Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What a broad.

I have been on a Dorothy Loudon kick for a while now. I think it started when I watched My Favorite Broadway - The Leading Ladies and Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall. Of course my Musical Theatre Advisor nurtured this interest by providing me with "The Essential Dorothy Loudon" (comprised of both studio recording and, ahem, otherwise). Dorothy made her Broadway debut in the aptly titled Nowhere to Go But Up ; it ran for only nine performances. She was best known for her Tony winning performance as Miss Hannigan in Annie, but she was oh so much more. My favorite cast album of Dorothy's is Ballroom. Ballroomwas a musical a widow who ventured back into life after her husband passed away and found herself in an affair with a married man. The unbelievable song "Fifty Percent" is from this show and Dorothy sang the hell out of it. Even though it was produced by Michael Bennett as a musical for grown-ups follow-up to A Chorus Line, it ran for only 116 performances. Still, it garnered Dorothy a Best Actress in a Musical Tony nomination in 1979. Of course, Angela Lansbury won that year for Sweeney Todd. Then you know I have to link Dorothy to Sondheim - Dorothy was the second Mrs. Lovett, replacing Angela Lansbury when Angela took Sweeney out on the road in 1980. Dorothy had a big smile, an even bigger voice and a trademark wit. She said in her Tony acceptance speech, "I knew when I got up here I could really work this room." On Saturday, I spent the afternoon at the TV Museum watching a wonderful hour of clips of her television appearances. Included were various performances at the Tony Awards, Johnny Carson show, the Garry Moore Show, among others. Everybody in the room was laughing out loud and clapping after every clip. What a broad she was.

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