply 81November 19, 2021 11:17 AM

FWIW 2018 Broadway revival of Carousel didn't have a very long run. Just wasn't able to overcome certain basic facts about the book which is the musical. You can only put so much lipstick on a pig, but in end it is still a pig. Modern woke or whatever audiences just aren't thrilled about any sort of "entertainment" where a woman is treated badly by a man.

Concert performances seem to be well enough accepted, which is good because don't think Broadway or any other major musical venue is going to do Carousel again anytime soon.

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by Anonymousreply 82November 19, 2021 11:23 AM

NYT review of 2018 production...

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by Anonymousreply 83November 19, 2021 11:24 AM

For those who cannot access NTY, try this review from Variety...

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by Anonymousreply 84November 19, 2021 11:25 AM

Sinatra could have played the part because he was, essentially, a petty criminal his entire life.

by Anonymousreply 85November 19, 2021 11:33 AM

Renee Fleming talks about her Broadway debut in the 2018 production of Carousel.

I'm a bit surprised the Opera crowd/audience didn't keep this production afloat longer.

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by Anonymousreply 86November 19, 2021 12:37 PM

From NYT:

"Though it opened to largely positive reviews and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, the box office has dropped sharply. Ticket sales peaked the week of April 29 at $1,289,712; for the week ending August 5, the show earned $675,660, about 42 percent of its potential."

Who knows why show did so badly at box office. Could have been any number of things from interracial lead cast down to feelings at time about how women were treated in musicals.

Ironically My Fair Lady revival which could be looked at through same lens regarding treatment of women, did rather good box office and had much longer run....

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by Anonymousreply 87November 19, 2021 12:45 PM

Chatter on BroadwayWorld message board

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by Anonymousreply 88November 19, 2021 12:48 PM

^^ The queens trashing the 2018 production on Broadway World are hilarious. There are some very good horrible reviews there. Never heard "eye rape" before. The director gets nailed to the cross for unforgivable sins like cutting key scenes.

by Anonymousreply 89November 19, 2021 1:37 PM

Opera audience would not have kept the revival afloat since neither of the two leads sang particularly well. Renee is well past her prime, and is also vocally wrong for the role which is a mezzo with some Broadway belting ability. Renee is a light lyric soprano. John Raitt was a GREAT American voice. Those type of singers do not exist on Broadway. Opera and Broadway audiences really don’t cross over much any more.

by Anonymousreply 90November 19, 2021 2:01 PM

R87, there is a class of words called articles. Chief among these is the word THE. It's a great little word, and very popular with English speakers. You might want to pepper your speech/writing with it in order to not be mistaken for a Russian troll (Russian doesn't have articles).

by Anonymousreply 91November 19, 2021 4:04 PM

^^^ why do you make this silly comment on this nice thread?

Here is a fun compilation. The first gentleman really nails 'If I Loved You' IMO.

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by Anonymousreply 92November 19, 2021 8:42 PM

Gordon MacRae takes away the gold again with his magnificent performance in Soliloquy in the film. Oh, to sing as he did and to shoot that lovely scene on the beach. Sublime.

by Anonymousreply 93November 19, 2021 9:12 PM

If I Loved You was shot on location in Maine. With MacRae, not Sinatra. (Sinatra pre-recorded the entire score and turned up at the Maine location but I don't think he ever shot any footage, as discussed above.)

At any rate, the location footage was deemed unusable for technical reasons and the scene was re-shot in a Hollywood studio replete with fake foliage and a fake night background. It kills the scene for me which I think is awful because as everyone has commented, despite the abridgements, Jones and MacRae sing it beautifully. But it's so static and visually unconvincing.

A little trivia: The producers' original choice to co-star with Sinatra was Garland. It didn't work out for a variety of reasons.

MacRrae campaigned heavily for the role. He even took the lead in a national tour to prepare himself and get in shape. When he was suddenly in to replace Sinatra, he had to drop out of the tour and it closed.

by Anonymousreply 94November 20, 2021 6:40 AM

Just watched Petticoat Junction on TV. Never paid much attention to credits before so noticed that Meredith MacRae played one of the daughters (Billie Jo Bradley).

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by Anonymousreply 95November 20, 2021 10:38 AM

She was the final Billie Jo. There were three.

by Anonymousreply 96November 20, 2021 2:01 PM

I don't think it would be too much of a desecration just to drop the bit at the end in which undead Billy hits his daughter, thus paving the way for her to become a second generation domestic abuse victim. That's the really nauseating part.

by Anonymousreply 97November 20, 2021 2:18 PM

Not much mention here of the marvelous Nicholas Hytner re-imagining of “Carousel” in 1994. True, Michael Hayden was not the most skilled singer, but he made up for it with pure soul. Not to mention an almost transcendent staging. Truly a luminous production.

by Anonymousreply 98November 20, 2021 2:25 PM

I don’t “like” the hit, but to classify Billy as an abuser is a very modern Puritan take. He loses control - once with Julie, once with his daughter. He is ashamed and regrets it. That doesn’t make it ok, but it is hardly the same as prolonged and repeated abuse.

In contrast, Enoch Snow never hits Carrie. He merely controls every aspect of her life, turns her into a baby factory, and trains an army of nasty Snow children.

Which is worse? Unstable emotions that lead to violence and outbursts? Or passionless arrangements that propagate injustice. Spoiler: it’s not about the answer, it’s about the question.

by Anonymousreply 99November 20, 2021 2:40 PM

For me the problem with Sinatra playing Billy in the film was that he was never convincing in period roles (see The Kissing Bandit, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Can-Can, etc.). He was a lazy actor who could only play his own ring-a-ding self. And. somehow, I just can't picture him and Shirley Jones as a young couple madly and impetuously in love.

by Anonymousreply 100November 20, 2021 2:41 PM

If I Loved You is one of my favorite songs and I can never figure out why I used to think it's from Oklahoma and now I realize the mixup is due to that other ironic number "People Will Say We're in Love" which is a good song but obviously a lesser one in terms of emotional and musical complexity, playful while IILY is profound. I so stupid.

by Anonymousreply 101November 20, 2021 2:58 PM

[quote]Spoiler: it’s not about the answer, it’s about the question.

Oh, gurrl. This is Data Lounge. They don't even understand the question, let alone that it's about the question.

by Anonymousreply 102November 20, 2021 3:09 PM

Thank you, R68 (from R66). I looked up Liliom and found the reference to acacia trees in the dialogue. Acacia trees are from Australia and Africa, they look like this. Maybe there were aacacias in Budapest, but my comment was that they wouldn't be found on the Maine seacoast. I have hung around that area all my life. There aren't a lot of blossoming trees in Maine other than apple trees.

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by Anonymousreply 103November 20, 2021 3:30 PM

All men are abusers. The show must be cancelled.

by Anonymousreply 104November 20, 2021 6:31 PM

I probably can't be very articulate about this, but I'll try. I don't really understand something. Why does one story, in this case the story of Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan, have to be taken as universal? Okay, he hit her and she still loved him. He wasn't perfect and she wasn't - doesn't this happen in real life? Was anyone saying it was the ideal relationship? And he hits his daughter when he is a *spirit*. He doesn't slug her and knock her across the room. Parents did slap their kids. Can't you just be mature, and sophisticated, and accept the symbolism, and enjoy the show for what it is? A show about uneducated people living in the 1800s? Why do you need to apply your own standards to it? These characters are not you. Can you watch Shakespeare, or a Greek tragedy, without applying your own social standards to it? I doubt very much Oscar Hammerstein was pro-wife-beating or daughter-beating. Billy isn't the Big Hero. He's a flawed human being. But overall, he isn't evil. Is it so hard to accept that people have many sides?

by Anonymousreply 105November 20, 2021 6:56 PM

R105. I agree. Just about all mythology, much of Opera, great literature, so many other areas of the arts are going to get cancelled if this continues.

It may be that in the case of Carousel it is Julie who is more problematic than Billy for modern times. She's a dishrag. And Mrs. Snow is dumb as a box of hair.

But the music is so lovely it would be a great loss to see live productions of Carousel vanish. Perhaps someone clever will come along and exercise a bit of creative license to make Carousel more palatable for modern audiences.

by Anonymousreply 106November 20, 2021 7:23 PM

J'adore the Acacia Tree Troll.

[Quote]Half of all acacia trees in the European Union can be found in Hungary. Acacia trees grow on appr. 463,000 hectares, about a third of all Hungarian forests.

I know freezing ass San Francisco has acacia trees, but Maine 's climate seems pretty harsh for the acacia. It looks like this was a silly oversight in Carousel.

Bees love the nectar from acacia blossoms

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by Anonymousreply 107November 20, 2021 7:56 PM

Rejoice. The Hungarian Acacia tree will save us all!

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by Anonymousreply 108November 20, 2021 8:26 PM

This is a stupid argument to continue, but when in Rome…

Hungarian acacia is a misnomer. They are black locust trees,, also known as “false acacia.” From Wikipedia: “confusion between species of both genera is almost impossible in higher latitudes, since acacias are native to subtropical and tropical areas and do not thrive in the cooler climates favoured by the black locust.”

by Anonymousreply 109November 20, 2021 8:28 PM

What arguement? We're having a discussion. Now I want to know more about the differences between Acacia and Black Locust trees and frankly the inter web is not helping much. There is confusion every where.

Plus we know non native trees are sometimes introduced into other parts of the world. Sometimes they thrive and they may even become invasive. A tree may be native to Kenya but it may thrive in Palo Alto, California.

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by Anonymousreply 110November 20, 2021 8:58 PM

R109 is arguing. He has no poetry in his soul and cannot bear to be wrong about a fictional tree in a fictional story that features a leading character who dies and travels from Earth to Heaven and back, and then back to Heaven again. But the tree. The effing tree! The tree is WRONG!

It's Ferenc Molnar's play and Oscar Hammerstein's adaptation. They can have any kind of tree they want in their imaginary work of fiction.

by Anonymousreply 111November 20, 2021 9:07 PM

Molnar loved Carousel. When he was in New York, he would attend regularly even if he had to stand in the back.

by Anonymousreply 112November 20, 2021 9:17 PM

Talk about completely missing the thread, r111.

by Anonymousreply 113November 20, 2021 9:23 PM

OP somehow managed to make three errors in the course of one post, misspelling both "Rodgers" and "Hammerstein," and stupidly writing that Gordon Mac Rae and Shirley Jones played in CAROUSEL on Broadway. Also, he didn't even remember to end his question with a question mark.

by Anonymousreply 114November 20, 2021 9:26 PM

R93, I would so love to be able to sing well. Can you imagine going out for your newspaper or milk and bursting into "Oh what a beautiful morning" to the neighbours?

by Anonymousreply 115November 20, 2021 10:15 PM

Here's a cute clip of Gordon as a guest panelist on What's My Line? around the time of Carousel. Special appearance by RJ Wagner.

I'm not great at linking, hoping for the best....

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by Anonymousreply 116November 20, 2021 10:17 PM

The movie was so bad

by Anonymousreply 117November 20, 2021 10:18 PM

Oh, well......

by Anonymousreply 118November 20, 2021 10:18 PM

I think "What's the Use of Wond'rin'" is harder to sing than "If I Loved You." But they're both so beautiful -

I LOVE Rodgers and Hammerstein. Although if they came back today and saw the sad state of musical theater, they'd never stop THROWING UP!!

by Anonymousreply 119November 20, 2021 11:02 PM

I did Merry Wives of Windsor in 1979 don't you know.Of course Gordon couldn't possibly play my part as third page in the back.

by Anonymousreply 120November 20, 2021 11:26 PM

[quote]A tree may be native to Kenya but it may thrive in Palo Alto, California.

Appropriate, since "palo alto" means "tall wooden stick"

by Anonymousreply 121November 20, 2021 11:33 PM

r121, good old DL, something to investigate every day.

by Anonymousreply 122November 20, 2021 11:59 PM

The last word of “What’s the Use of Wondrin’” lands like a dead fish.

by Anonymousreply 123November 21, 2021 12:09 AM

r120, I am so intrigued....wtf are you talking about?

by Anonymousreply 124November 21, 2021 2:39 AM


Tony Bennet's voice and style is all wrong for IILU, which is likely why (wisely) he never covered the song.

That being said Mr. Bennet has covered various other Broadway musical show tunes...

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by Anonymousreply 125November 21, 2021 2:50 AM

Climb Ev'ry Mountain

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by Anonymousreply 126November 21, 2021 2:54 AM


Novelty soon wears off I can assure you...

Just ask anyone who rooms with or lives in multi-family housing with one or more actor/singers or just the latter. If you happen to be in the business or maybe just an amateur singer or something that is one thing, but if you're not hearing "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" every damn early evening while your roomie is warming up in shower becomes annoying after a while.

by Anonymousreply 127November 21, 2021 3:12 AM

Carousel is a french word. Does that mean this musical is a remake coming from France?

by Anonymousreply 128November 21, 2021 3:16 AM


In play Liliom that musical Carousel is based male lead (Liliom) is a carousel barker, so there you are then.

On another note for those who've never seen, highly recommend 1934 French film "Liliom" by Fritz Lang starring Charles Boyer.

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by Anonymousreply 129November 21, 2021 3:22 AM


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by Anonymousreply 130November 21, 2021 3:23 AM

Back in the 70s when I was a kid I was watching the movie on TV with my dad, and the final scene came on, with Billy on a hill overlooking the ocean. The sun was setting over the ocean, and my dad said, "They must have shot that in California, the sun doesn't set over the ocean in Maine." He was right, and I remember feeling dumb because I didn't think of that myself. Some of the beach scenes in the movie were filmed in California (though a lot of the film was shot in Maine). Anyway, they missed this obvious error. (See the scene around 2:20.)

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by Anonymousreply 131November 21, 2021 3:32 PM

That horizontally striped carnival barker stretch top with the accompanying high-waisted trousers that Billy Bigelow always wears must have been cursed by the all the barrel-chested performers who had to wear it. Neither John Raitt nor Gordon MacRae looked sexy in it....did anyone ever?

by Anonymousreply 132November 21, 2021 4:02 PM

R131, that was good of your dad to catch that. Also, though that final shot looks beautiful, it doesn't really make much sense, because Billy and the heavenly friend are walking away from the sunset, rather than towards it.

by Anonymousreply 133November 21, 2021 4:55 PM


by Anonymousreply 134November 21, 2021 4:56 PM

[quote] Neither John Raitt nor Gordon MacRae looked sexy in it....did anyone ever?

I thought Robert Goulet looked good in it. He really was a good choice to play Billy Bigelow. And no, I'm not in love with Robert Goulet. I just thought he made a good Billy Bigelow.

by Anonymousreply 135November 21, 2021 11:26 PM

Years ago I watched a compilation of Tonight Show appearances a friend owned and Robert Goulet made the most extraordinary appearance.

His wife, Carole Lawrence had just left him. He shared this story and he cried like a baby Johnny even had to say something like "come on now, man, pull yourself together.". But Goulet continued to cry. He must have been drinking. No luck finding this clip.

by Anonymousreply 136November 22, 2021 12:00 AM

Chad and Jeremy sang "If I love chu" and "all I wan chu to you know"

by Anonymousreply 137November 22, 2021 12:12 AM

Dutch Xaviera Hollander, The Happy Hooker, talked on a podcast about a Broadway married couple who were regular. customers in the 60s. She didn't name them but I think it was Goulet and Lawrence.

by Anonymousreply 138November 22, 2021 12:16 AM


Well you're not going to find that sort of clip uploaded onto YT or elsewhere by sources with vested interests in keeping it out of circulation.

Best can hope for is some private individual has copy and uploads. But that may prompt threats or other actions to take it down if said person cannot establish clear copyright or whatever rights.

Giving credit where due, Robert Goulet was blessed with a wonderful instrument that he treated well. Man could still rock a performance at an age when voices of his many peers were shot.

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by Anonymousreply 139November 22, 2021 12:18 AM

^^ that's pretty fabulous performance considering he had pulmonary fibrosis which eventually killed him.

by Anonymousreply 140November 22, 2021 12:43 AM

Goulet's widow Vera watches very closely over his memory and heritage. I wouldn't be surprised to hear she's somehow gotten that Tonight Show appearance out of circulation.

I always wondered what became of Goulet and Carol Lawrence's sons, if either are in show biz. I would think they'd be incredibly handsome men.

by Anonymousreply 141November 22, 2021 1:12 AM

Michael Goulet

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by Anonymousreply 142November 22, 2021 1:15 AM

I saw John Raitt on B'way in the mid 1970s. He still looked and sounded great.

by Anonymousreply 143November 22, 2021 1:15 AM

Meet the Goulet family....

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by Anonymousreply 144November 22, 2021 1:16 AM

R100 If you read her autobiography, Shirley really liked sex. And Sinatra was known for making the round of ladies. So off-screen, I could see it. On-screen, it's a famous face and bod, but it's not a particularly good-looking face or bod. Fred Astaire had his great charms, but he also wasn't a looker.

by Anonymousreply 145November 22, 2021 1:25 AM

I did a play (non-musical) with Nicolette Goulet in the mid-80s. Very pretty, voluptuous figure and a great sense of humor. Sad to see she died so young.

by Anonymousreply 146November 22, 2021 1:28 AM

R105 Yes, the show is about flawed people, but certain folks writing on-line and which have permeated a lot of published theatrical criticism now deem that people aren't allowed to have certain flaws of personality, lest they be deemed to be somehow being celebrated for them. Can you imagine Fellini making "La Strada" nowadays? He'd be raked over the coals.

by Anonymousreply 147November 22, 2021 1:29 AM

God, I love La Strada.

by Anonymousreply 148November 22, 2021 1:32 AM

Goulet sounds terrific on the recording of "The Happy Time" and fine of course in "Camelot" -- but he didn't sing very high in those shows, probably never going beyond an Eb, so he didn't tax his voice very much. When I saw him in "Carousel", he cut Julie's "What's the Use of Wondrin", and I think "There's Nothin' So Wrong with A Woman", and was drunk or tipsy or otherwise unprofessional that during the Soliloquoy, instead of singing re: my little girl "Dozen of boys pursue her/ Many a likely lad/ Does what he can to woo her", he subsituted the words "screw her" for "Woo her". I went out once with someone in that company's cast who told me Goulet was all sorts of problems during that tour. But he did look pretty good on the SuperBowl commercial he did just a year or two before he died.

by Anonymousreply 149November 22, 2021 1:39 AM

Goulet's handling of 'IILY' in the late 60s TV adaptation he starred in/co-produced also works remarkably well because it's in a lower bass-baritone key. Beyond making the song luxuriate more in Goulet's natural tessitura, it also brings it into a more 'speech-level' kind of singing. A little more conversational -- which is also what Sinatra's version has going for it.

This was also during Goulet's prime -- before he (like Sinatra) became a caricature of himself. The 70s and 80s weren't kind to those great crooners. If it weren't for MTV and his son's genius management, Tony Bennett would've fizzled out decades ago like so many of his contemporaries.

by Anonymousreply 150November 22, 2021 1:40 AM

It didn't help that Goulet's young handsome heroic looks devolved so rapidly by the late 70s into that ghoulish Vegas sleazeball persona with the greasy mustache and crazy eyes.

by Anonymousreply 151November 22, 2021 1:48 AM

Robert Goulet was on one of those 'Lucy" shows. I can't remember which one. I thought it was a funny episode. It also had Mary Wickes, if I remember correctly. She was one of Lucy's favorite comic actresses.

by Anonymousreply 152November 22, 2021 2:58 AM

IILY simple and divine on ukulele.

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by Anonymousreply 153November 22, 2021 3:07 AM

Robert Goulet had his own spy series 'on ABC in the '60s when they were all the rage. It didn't last long, but I remember watching regularly for shirtless scenes.

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by Anonymousreply 154November 22, 2021 5:17 AM

I've seen acacia trees blossoming in the Norwegian-Catholic section of Bay Ridge.

by Anonymousreply 155November 22, 2021 5:30 AM

R25 Poor Sheila MacRae, how horrible to know that after a fairly long and varied career her biggest continued success was basically acting as a stand-in for Audrey Meadows for four years.

by Anonymousreply 156November 22, 2021 6:00 AM

r154, I remember watching that Robert Goulet TV series for exactly the same reason.

by Anonymousreply 157November 22, 2021 2:45 PM

Frank Sinatra was a much bigger movie star than Gordon MacRae. In fact, Carousel was one of Gordon's last movies. He usually played the Nice Guy on screen and could come across as a bit wooden and stodgy. Frank was a good choice for the role, he was good at playing a somewhat tragic, misguided figure, and he could act as well as sing. He had already recorded the Soliloquy.

by Anonymousreply 158November 23, 2021 10:51 PM

Why is Rogers and Hamerstein so difficult to spell?

by Anonymousreply 159November 23, 2021 10:57 PM

^^ Because I'm a Spaniard who was high af when I started this thread. My apologies. But it's been worth it.

by Anonymousreply 160November 23, 2021 11:01 PM

The music itself isn't hard.

It's having to mouth those stupid, schlocky Hammerstein lyrics without choking on your vomit on the high notes or inhaling the vomit of your duet partner during her bits.

I love Spaniards.

by Anonymousreply 161November 23, 2021 11:05 PM

If you're Spanish OP, your amigo Rodrigo might have given you a hint about that D in the middle of RoDgers.

by Anonymousreply 162November 23, 2021 11:05 PM

Tito Rodrigo.

by Anonymousreply 163November 23, 2021 11:09 PM

No she did not crack R15, you can find a tape (YouTube) of her doing the song in the studio, no pause, no crack, no splice. Why do people make shit up?

by Anonymousreply 164November 23, 2021 11:13 PM

Gordon also had one of the great, clear baritones of his era, with a combination of vocal capacity and beautiful lyrical skill.

That doesn't make him better or worse. Sinatra did more with his perfect pop/band/light-jazz instrument than any other male.

I'm always surprised at how MacRae managed to steer "Summertime" perfectly. His taste keeps it strange in a good way without a hint of minstrelsy, and the ending is startling and somehow right.

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by Anonymousreply 165November 23, 2021 11:31 PM

[quote] No she did not crack [R15], you can find a tape (YouTube) of her doing the song in the studio, no pause, no crack, no splice. Why do people make shit up?

To annoy you, because you are the self-appointed keeper of her flame, obviously!

by Anonymousreply 166November 23, 2021 11:42 PM

Spaniards are the hottest. OMG.

I love doing it with a Spaniard. Heaven!

by Anonymousreply 167November 23, 2021 11:51 PM

Welcome to DL, Stephen Sondheim at R161!

by Anonymousreply 168November 23, 2021 11:55 PM

R166, some of us have to be "keepers in the flame" if losers like you are going to post bullshit.

On another note: Sinatra would have been awful as Billy Bigelow. First of all, his voice was all wrong for that kind of music, and if you've seen photos of him in costume for the role, he looks really silly.

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by Anonymousreply 169November 24, 2021 12:01 AM

Sorry, wrong link.

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by Anonymousreply 170November 24, 2021 12:05 AM

[quote] [R166], some of us have to be "keepers in the flame" if losers like you are going to post bullshit.

a) I did not post anything previous that was either bullshit or otherwise about Barbra Streisand, and

b) no one is more of a loser than a rabid Barbra stan in the year 2021.

by Anonymousreply 171November 24, 2021 12:06 AM

I agree. He looked like a school boy. GM was the right man fir the part.

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by Anonymousreply 172November 24, 2021 12:20 AM

In her book. Shirley Jones says Frank quit the movie because Ava Gardner was in Rome and he thought she was screwing around on him and he wanted to be there. The other story was just a cover story. At least, according to Shirl.

by Anonymousreply 173November 24, 2021 12:50 AM

Except for his ridiculous wig and oversized newsboy cap, Sinatra looks no worse than MacRae in the costumes. Not that I think he should have done the film....

by Anonymousreply 174November 24, 2021 12:51 AM

“rabid Barbra stan” Lordy DL is full of stupid dumb fucks- they’re so stupid, they don’t know it-

by Anonymousreply 175November 24, 2021 12:51 AM

[quote] In her book. Shirley Jones says Frank quit the movie because Ava Gardner was in Rome and he thought she was screwing around on him and he wanted to be there.

What Shirley said was that Ava was in Africa making Mogambo and told Frank if he didn’t come at once, she’d start an affair with Clark Gable.

“For years I asked Frank about what happened on ‘Carousel’ and he would say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it,’ ’’ Jones said. “I finally learned the truth a couple of years ago,’’ Jones said. “His wife at the time, Ava Gardner, was shooting a film in Africa. She called Frank and said, ‘If you’re not on the next plane, I’m having an affair with [co-star] Clark Gable.’

Shirley is full of shit, though. Mogambo was made in 1953, two years before Carousel.

by Anonymousreply 176November 24, 2021 1:01 AM

Sinatra could have been devastating in the role. He had charisma that MacRae did not.

Sinatra was a runt, a rat, sleazy, not movie star handsome...and that could have worked wonderfully in that role. Add to that his direct woeful/soulful singing style and it could have been great.

And the material needed the touch that Vincente Minnelli had. He could do those big musicals but keep them intimate. He could go from intimate and then open them up for the big numbers. It was brilliant. Carousel needed that.

by Anonymousreply 177November 24, 2021 1:11 AM

Ava Gardner was making Bhowani Junction in 1956 while Carousel was about to begin filming. I could well believe she considered an affair with Stewart Granger.

by Anonymousreply 178November 24, 2021 1:15 AM

No, Carousel was filmed in the summer and fall of 1955.

by Anonymousreply 179November 24, 2021 1:17 AM

Sinatra might indeed have made a fascinating Billy Bigelow but never in that awful film version of the story. IMHO it's one of the worst films of a Broadway hit musical in cinema history.

If the new West Side Story film is successful, I hope Spielberg considers remaking Carousel, which needs the remake far more than WSS did.

by Anonymousreply 180November 24, 2021 1:19 AM

According to Ava's Imdb:

1954: The Barefoot Contessa

1956: Bhowani Junction

No films listed for 1955, Do your homework, Shirley!

by Anonymousreply 181November 24, 2021 1:22 AM

Bhowani Junction was made in March-July 1955, production on Carousel started in August 1955.

by Anonymousreply 182November 24, 2021 1:28 AM

Did Ava ever really want Frank around this badly? She ran from him most of the time.

by Anonymousreply 183November 24, 2021 1:44 AM

Personally, I'd have much rather get fucked by Stewart Granger than Frank Sinatra.

by Anonymousreply 184November 24, 2021 1:50 AM

Photos of Sinatra in a bathing suit make him look so scrawny. But, when asked about this, Ava reportedly said, “He’s 20 lbs. Frank and 100 lbs. cock.”

That’s our Ava….

by Anonymousreply 185November 24, 2021 1:55 AM

^ Wrong.

[quote] When asked why she stayed with the 119-pound Sinatra, Gardner once replied “Well, I’ll tell you—nineteen pounds is cock.”

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by Anonymousreply 186November 24, 2021 2:18 AM

[quote]No one is more of a loser than a rabid Barbra stan in the year 2021.

For what it's worth, I'm far from a "Barbra stan," but what you wrote about her note in that recording of "If I Loved You" was just not accurate, therefore pointless and stupid. And there is no obvious splice during or after the note.

[quote]Sinatra was a runt, a rat, sleazy, not movie star handsome...and that could have worked wonderfully in that role. Add to that his direct woeful/soulful singing style and it could have been great.

All of that sounds good on paper, but I still think he looks kind of ridiculous in the part, based on those photos in costume. Also, again, his voice was just not right for that style of music. He did make two creditable recordings of "Soliloquy," but with major changes to the arrangements, and there are all these modulations of key to keep that very legit, almost operatic song within his range.

Oh, and Billy Bigelow is supposed to be exceptionally good looking and very sexy -- that's key to the character

by Anonymousreply 187November 24, 2021 4:23 AM

And Bhowani Junction, which Ava filmed in summer, 1955 (exactly when Carousel was starting) was shot mostly in Pakistan. A hot summer in Pakistan with the extremely fuckable Stewart Granger - I’m sure this was it and Shirley just got the wrong movie.

by Anonymousreply 188November 24, 2021 7:02 AM

[quote] but what you wrote about her note in that recording of "If I Loved You" was just not accurate, therefore pointless and stupid.

As I said before, I didn't write ANYTHING about her note in that recording. You're confusing me with another poster.

Everyone who posts here besides you is not all one and the same person... you do realize that.

by Anonymousreply 189November 24, 2021 7:11 AM

R165 Wow, that is wild.

by Anonymousreply 190November 24, 2021 2:55 PM

R136 Thought you might like this, it's from a NYT magazine article interview with Bob Goulet in 1993. He claims HE left Lawrence. Think I might get his ex-wife's book:

Lawrence, who starred as Maria in the original Broadway production of "West Side Story," wrote a book in 1990 called "Carol Lawrence: The Backstage Story," in which she accused Goulet of being an alcoholic and abusing their children. It comes as something of a shock for those who remember that when the couple married in 1963 they were both Broadway stars whose romance was treated in the press like a fairy tale. They stayed together until 1975, when, Goulet says, he was so unhappy he just picked up and went.

What does he think of her book? Among her allegations is that Goulet locked his two sons in the trunk of his car and drove them around Las Vegas. "I've not read it and I'm not going to read it," he says firmly. "Vera told me about the trunk. I had a fur-lined trunk in my car and they asked, 'Can we get in the trunk,' and I let them sit there and took a picture and that was it. She just wants to cut me to shreds. She hates me."

Why? His mouth twists. "Because there's a fine line between love and hate. She went on every talk-show interview and cut me to shreds and I've never done anything like that and I won't. She was terribly angry because when I left I didn't leave her for another woman. I said take whatever you want and she did and sold it. She left me the boat and the house in Vegas, which she hated."

And what about his drinking? "I never was a run-down-in-the-gutter alcoholic," he says roughly. "I never missed a performance." He sighs. "That's all in the past."

by Anonymousreply 191November 24, 2021 3:47 PM

I'm not r136, but I found that fascinating.

As a kid, I loved seeing Carol Lawrence, who I knew from the West Side Story original cast album (played endlessly on our den's hi-fi) sing and dance on all the TV variety hours of the late 1950s and 1960s. She was gorgeous and always so classy and elegant in her numbers. I always wondered why didn't continue her Broadway career playing older character roles though, I guess, that's arduous work and she'd had enough. Except for replacing Mary Martin in I Do! I Do!, opposite Gordon MacRae, I don't think Carol ever had a Broadway hit after WSS. There was the huge flop Saratoga with Howard Keel and then a lesser huge flop, Subways Are For Sleeping, which was stolen by featured player Phyllis Newman (who beat Streisand for the Tony in 1962). And then I think she finally made a brief comeback replacing Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spiderwoman (but maybe that was just for a couple of Chita's vacation weeks?).

Did Carol ever remarry? Must google that.

by Anonymousreply 192November 24, 2021 4:51 PM

Goulet is not the only person who wanted to get the hell away from her.

In the early 1970's, Carol Lawrence came to Indianapolis for a week on a summer stock tour. FUNNY GIRL or MOLLY BROWN, I don't recall which was related to the following incident. (But she appeared there in both.) The celebrity leads did not have to stay in a hotel, but were provided by the theater with a private apartment. Lawrence and her kids were so disruptive in the building and destructive in the apartment that the theater management booted them out and told them to find a hotel.

by Anonymousreply 193November 24, 2021 5:47 PM

Documentation please, r193!

by Anonymousreply 194November 24, 2021 5:51 PM

This is why I love DL after all these years - for all this insider scoop. I don't really care for Robert Goulet (my mom used to call him "Robert .Gullet") but I believe him.

Back to CAROUSEL: why didn't they just go ahead and cast John Raitt? I realize he wasn't a "name" at the time, but he certainly did a good job creating the role. He sang just as well as McRae and was better looking. McRae looks like he's straining to hold his stomach in in every shot. And Raitt did OK in PAJAMA GAME shortly after...was he ever given serious consideration?

by Anonymousreply 195November 24, 2021 6:07 PM

I am guessing McRae was chosen partially because of how he and Jones clicked in Oklahoma. I suppose they were on a tight schedule, but too bad they could not have waited a couple of months to start filming for Gordon to lose a few pounds. The classic costumes for Billy also are not that flattering as someone mentioned earlier. Raitt does not really pull them off either.

by Anonymousreply 196November 24, 2021 6:44 PM

isn't everything from course hard to sing?

by Anonymousreply 197November 24, 2021 6:47 PM

I always heard that Carol Lawrence turned into a big religious fundie and that's what led to the breakup.

by Anonymousreply 198November 24, 2021 8:08 PM

Yes, horizontal stripes did not flatter Gordon Macrae's slightly tubby body. Even so, he was still sexy because his face was so handsome and his voice was so gorgeous.

My hardest problem with both "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel" is Shirley Jones's recitation of her lines. She's beautiful and has such a lovely soprano, and she's not a bad actor overall (and she showed how solid she could be in "Elmer Gantry" when given a chance--though I think she is terrible in "The Partridge Family"), but she just wasn't comfortable with the lines to the R&H shows which required her to speak in Oklahoman and Mainer dialect. Hammerstein was fascinated by dialect and often tried to work it into his shows, but it always created problems for the performers (and still does) if they're not comfortable speaking that way.

by Anonymousreply 199November 24, 2021 8:16 PM

[quote] isn't everything from course hard to sing?

What does this mean??

by Anonymousreply 200November 24, 2021 8:16 PM

[quote]As I said before, I didn't write ANYTHING about her note in that recording. You're confusing me with another poster.

I apologize, but since you say you were not the person who wrote about Streisand "cracking" in her recording of "If I Loved You," then obviously my comment was not directed at you.

by Anonymousreply 201November 24, 2021 8:40 PM

r195 John Raitt wasn't a big success a few years later in "The Pajama Game" movie opposite Doris Day. So perhaps it's just as well that we didn't get his "Carousel."

by Anonymousreply 202November 24, 2021 8:44 PM

I wish Patsy Cline had done a recording. Her label was always trying to get her to record more pop things and she recorded a few Broadway/musical numbers, but not this. Or, at least I haven't found it.

by Anonymousreply 203November 24, 2021 10:49 PM

The only reason I can imagine that Howard Keel wasn't considered is that it was a Fox film and MGM wouldn't lend him out. He got his start as a replacement in the chorus of the original production of Oklahoma! where he understudied both Curly and Billy in Carousel. He created a sensation on a matinee day when he played one in the matinee and the other in the evening. The Times did a piece on it the day after. He eventually became the full time Curly and R&H sent him to London to open the production there. When R&H sold the film rights of Annie Get Your Gun to MGM, they strongly recommended that they hire him as Frank (R&H didn't write Annie but they produced it). So big, so handsome, such presence, such a wonderful bass baritone/basso cantante.

by Anonymousreply 204November 24, 2021 11:44 PM

R205, I share your admiration for Howard Keel, but he really did not have the right kind of voice for Billy Bigelow. His voice had a very covered, baritonal quality, and he didn't have the ringing high notes required for the climaxes in "If I Loved You" and "Soliloquy." I know he played Billy on Broadway, but I believe the keys were lowered for him, and I guess R&H thought he was so good for the role in other ways that they didnt mind doing that. But especially for a film, which is a permanent record of the show and the score that's going to be seen and heard by a lot of people, he wouldn't have been a great choice.

by Anonymousreply 205November 25, 2021 12:57 AM

Interesting observation about Jones. She was still pretty new to acting. Oklahoma was her first film and she really had a few years on the stage, mostly in the chorus. I wonder how she would have been even a few years later - she was pretty solid in Music Man and Elmer Gantry.

by Anonymousreply 206November 25, 2021 1:14 AM

As an elder gay I can remember way back to watching John Raitt occasionally on TV variety shows as a (precocious!) child in the late1950s and early 1960s and thinking he was very handsome, but looking at clips from back then now, I see he really wasn't photogenic enough for widescreen Technicolor musicals.

It's fascinating to think about all the classic film musicals that were cast with dubbed non-singing actors and actresses and then the precious few films where casting someone with just the right singing voice was imperative.

by Anonymousreply 207November 25, 2021 1:19 AM

I think Shirley was perfect in Oklahoma, She's not very good in Carousel because NO ONE is very good in that awful film. For me, Oklahoma and Carousel are world's apart in terms of quality as films.

by Anonymousreply 208November 25, 2021 1:22 AM

In my opinion, Jones's acting is far better in OKLAHOMA! than in CAROUSEL, so I attribute her poor acting in the latter to two things: (1) poor direction, and (2) the role of Julie is more difficult than Laurey.

by Anonymousreply 209November 25, 2021 4:14 AM

I just realized that next year the first big book musical Show Boat will become public domain. I wonder if someone will make a new reworked version when they are freer to play around with it. It got me to thinking about how to rework Carousel when it enters PD, in a few decades, unless the House that the Mouse built pays off enough Congressmen to make it even longer.

by Anonymousreply 210November 25, 2021 4:23 AM

There's an easy answer to OPs original question. "If I Loved You" is written in long phrases, meant to be sustained, and its range is an octave and a fourth, too large for most popular singers.

by Anonymousreply 211November 25, 2021 4:26 AM

[quote]I just realized that next year the first big book musical Show Boat will become public domain. I wonder if someone will make a new reworked version when they are freer to play around with it.

Maybe, but there have been some extensively reworked versions already, most notably that London production in the '70s, not to mention both film versions.

by Anonymousreply 212November 25, 2021 4:33 AM

This Nearly Was Mine is no walk in the park.

by Anonymousreply 213November 25, 2021 4:41 AM

The slap of his daughter is so important. You'd have to be an idiot to take it out. It's the point of the whole musical. Billie loves and wants to be loved but he doesn't know how so he physically lashes out. It's a shocking gasp inducing moment and it's crucial to how he treats others and himself. He did it to his wife, himself and then his daughter. He has learned nothing. Remove it and you've gutted the emotional power of the piece. Do people change? Not always. Yet the ending soars because of that most simple and common of rituals a school graduation. Billy's daughter is going to have a different life than her parents, the music tells us so, and you are filled with the hope that it might be better.

by Anonymousreply 214November 25, 2021 5:41 AM

Howard Keel was another example of someone who came along just as train was leaving station, thus his career wasn't perhaps what it might have been.

Having started in 1949-1950 Howard Keel had a string of decent enough performances on stage and screen during 1950's. But as 1960's rolled out entertainment tastes both in USA and UK began to change leaving less work that suited Mr. Keel's vocal and other talents. Piled on was end of studio system which left actors of all ages out to fend for themselves.

Once again television saved yet another career in that Mr. Keel ended up on evening soap opera Dallas.

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by Anonymousreply 215November 25, 2021 6:56 AM

Only know Howard Keel from his films like 'Kiss Me Kate" seen on television. However you can see he was a great talent who did well with right material.

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by Anonymousreply 216November 25, 2021 6:59 AM

Another clip..

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by Anonymousreply 217November 25, 2021 7:00 AM

Howard Keel had everything, sort of, but no real star quality. There is something sedentary about his singing and about his handsomeness. They're both... okay. But he never knocked it out of the park. A charisma deficit.

As an actor? Oh, God no. He's a stodgy block of wood when he's trying to act.

by Anonymousreply 218November 25, 2021 1:20 PM

I love Howard Keel but, considering he got to play the leads in Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, Kismet, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers and Calamity Jane, among others, and all in a relatively short 6 or 7 years......I'd say he did all right for himself. I'm not so sure his brand of sexy but shallow leading man could have really sustained many more years at the top anyway. And I don't think he had the depth to pull off Billy Bigelow, lowered notes or not. He wasn't really able to transition into non-musicals.

by Anonymousreply 219November 25, 2021 1:32 PM

R219 beat me but I'll post it anyway.

As good as Raitt is in the Pajama Game the film needed a co-star who was Day's equal on screen and that would have been Keel or MacRae(though who knows what shape he was in by then.) Keel was definitely a star in Calamity Jane(WB,) Showboat, Seven Brides, KMK, and Kismet though he had put on a few too many pounds by then. He more than carries his own in these beloved musicals as one of the top stars at MGM in them. I have no idea why you're saying he wasn't. You are the only one I know of. He was never considered a liability. And Macrae in those Warner Bros musicals and Oklahoma and Carousel (he needed to lose a few pounds for that one but he sings it magnificently.)

by Anonymousreply 220November 25, 2021 1:36 PM

Frank Sinatra walked out of CAROUSEL after months of preparation. Gordon MacRae got a few days to Maine and start shooting. Getting camera thin takes time.

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by Anonymousreply 221November 25, 2021 1:42 PM

I'm glad MacRae got Carousel. Imagine if he had been top form? But Henry King was in studio contract director journeyman mode. It really needed Fred Zinneman. But I guess he felt well I did my musical. Now I'll do my nun movie.

by Anonymousreply 222November 25, 2021 2:31 PM

Can we talk about Barbara Ruick as Carrie Pipperidge?

How did that no-talent unappealing slag get cast in one of the best sure-fire scene-stealing roles in musical theater history?

by Anonymousreply 223November 25, 2021 2:47 PM

Harve was sexier than Howard.

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by Anonymousreply 224November 25, 2021 3:40 PM

I always heard that the reason Sinatra backed out was that he discovered they were going to shoot the film in two different aspect ratios which would require filming every scene twice, once for each camera. Anyone else hear that?

by Anonymousreply 225November 25, 2021 3:41 PM

We *all* did, r225...upthread.

by Anonymousreply 226November 25, 2021 3:42 PM

R215 Keel was still an extremely good looking older man on Dallas and was also very good in the role. I was surprised they didn't have him sing on there though, like for Christmas or some special occasion.

by Anonymousreply 227November 25, 2021 5:07 PM

I think it was Jane Powell who said Howard Keel was sort of bitter because MGM had lead him to believe that he was going to be a huge star. But he never really caught on in a big way with the public. A lot of the MGM musical stars were popular as long as MGM was making musicals, and popularizing them. But a lot of those movie careers ended as soon as MGM cut back on musicals. Powell, Keel, Grayson, etc. Keel starred on Broadway later (Saratoga) but didn't have a hit. Also toured with Grayson and did 7 Brides on stage.

by Anonymousreply 228November 25, 2021 5:43 PM

Don't forget AMBASSADOR...

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by Anonymousreply 229November 25, 2021 5:48 PM

I never heard of it! I forgot, Keel also replaced Ralph Bellamy as FDR in Sunrise At Campobello, or was in the road company, or whatever. It was written by his old MGM boss, Dore Schary.

by Anonymousreply 230November 25, 2021 6:07 PM

Howard Keel had leads in some musical of famous Broadway shows over about 5 or 6 years, plus "7 Brides for Seven Brothers" and "Calamity Jane". But he just got in there before about 1955 or 1956 when the studio system, not just at MGM, but all the studio systems collapsed, because of tv providing free entertainment, and also the studios because of the laws prohibiting them having their own movie theaters to give their own films preference in showing, among other things. Jane Powell had a huge success along with Keel in "7 Brides" in 1954, then did a few more films at MGM in 1955, then her contract ended. She did several other films between 1956 and 1956, after which her film career pretty much ended, and she turned to doing stage and tv. Similar things happened to nearly all the other musical stars, as well as non-musical stars. There were a few folks still under contract until about the early 60s, but most folks whose contracts expired just weren't renewed. Actors became free-lancers. Even Gene Kelly was finished by about 1957 or 1958 at MGM after "Invitation to the Dance" (a big financial flop) and "Les Girls".

About the only MGM musical star whose career thrived was Debbie Reynolds, who mostly went on to non-musical films. What helped her career actually was the big Eddie-Liz scandal, which made her sympathetic and newsworthy.

Back to Howard Keel. He could have done more stage work if he wanted to. But Alfred Drake, who really was a better actor and much more electric and lovable on stage with a fine voice, if not as photogenic as Keel, really lost some of his best roles to Keel on film. Drake's really terrific in the tv version of "Kiss Me, Kate". His only screen lead, in "Tars and Spars" only showed off his beautiful voice in a few songs, but otherwise wasn't a great showcase, and the black and white photography in it did him no favors either.

by Anonymousreply 231November 25, 2021 6:32 PM

And Alfred was...short.

by Anonymousreply 232November 25, 2021 6:39 PM

Veeeeeeerrrrrrrry short.

by Anonymousreply 233November 25, 2021 9:34 PM

According to his autobiography, Howard Keel had a rather tempestuous affair with Marilyn Monroe in the early 1950s. Somehow, it's hard to imagine she'd be interested (though I would have!). He didn't seem like her type.

Anyone here read his book?

by Anonymousreply 234November 25, 2021 9:36 PM

R234 Did MM have a type? The three men she is most associated with weren't similar to one another, Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and JFK.

by Anonymousreply 235November 25, 2021 10:24 PM

[quote] Did MM have a type?

She tended to for older men, "Daddy" types. She had a father fixation.

by Anonymousreply 236November 26, 2021 12:38 AM

R236 Maybe daddy as in demeanor, but they all seem very different. Her husbands were born in 1914 and 1915, JFK was born in 1917, and Keel in 1919. MM was born in 1926 so she basically stayed within a decade of her, which isn't that unusual. She wasn't going after guys 20 or 30 years her senior.

by Anonymousreply 237November 26, 2021 12:46 AM

Before Peter Lawford died he wrote that MM liked the ladies. He marriages were meant to disguise this. Her psychiatrist said the same.

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by Anonymousreply 238November 26, 2021 12:57 AM

^^ site is not permitting proper link. But the info is there.

by Anonymousreply 239November 26, 2021 1:02 AM

[quote] Her psychiatrist said the same.

The fact that her psychiatrist would say anything about their patient, even after death, in the press, makes me not trust anything they might say. That is extremely unprofessional and not ethical.

by Anonymousreply 240November 26, 2021 1:31 AM

Alfred might have been short, but on film that matters even less than on stage; you can have equally short co-stars (or put tall ones in a ditch like they did for Sophia Loren opposite short Alan Ladd). Also on stage, they tend to traditionally hire shorter guys for the chorus line when the leading man is short.

by Anonymousreply 241November 26, 2021 1:48 AM

MM's doctor's view became known only years after his death when his tapes of MM and his notes were leaked.

by Anonymousreply 242November 26, 2021 1:51 AM

[quote]Before Peter Lawford died he wrote that MM liked the ladies. He marriages were meant to disguise this. Her psychiatrist said the same.

She was married three times but she also had affairs with a LOT of men. Hard to believe they were all beards.

by Anonymousreply 243November 26, 2021 3:23 AM

Maybe MM just liked sex?

by Anonymousreply 244November 26, 2021 4:00 AM

I guess what I meant about Howard Keel not being Marilyn's type is that she rarely (if ever?) seemed to be romantically or sexually involved with actors, especially of the MGM musical comedy baritone type. Am I forgetting someone?

by Anonymousreply 245November 26, 2021 4:50 AM

[quote] Before Peter Lawford died he wrote that MM liked the ladies. He marriages were meant to disguise this. Her psychiatrist said the same.

Peter Lawford was a truly fucked up human being and a hardcore drug addict. Her psychiatrist (I presume you mean Ralph Greenson) was unethical and very possessive of MM. Not very credible sources.

The tapes purporting to be MM's psychiatric sessions never existed. There was no proof of their existence. An old guy who was an "investigator" of Marilyn's death said Greenson, for some reason, let him hear the tapes, and he took "extensive notes." The author Anthony Summers was approached by Miner. Here's what he had to say about Miner's claims, in a letter to The Independent:

Sir - I was surprised to see the lengthy story (Sunday Independent, 7/8/05) on John Miner's claims about Marilyn Monroe - including what he says is in a "transcript" of tapes the actress made before her death in 1962. I am the author of a biography of Monroe, and former deputy district attorney Miner approached me with this yarn back in 1995. He made it clear he wanted money for publication of the "70 to 80" pages of handwritten notes he had made in "a sort of shorthand" back in 1962. Various publications, he said, had made him six-figure offers to reveal what he knew about the Monroe case.

Vanity Fair magazine, to which I contribute on occasion, arranged to bring Miner and his material to me on the US east coast. He arrived with just 35 pages - not in shorthand but cursive narrative - on a yellow legal pad. Original notes containing "exact quotes", Miner said, were in storage. He would look for them. He never produced the notes, conceded that he had put the 35 pages together only recently, and accounted for their astonishing detail by saying he was gifted with a remarkable memory - and had virtually total recall of audiotapes he had heard more than 30 years earlier! Neither I nor the editors at Vanity Fair thought such vaporous stuff merited publication. Miner's tale vanished, only to surface again in 2003 and - now - in your pages.

In 2003, when I was consulted by a television company that was preparing a report on Miner's renewed claims, a background check revealed that "John W Miner" - with addresses the same as his - had been the subject of a bankruptcy case in 1996, just months after he had come to me with the purported Monroe material. The following year, John W Miner was suspended from the practice of law for a period by California's state bar, and placed on probation for two years. Miner, meanwhile, told me that he thought his phone was being bugged and his letters opened, and that someone had been following him. None of this, and nothing in Miner's material, encourages me to believe he has a contribution to make to serious history.

by Anonymousreply 246November 26, 2021 6:18 AM

I guess there are some people who would love it if Marilyn Monroe were a lesbian or bi, but little evidence supports that assumption. Here are the only two instances I've ever heard of MM's "lesbianism":

She had an intense relationship with Natasha Lytess, who was her acting coach for a while. Lytess was in love with her. Their relationship may be been partly sexual. Or maybe not. Nobody knows with absolute certainty. How could they? Marilyn never confirmed it and neither did Lytess.

Some guy named Ted Jordan put out a book where he claimed to be Marilyn's lover and lifelong friend (that's what they ALL say). He claimed he made her pregnant and he took her to get an abortion from a Mexican abortionist. He also claimed Marilyn had sex with a stripper called Lili St. Cyr, which she greatly enjoyed, and that she stole a lot of her "style" from Cyr. The Marilyn he describes in his book is not that good looking but oozes sex appeal. She's also shrewd, but not very bright, and an uber slut. Also vulgar. When Jordan asks her how she can be sexually satisfied by her lover Johnny Hyde (Hyde was a powerful agent, a dwarfish, sickly, much older man) she tells him "There's nothing wrong with his tongue." I think Jordan was totally full of shit.

by Anonymousreply 247November 26, 2021 6:46 AM

[Quote]I guess there are some people who would love it if Marilyn Monroe were a lesbian or bi, but little evidence supports that assumption

I'm a gay man so my interest lies primarily with closeted gay men in Hollywood, the Arts in general, and politics, but I am interested to reveal the ladies as well. Especially when they are cultural icons like Marilyn.

I knew the actress Capucine who told me about her affair with Marilyn. Capucine was a lovely individual She didn't lie. BTW she had nothing but kind words for Marilyn.

by Anonymousreply 248November 26, 2021 7:04 AM

[quote] I knew the actress Capucine who told me about her affair with Marilyn. Capucine was a lovely individual She didn't lie.

Why should anybody believe Capucine? You sound like a gullible person who will believe anything. By the way, there are a lot of people who claim to have fucked MM but didn't. They just want people to think that they did. It's a status thing: "Woo hoo, look at me! I fucked Marilyn Monroe!" A photographer friend of hers named Sam Shaw said "If Marilyn slept with every guy that claims he was with her, she would have never had time to make any movies.

by Anonymousreply 249November 26, 2021 7:18 AM

I knew Capucine. You didn't. I did. And this is why I believed her.

by Anonymousreply 250November 26, 2021 7:23 AM

[quote]Did MM have a type? The three men she is most associated with weren't similar to one another, Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and JFK

I've never heard anyone reputable suggest JFK and MM fucking (which most people think happened only once or a very few times at most) was emotionally important to either of them. They each just wanted another famous notch on their bedposts.

I've never understood her reason for marriage to Joe DiMaggio. The marriage to Arthur Miller was because she wanted to be taken seriously as someone with intellectual aspirations and he was the most handsome American famous intellectual of her day.

by Anonymousreply 251November 26, 2021 7:34 AM

[quote]I guess what I meant about Howard Keel not being Marilyn's type is that she rarely (if ever?) seemed to be romantically or sexually involved with actors, especially of the MGM musical comedy baritone type. Am I forgetting someone?

When I read Keel's book, I was also kind of surprised because she didn't always go for that big, handsome type. But she was involved or had flings with actors. Yves Montand, Tony Curtis, and supposedly Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra, among others. There really wasn't an "MGM musical comedy baritone type" other than Keel (and Nelson Eddy in the 30s).

by Anonymousreply 252November 26, 2021 2:34 PM

*I guess in the 50s there was also Tony Martin (sometimes in MGM musicals) as well as Fernando Lamas and Vic Damone.

by Anonymousreply 253November 26, 2021 2:38 PM

There was. But just barely. And they certainly were not present enough, or prominent enough, to rise to the dubious title of "MGM musical comedy baritone type." Only Keel gets that title.

by Anonymousreply 254November 26, 2021 2:40 PM

Please forgive me, the "MGM baritone" label was just a lame joke on my part. Essentially, I was referring to Keel as just any run of the mill Hollywood male star. If I heard MM had an affair with Brando or Gable or even Elvis I might believe it. But Howard Keel? No.....just no.

Even when she married DiMaggio and Miller (different as they were) they were the ultimate superstars of their worlds.

by Anonymousreply 255November 26, 2021 3:03 PM

The score for "Carousel" is symphonic in reach, and most of the voices in the film were nearly at operatic level, they had to be to manage those songs. Claramae Turner, the contralto who sang Cousin Netty, WAS a legitimate opera singer with a long list of credits. In fact, if I remember, Jones started out aiming for an operatic career, but her voice fell just below the level she knew she'd need to make a go of it, and she turned to stage and screen; her pretty face and appealing persona did the rest. Hers was really a light opera voice. But it was a well trained voice, and that showed.

The song has lush orchestration that the voice has to get in front of, there are very long phrases that only work if the vocalist can manage them in one breath, without the splicing that is possible on recordings.

The bottom line is, it's difficult to sing because it requires real technique, both of which MacRae and Jones had (that goes for Julie Andrews, who made Sound of Music the solid hit it was instead of a mountain of treacle). The irony is, MacRae went straight to show business and never even bothered trying for opera. Yet, his voice was somewhat better all the way through than Jones'.

Most of R&H work has symphonic breadth. You can listen with pleasure to a suite from any of their big hit musicals without vocals, especially the overtures. The overtures from Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I, especially, demonstrate the reach.

For lack of a better term, it's quasi-classical, and that's why the song is hard to sing. "You'll Never Walk Alone" isn't a cinch, either, for the contralto, neither is "Something Wonderful" from the King and I, and neither is "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific - the latter was also taken on by a bona fide operatic voice that dubbed for Rossano Brazzi.

by Anonymousreply 256November 26, 2021 3:23 PM

Will we ever have such beautiful melodies again?

by Anonymousreply 257November 26, 2021 3:40 PM

"Most of R&H work has symphonic breadth."

Wouldn't that just be R without the lyrics? There's a story of Mrs. Dorothy Hammerstein overhearing someone expressing how glorious Jerome Kern's song "Ole Man River" from Showboat was. She re[plied something to the effect that the song would just be "Dum dum DUM dum" without her husband's contribution.

by Anonymousreply 258November 26, 2021 3:48 PM

Shirley Jones had a pretty voice, but it was decidedly a step down from the truly first-rate voice of Barbara Cook. Cook always had a pretty face (even when she put on weight), but Jones was more photogenic as an ingenue.

by Anonymousreply 259November 26, 2021 5:04 PM

Am I the only one who finds Barbra Cook, even at her youthful best, somewhat overrated? It's just not a pretty sound.

by Anonymousreply 260November 26, 2021 5:10 PM

She's pretty well-loved, but you'll find there are always people who don't like well, nearly anyone. Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland, and dear Julie Andrews, for example all have their detractors as well as their most ardent fans.

by Anonymousreply 261November 26, 2021 5:19 PM

If you've ever had an opportunity, listen to Barbara Cook on the OCR of "The Gay Life", one of her most wonderful vocal performances; it's a beautiful score too.

by Anonymousreply 262November 26, 2021 5:20 PM

There are many versions of that story, R258. You can juice yours up by shifting the song and by adding the R&H wives, Dorothy Rodgers and Dorothy Hammerstein. They were not friends, though they understood why they were constantly grouped together.

At a luncheon at which the Dorothys were seated together, someone asked Dorothy Rodgers how it felt to know that her husband wrote "Some Enchanted Evening." Dorothy Hammerstein spoke up and said, "Oh, MY husband wrote "Some Enchanted Evening." Hers wrote, 'Duh duh duh duh duh duhhhhh..."

by Anonymousreply 263November 26, 2021 5:29 PM

SOMETHING WONDERFUL by Todd Purdum is an excellent R&H bio -

by Anonymousreply 264November 26, 2021 5:35 PM

Giving credit where it's due, Mrs. Hammerstein is right in one sense, the lyrics are essential. But turnaround fair play--what if 'Some Enchanted Evening' was set to the melody of 'Pop Goes the Weasel'?

by Anonymousreply 265November 26, 2021 5:45 PM

Imagine The Carousel Waltz with lyrics. It would be a spectacular operatic aria.

by Anonymousreply 266November 26, 2021 6:30 PM

Ugh. The Carousel Waltz is the most trite thing Richard Rodgers ever wrote.

by Anonymousreply 267November 26, 2021 7:31 PM

R267 is deaf and/or has no taste.

by Anonymousreply 268November 26, 2021 7:39 PM

R258 - Yes, you are right. But if you buy a CD of the soundtrack, the product says "Rodgers and Hammerstein's CAROUSEL, so it's just shorthand for, "Music by and Lyrics by . . .

You can manage "I Cain't Say No" and "The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends", and quite a few other songs from their major works with no more voice than Gloria Grahame and Gene Nelson and Charlotte Greenwood (never mind Rod Steiger) had, or than James Shigeta or Miyoshi Umeki or Jack Soo had in "Flower Drum Song" (even Nancy Kwan's voice was only Broadway belter lite).

But there's nothing you can manage without a decently trained voice in Carousel. Even Carrie and Mr Snow had "real" voices.

by Anonymousreply 269November 26, 2021 7:45 PM

R269, I agree with all of that except, no, the original Carrie in CAROUSEL, Jean Darling, had an unusual sounding "character" voice, not a "real" or legit voice. Later Carries, including Barbara Cook and Susan Watson, had a lot more voice :-)

Also, the role of Jigger can be sung with a character voice or with a "real" voice.

by Anonymousreply 270November 26, 2021 7:49 PM

Was Jigger conceived originally to be a big dancing role?

by Anonymousreply 271November 26, 2021 7:54 PM

No, R271, not at all.

by Anonymousreply 272November 26, 2021 8:03 PM

Do you mean Nancy Kwan's dubber? Anyone know who she is?

by Anonymousreply 273November 26, 2021 9:15 PM

273 B. J. Baker. Actually, I didn't know, I looked it up.

[quote]Even when she married DiMaggio and Miller (different as they were) they were the ultimate superstars of their worlds.

She married them. What does that have to do with sleeping with Howard Keel a few times? Is that how you think MM chose who she had sex with? If they were superstars? Haha.

by Anonymousreply 274November 26, 2021 9:35 PM

Michael Crawford's cover of IILY.

Never understood how this man had career he did, but people seem to like Michael Crawford and his voice, so there you are.

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by Anonymousreply 275November 26, 2021 10:37 PM

[quote]Ugh. The Carousel Waltz is the most trite thing Richard Rodgers ever wrote.

It is extraordinarily beautiful. And important.

I know it's cool to be a contrarian, but you're just wrong.

by Anonymousreply 276November 26, 2021 11:16 PM

[quote] I knew Capucine. You didn't. I did. And this is why I believed her.

Just because you "knew Capucine" doesn't mean she was telling the truth about fucking Marilyn Monroe. As stated before, you sound very gullible.

by Anonymousreply 277November 27, 2021 12:29 AM
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