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Musicals of 1982

 A Doll’s Life
This musical has become one of my personal favorites. Each time I play it it seems to get better. It originally starred Giorgio Tozzi. He was fired and replaced by George Hearn. It played Los Angeles and then came directly to Broadway. It was written by the always wonderful Comden and Green and the talented but unlucky composer Larry Grossman.

It was a tricky project to finance but eventually the money came in and was issued originally as a gatefold LP. It is now on CD with the same mix as the original LP. 

Blues in the Night
This was a three person cast of three blues singers.
The 1982 cast was comprised of Jean Du Shon, Debbie Shapiro, Leslie Uggams, and Charles Coleman.
It featured well known blues songs and had a semi-successful run in a small theater on 43rd and Broadway. 

This was a one performance show by Buddy Sheffield starred the unknown and little appreciated singer Sharon Schruggs. We expect to make the LP into a CD in a short while.

Colette by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones
Colette closed on the road, playing Seattle and one other city. As usualbook problems caused it to close. It later was done at the York theatre and recorded there.
It’s about a famous French author. 

Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?
This is another musical that we sell here at Footlight. Despite the show having a successful tryout in Philadelphia, the New York critics were not at all entertained and the show closed after one performance.
Robert Sher was able to get the show recorded.

Is There Life After Highschool?
by Craig Carnelia
This musical by Craig Carnelia started at the Hartford stage when we saw it and we were quite intrigued with the premise and the score. When it opened in New York it got mixed and negative reviews and even though the show had been backed by Clive Davis of Arista Records, they passed on doing the album. So when I approached Craig Carnelia, he was very happy with the idea of doing the recording and he was very helpful in getting part of the financing. We recorded these songs over a period of time and the show and some of the songs have become favorites amongst high schools, particularly a number called “The Kid Inside”.
Once Craig Carnelia wanted to help me deliver some of the CD’s to the store and I said “How would you feel if I said I wanted to sing one of the songs?”
I was not being serious but he quickly replied “Which song?”
I said I would do The Kid Inside, to which he said “No I would not let you sing The Kid Inside.”

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
This was the first success for Webber and Rice and had a nice run on Broadway and has been revived many times and many places since.

Keystone (Mulcahy and McKeller and McGregor)
This is a musical that closed prior to Broadway. There was a video done for cable television which we would like to try to find at some point.
This was a musical about silent movies. 

Little Johnny Jones (George M. Cohan)
This was done at the Goodspeed opera house where it was quite popular. They replaced Tom Hulce with David Cassidy on Broadway and the show closed after opening night. This was not something that appealed to a general audience.

Little Me (Coleman and Leigh) 
This is a revival which did not in any way measure up to the original. It was done on the cheap and the few new songs were not very good. It closed after a handful of performances without a recording. 

Nine (Murray Yeston) 
We saw this show at a summer reading at the Eugene O’Neill in Connecticut. I remember that the show was done in the round and Katherine Hepburn who had a summer and sometimes winter home nearby was in the audience and i was fascinated to look at her and see what her reaction was.
It actually was then called 8 and a Half which is the title of the Filini movie. It was fully staged and made into a big success by Tommie Tune and had a long run, revival, and even a recent movie. 

Play Me a Country Song by John R. Briggs
This is a show that closed on opening night. It did have Karen Mason in it and that’s the only good thing I can say about it. 

Rock n’ Roll!
The First 5000 Years

This was a tribute to bad rock and roll and it closed quickly. 

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
(de Paul – Mercer – Kasha – Hirschhorn)
This was a musical somewhat based on the terrific movie with Jane Powell and Howard Keel. They had even tried to do it with Powell and Keel but they were a bit too old.
The producers decided to write and actually replace a few wonderful songs from the original movie and this was a big mistake. The best thing about it was David-James Carroll in the Howard Keel role. The Jane Powell role was played by Debby Boone who had a pleasing voice but not the equivalent of Powell. We tried for over a year to put together a cast album. The producers, who thought they could get a movie but could not, put it off and put it off and so no recording was made. 
There is a recording of the english cast however, which we have.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas By Carol Hall 
Went from off-off-Broadway to off-Broadway to Broadway. I can not think of another show that did that within such a short period of time. Because of Tommie Tune’s clever staging, it had quite a run along with a tour with Alexa Smith and a Dolly Parton-Burt Reynolds movie. 

Your Arm’s Too Short To Box With God
Micki Grant and Alex Bradford
An original black revue that had a reasonably long run.

2 thoughts on “Musicals of 1982

  1. I look forward to your blog! Broadway Musicals are my passion. I have over 500 Cast Albums and love listening to them. Would love to meet you sometime.

  2. Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? ran 5 official performances, not 1. Tommy Tune spells his first name “Tommy”, not “Tommie”.

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