Let’s start the New Year off right with this lost clip from the Golden Age of Television.
In June of 1962 Julie Andrews, already a Broadway legend (The Boy Friend, My Fair Lady, Camelot), and Carol Burnett, fresh from Once Upon a Mattress (1959) and CBS’s The Garry Moore Show, met on the stage of Carnegie Hall in a hilarious revue by Mike Nichols, broadcast on CBS television. The high point of the evening was a ten-minute “History of Musical Comedy” incorporating snatches of 25 show tunes (including “Loverly”). Burnett won her second Emmy Award for the event. A reunion nine and a half years later (December 1971) was broadcast from Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center; on this occasion the climactic medley consisted of fragments of 46 songs, all popular in the interim since their Carnegie Hall partnership.
On April 3, 1978 the Cher … Special aired on ABC-TV
As the show begins, there is a spotlight on the floor and the voice of Cher’s mother, is heard calling her young daughter: “Cher? Cher? Cher, is that you? I thought I asked you not to mess up my record albums.” Cher steps into the spotlight, made up to look like a younger version of herself with her hair in pigtails. The young Cher sits on the floor and tells her mother that she is upset because she is not blonde and she says that all the pretty girls have blonde hair and blue eyes. Her mother tells her daughter that she is beautiful and someday she will realize just how special she really is. Cher tells her mother that she will try to understand and explains that she got into the record albums so that she could learn the songs from West Side Story for school. When her mother asks Cher what part she is going to play, Cher replies, “all of them”.
Cher stands up, looks directly at the camera, and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, for tonight’s entertainment, I am proud to present West Side Story. I will be playing all the parts. Thank you.” For the next fifteen minutes, Cher sings and dances to a medley of songs from the musical, playing both male and female characters.
Ladies and Gentlegays we now present West Side Story starring the incomparable Cher.
50 New York City Dancers took to Times Square to perform a Flash Mob rendition of West Side Story, which celebrates it’s 50th anniversary of winning the Academy Award and it’s Blu-ray release on 11/15/2011.
Jerome Robbins would have loved it! Cringed a little, but loved it just the same.