The Most Happy Fella

For years, he was your stalwart leading man. He had the good looks, the great voice and the requisite masculinity. But, as Lorelei Lee taught us, “we all lose our charms in the end.” Now he’s not as swaggeringly handsome and he’s gone gray where he hasn’t gone bald. As Michael asks in I DO! [...]

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My heart is so full of admiration for John Payonk. Last week, he rescued THE MOST HAPPY FELLA at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. Bill Nolte, who usually plays Tony — the aging vintner who desperately wants to be a husband and father — fell ill and couldn’t finish his Wednesday evening [...]

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The Season 1 finale of NBC’s Smash featured the first Boston preview of Bombshell with Karen stepping into the leading role at the last minute.  The episode ended with Karen giving the preview of Bombshell and a fantastic ending with “Don’t Forget About Me.” We certainly haven’t forgotten about you Karen Cartwright!  As we begin [...]

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“Exciting New Musical 1963.” So said the circular yellow sticker that London Records pasted on the cover of every original cast album of RIVERWIND. Actually, if we’re going to get technical about it, RIVERWIND was really “Exciting New Musical 1962.” It opened off-Broadway 50 years ago last week, as you know for all the celebratory [...]

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Few shows straddle the opera-musical line like Frank Loesser’s THE MOST HAPPY FELLA.  Some musicals, such as LES MISERABLES and RENT, follow the common operatic characteristic of being sung-through.  Others, like SWEENEY TODD and Michael John LaChiusa’s MARIE CHRISTINE, have scores and subject matter that seem more appropriate for an opera house than a Broadway [...]

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At the beginning of Frank Loesser’s sprawling masterwork, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, two characters are getting ready to move on.  For Joe, traveling is a way of life; he’ll stay in one place for a few months, working in the fields, and then quit and go somewhere else.  Amy, however, is a waitress who isn’t [...]

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“Knowing Frank Loesser was a rare and rewarding experience for many reasons,” writer Cynthia Lindsay explains, “but the most important was that no matter who and what you were, he made you better.  Whether it was your talent, your humor, your confidence in yourself, you came away from him more creative, funnier, more perceptive about [...]

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