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Hello Dolly!

A Few Thoughts on Those Needless Changes to “The Music Man”

February 21, 2022

I want to be clear.  "The Music Man" is such a masterfully written musical that making some changes here and there can’t really ruin it; but changes are not needed in this show and they certainly don’t help.   I believe in the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” I also believe, as Tommy Tune once told me years ago in discussing a different show, many producers and directors feel a need to tinker with shows, making changes for the sake of making changes, even when the wiser choice would be to simply leave things alone. There’s just that desire to  “improve” things, whether or not the changes actually improve anything. [more]

On The Town … with Chip Deffaa: Jerry Herman and Michael Feinstein

January 3, 2020

Composer/lyricist Jerry Herman was, of course, a Broadway legend.   He gave us such unforgettable shows as "Hello, Dolly!," "Mame," and "La Cage Aux Folles." These musicals were all  huge hits, brimming with songs that audiences quickly took their heart--songs like "We Need a Little Christmas," I Am What I Am," "If He Walked into My Life," "The Best of Times," and, of course, two of the most enduringly popular title-songs in Broadway history: "Hello, Dolly!" and "Mame."  Among his other Broadway shows: “Milk and Honey,” “Mack and Mabel,” “The Grand Tour,” “Dear World,” “Jerry’s Girls,” “An Evening with Jerry Herman.”  He also contributed material to both “Ben Franklin in Paris” and “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine.” [more]

A Chat with Bob Avian

July 12, 2007

The creative forces with whom he has worked are a who’s who of the Broadway musical. They include Steve Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Cy Coleman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Claude-Michel Schoenberg, Neil Simon, Hal Prince, Tommy Tune and Cameron Mackintosh. And performers such as Mary Martin, Betty Grable, Barbara Streisand, Katherine Hepburn, Elaine Stritch, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Rigg, Eartha Kitt, Patti Lupone, Glenn Close, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett, just to name a few. [more]