Discussion:
Great Performances "Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy"
(too old to reply)
S. Newport
2013-01-04 15:08:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Turns out there were lots of Jewish composers of Broadway shows. Who knew?

Actually, it was a hell of a lot more entertaining than I expected. Usually,
they talk endlessly and you barely get to hear the performance, but the
stories were interesting and they included excerpts of interviews with
some of the composers late in life.

They started audaciously with that you got to put Jews in your musical
lyric from Spamalot, hahahaha.

I learned that Jerome Kern didn't have the guts to keep the "She doesn't
look Jewish at all" lyric that ends "If You Could See Her With My Eyes"
in Cabaret on stage as Jewish audiences missed the bitter sarcasm. It's
in the movie adaptation, but that came five years later.

Wish they spent a lot more time on Yiddish theater, entirely unfamiliar
to television audiences.

"There's nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music.
Musicals carry us to a different time and place, but in the end, they
also teach us a little bit of something about ourselves. In many ways,
the story of Broadway is also intertwined with the story of America.
Some of the greatest singers and songwriters Broadway has ever known
came to this country on a boat with nothing more than an idea in their
head and a song in their heart. And they succeeded the same way that so
many immigrants have succeeded through talent and hard work and sheer
determination. Over the years, musicals have also been at the forefront
of our social consciousness, challenging stereotypes, shaping our
opinions about race and religion, death and disease, power and politics.
But perhaps the most American part of this truly American art form is
its optimism. Broadway music calls us to see the best in ourselves and
in the world around us."-- President Obama

"Musicals blow the dust off your soul."-- Mel Brooks
John W Kennedy
2013-01-04 20:05:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by S. Newport
Turns out there were lots of Jewish composers of Broadway shows. Who knew?
Actually, it was a hell of a lot more entertaining than I expected. Usually,
they talk endlessly and you barely get to hear the performance, but the
stories were interesting and they included excerpts of interviews with
some of the composers late in life.
They started audaciously with that you got to put Jews in your musical
lyric from Spamalot, hahahaha.
I learned that Jerome Kern didn't have the guts to keep the "She doesn't
look Jewish at all" lyric that ends "If You Could See Her With My Eyes"
in Cabaret on stage as Jewish audiences missed the bitter sarcasm. It's
in the movie adaptation, but that came five years later.
Jerome Kern?????
Post by S. Newport
Wish they spent a lot more time on Yiddish theater, entirely unfamiliar
to television audiences.
My wife did a translation (on commission) of Abraham Goldfaden's 1883
operetta "Bar Kokhba" a few years ago. Haven't heard anything since she
handed it in. Tricky work, since there was not yet any standard
literary dialect of Yiddish, so the spelling was all over the place,
and we had to cross-reference German, Hebrew, and Russian dictionaries
for many words.
--
John W Kennedy
"...when you're trying to build a house of cards, the last thing you
should do is blow hard and wave your hands like a madman."
-- Rupert Goodwins
chromolume
2013-01-09 05:57:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by S. Newport
I learned that Jerome Kern didn't have the guts to keep the "She doesn't
look Jewish at all" lyric that ends "If You Could See Her With My Eyes"
in Cabaret on stage as Jewish audiences missed the bitter sarcasm. It's
in the movie adaptation, but that came five years later.
Indeed. It would have taken major guts for a composer to rise from the grave more than 20 years after his death, to question the LYRICS of someone else's song. ;-)

BTW, I understand that even after the lyric was changed (and I believe Ebb was *pressured* to change it - he didn't want to - I think it's a bit more complicated than "didn't have the guts"), Joel Grey often sang the original lyric, using the excuse that he forgot about the change. ;-)
John W Kennedy
2013-01-09 15:31:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by chromolume
Post by S. Newport
I learned that Jerome Kern didn't have the guts to keep the "She doesn't
look Jewish at all" lyric that ends "If You Could See Her With My Eyes"
in Cabaret on stage as Jewish audiences missed the bitter sarcasm. It's
in the movie adaptation, but that came five years later.
Indeed. It would have taken major guts for a composer to rise from the
grave more than 20 years after his death, to question the LYRICS of
someone else's song. ;-)
BTW, I understand that even after the lyric was changed (and I believe
Ebb was *pressured* to change it - he didn't want to - I think it's a
bit more complicated than "didn't have the guts"), Joel Grey often sang
the original lyric, using the excuse that he forgot about the change.
;-)
That scene and this scene from "The Duchess of Chicago" (Vienna, 1928,
and most of the creative team was Jewish) always remind me of one
another.

Princess Rosemarie: You mustn't laugh at me. That is -- I have a little
birth defect. Maybe you've already noticed it. I lisp.

Mr. Bondy (lisping):  God, how sweet!  How I love it!  That is, I also
have a little birth defect. (Maybe you've already noticed it, too.)
That is, I'm a little....

Rosemarie:  Little?

Bondy (coyly):  An Israelittle --

(They both laugh.)

(The wordplay is as-is. The show is in German, but the heroine is a
wealthy American tourist and the book and lyrics are stuffed like Oreos
with English words.)
--
John W Kennedy
Read the remains of Shakespeare's lost play, now annotated!
http://www.SKenSoftware.com/Double%20Falshood
Remysun
2013-01-20 22:19:45 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Did they cover the one night only parody of Fiddler on the Roof on
Avenue Q?


robert armstrong
2013-01-21 20:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Show seemed like a threadbare reworking of the multi-part Broadway
documentary of a few years ago, recycling the existing films and stills
of that series. Some of it was enlightening of course, especially Cole
Porter's conversion to writing "Jewish."

Bob A

"Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"

Loading...