And now we take you back to an easier and simpler time when businesses would actually have Labor Day Picnics, Christmas parties and the almost now extinct and ever elusive Holiday/Year End Bonus for their workers.
On this day in gay history the musical La Cage aux Folles (Yea Theatre Queens!) with a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman opened on Broadway in 1983.
Based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, it focuses on a gay couple: Georges, the manager of a Saint-Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin, his romantic partner and star attraction, and the farcical adventures that ensue when Georges’s son, Jean-Michel, brings home his fiancée’s ultra-conservative parents to meet them. La cage aux folles literally means “the cage of mad women”. However, folles is also a slang term for effeminate homosexuals (queens).
According to Playbill Radio program director Robert Viagas, La Cage aux Folles predated the widespread “Ellen,” “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye”-type recognition. “La Cage opened in a time when gays were just starting to be accepted and homosexuality was just starting to be talked about openly,” Viagas said. “A Chorus Line opened the door and then [came] Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy. La Cage took it a step further showing to a general audience that gays could actually form stable, long-term relationships and even raise children. The message of La Cage could be phrased as ‘Honor your mother — even if she’s a man.’ That was a revelation at the time, at least in the mass media.”
The early-season musical would beat out the rest of the year’s competition — including shows like Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George, John Kander and Fred Ebb’sThe Rink and David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr.’s Baby — taking home the top trio of musical prizes for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Actor Hearn, director Laurents and costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge would bring the show to a topping tally of six awards.
The original production starred George Hearn as Albin and Gene Barry as Georges
Watch the full musical performed by the American Musical Theatre of San Jose starring: Lee Roy Reams, George McDaniel, Ray Reinhardt, and Steven X. Ward below.
It’s been more than half a century (!) since the American tribal love musical first hit the Broadway boards, debuting at the Biltmore Theatre in April 1968 — six months after its off-Broadway bow as the inaugural production of Joseph Papp’s Public Theater.
With music by Galt MacDermot and a book by James Rado & George Ragni, the show had an initial four-year run on the Great White Way and has been revived there four times since, most recently in 2011.
The musical inspired a 1979 movie by Milos Forman — his follow-up to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the 1975 pic that earned him his first Oscar for Best Director. The Hair film cast included Treat Williams, Beverly D’Angelo, and John Savage.
How MBC will handel lyricls like:
Sodomy Fellatio Cunnilingus Pederasty Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
FOX television has announced a live musical production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-, Grammy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT written by the late Johnathan Larson.
Loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
“We are so honored to partner with the estate of the brilliant Jonathan Larson and producer Marc Platt on one of the great musicals of our time,” said Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs, FOX Television Group. “The title is so iconic, the music is so beloved, and the themes are as meaningful today as they were when the show first premiered on Broadway. With Marc overseeing this project, we are sure it will have a profound impact on the legions of fans who know and love this musical.”
“‘Rent’ was Jonathan’s dream of sharing the theater and the passion he had for it with a whole new generation,” said Julie and Al Larson. “None of us could have imagined the massive impact that the messages and themes in ‘Rent’ would have on the theater community or the world…except for Jonathan. We are absolutely thrilled to be continuing Jonathan’s legacy and the still-relevant themes of the show in this way.”
On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,123 performances.
There has been no comment from FOX on how it will deal with the explicit dialog and mature subject matter.
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Plump teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When against all odds Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white “Corny Collins Show.”
“Hairspray Live!” features an all-star cast including Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Dove Cameron, Garrett Clayton, Ariana Grande, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Ephraim Sykes, exciting newcomer Maddie Baillio and special guest stars Billy Eichner, Sean Hayes, Andrea Martin and Rosie O’Donnell.
“Hairspray Live!” will air from Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Stars of the Tony-nominated Broadway show “She Loves Me,” Jane Krakowski and Gavin Creel, perform the song “Ilona” on NBC’s Rockefeller Plaza. The hit musical in its umpteenth revival is up for eight Tony Awards – including one for Jane for Best Actress!
Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle, while Fierstein will return to the role of Edna Turnblad, for which he won a Tony for in the Broadway stage version. He will also write the teleplay.
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” will follow the movie and Broadway show and place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV show, and she launches a campaign to integrate it.
“We are beyond thrilled with this incredibly talented duo of stars for ‘Hairspray Live!,’” said NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “Harvey Fierstein created the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway in an indelible Tony-winning performance that demanded to be memorialized on film, and we’re happy he wanted to step into her shoes one last, unforgettable time. We’re also so grateful that the incomparable Jennifer Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle and we know her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ will literally stop the show.”
No mention of who will be cast in the lead role of Tracey but longtime NYC activist and blogger Jeremy Hooper of Good As You mentioned on Twitter over the weekend that there was an open call taking place near where he lived and there was “spunk lined up around the block”.
Oh! Calcutta! is an avant-garde theatrical revue, created by British drama critic Kenneth Tynan. The show, consisted of sketches on sex-related topics and debuted Off-Broadway in 1969 and then in London in 1970. It ran in London for over 3,900 performances, and in New York initially for 1,314. Revivals enjoyed even longer runs, including a Broadway revival that ran for 5,959 performances, making the show the longest-running revue in Broadway history at the time.
The show sparked considerable controversy at the time, because it featured extended scenes of total nudity, both male and female. The title is taken from a painting byClovis Trouille, itself a pun on “O quel cul t’as!” French for “What an arse you have!”.
Below is the video version which was filmed for closed circuit distribution was produced in 1971.
The video below was filmed as a pay-per-view video production which played on closed-circuit TV in select cities in 1971, and was released theatrically in 1972; in both cases many cities and municipalities banned its showing. Itwas edited at TeleTape studios in New York City. This was the same company that originally shot and edited Sesame Street..
The clip below is the closing act with cast and technical credits.
A young Bill Macy of “Maude” fame is in the cast. “Oh Walter!”
TRIVIA: John Lennon wrote the first draft of the musical sketch number “Four in Hand” in which a newcomer to a masturbation game can’t seem to think of anything to masturbate to.