Posted in Annie Get Your Gun, Cole Porter, Mary Martin, Noel Coward, Oklahoma, Peter Pan, Rodgers and Hammerstein, The York Theatre Company, TV

Remembering Peter Pan

Mary Martin immortalized the boy who wouldn’t grow up when her Peter Pan flew across television screens in a televised broadcast in 1955, 1956 and 1960 of her Broadway hit.

Emily Skinner, Lynne Halliday, and Cameron Adams in the York Theatre Company world premiere production of the new musical revue, Inventing Mary Martin, conceived, written and directed by Stephen Cole, with music supervision and arrangements by David Krane, co-direction and choreography by Bob Richard and music direction by Lawrence Goldberg. The cast also features Jason Graae with Bob Renino on bass and Perry Cavari on drums. Now in performance through May 25 at York Theatre Company’s home at Saint Peters. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg.

“Inventing Mary Martin,” a world premiere conceived, written and directed by Stephen Cole, is a musical revue about the titular star’s career.  The York Theatre production, through May 25th also touches lightly on her life. Mary Martin went from a small Texas town to Hollywood and on to Broadway and London stages. She was the toast of the town in any number of hits. 
Cameron Adams and Jason Graae in the York Theatre Company world premiere production of the new musical revue, Inventing Mary Martin, conceived, written and directed by Stephen Cole, with music supervision and arrangements by David Krane, co-direction and choreography by Bob Richard and music direction by Lawrence Goldberg. The cast also features Lynne Halliday and Emily Skinner with Bob Renino on bass and Perry Cavari on drums. Now in performance through May 25 at York Theatre Company’s home at Saint Peters. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg.


Of course, she also had her share of misses, most famously in passing on the musical which came to be named “Oklahoma.”  
Emily Skinner, Lynne Halliday, Cameron Adams and Jason Graae in the York Theatre Company world premiere production of the new musical revue, Inventing Mary Martin, conceived, written and directed by Stephen Cole, with music supervision and arrangements by David Krane, co-direction and choreography by Bob Richard and music direction by Lawrence Goldberg. Now in performance through May 25 at York Theatre Company’s home at Saint Peters. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg.

The talented cast recreating some of the songs along Mary Martin’s path include Cameron Adams, who sings and taps to perfection, Jason Graae as host and narrator, Lynne Halliday, and Emily Skinner. The latter is tasked with singing “Swatting the fly,” the big number from the show Martin, and her husband Richard Halliday, chose for her instead of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic show. 
Emily Skinner in the York Theatre Company world premiere production of the new musical revue, Inventing Mary Martin, conceived, written and directed by Stephen Cole, with music supervision and arrangements by David Krane, co-direction and choreography by Bob Richard and music direction by Lawrence Goldberg. The cast also features Cameron Adams, Jason Graae, and Lynne Halliday with Bob Renino on bass and Perry Cavari on drums. Now in performance through May 25 at York Theatre Company’s home at Saint Peters. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg.

The musical arrangements, by David Krane, of classic tunes by the likes of Noel Coward, Cole Porter, and so forth, are delivered by an  off-stage trio, led by Lawrence Goldberg on the piano, with Perry Cavari on percussion and Bob Renino on bass. 

“Inventing Mary Martin” is a tuneful and well-sung remembrance of the much-awarded star that informs rather than engages. 

For more information about “Inventing Mary Martin,” and the York Theatre Company, please visit  http://www.yorktheatre.org.
Posted in bio-musical, living legend, Oklahoma, Patti Page, play with music

Side B was the beautiful "Tennessee Waltz"

Publicity photo of singer Patti Page pre-1978 from General Artists Corporation (management)

Clara Ann Fowler’s “flip side” is Patti Page, the singer (and woman) she became through a series of happenstances.

“Flipside: The Patti Page Story,” at 59E59 Theaters in a Front Page Productions/Square 1 Theatrics, in association with The University of Central Oklahoma, through December 30th, is a biography with music.

http://www.59e59.org

Greg White’s script (he also directs the play) features 28 of the 111 Billboard hits Patti Page sang over the years. The popular singer was born in a small Oklahoma town in modest circumstances, and discovered under the pseudonym of a jingle singer for the Page Milk Company at KTUL radio in Tulsa.

In “Flipside…,” her story as narrated by Clara Ann Fowler (Haley Jane Pierce) on the occasion of a 1965 tribute at KTUL for Miss Patti Page “The Singing Rage” (Lindise vanWinkle) with a sweet modesty and reserve. Clara will realize that hers is the voice of  Patti Page, and, as her daddy, Ben Fowler (Willy Welch) had told her, “‘Let ’em hear your voice, Clara Ann. ‘Cause there’s so much for them to hear.”

The modesty and down-hominess shrouds Patti Page’s accomplishments as an innovative musician. For instance, her recording of “Confess” has doubled up her voice for two parts — a technique born of necessity now known as overdubbing.  “We can’t afford two voices,”   her manager Jack Rael (Justin Larman) says. She was to sing echoing herself on a number of hits after that one was produced.

On one occasion, by way of illustration, “Flipside…” cheats in taking advantage of the technique– there are four Patti’s singing in “With My Eyes Wide Open, I’m Dreaming,” when Haley Jane Pierce and Lindsie van Winkle are joined by Jenny Rothmayer and Kassie Carroll in a Patti Page Quartet.
  
“Flipside…” makes the most of the sumptious array of gowns costume-designer Corey Martin has styled for it. Patti Page models a different one for each number.

There is a coda, a device not uncommon in the genre of biographical playwrighting,  in “Flipside…,” which helps us catch up with the singer today. At 85, Miss Patti Page is still performing. In 1998, she won a Grammy for her  Live at Carnegie Hall: The 50th Anniversary Concert.

For more information abut “Flipside: The Patti Page Story,” visit www.59e59.org

It was sad to hear that Patti Page died at the age of 85 on New Year’s day 2013.