I think we should have a little Groucho. But it's most definitely not the Groucho you're used to -- and not the Groucho that most people have ever seen.
Back in 1960, The Bell Telephone Hour series did a cut-down, one-hour version of The Miikado. It had an impressive cast, including Metropolitan Opera star Helen Traubel, Stanley Holloway (who played Pickering in My Fair Lady), Dennis King (the legendary star of The Vagabond King), and Robert Rounseville, who several yeas later would be in the original production of Man of La Mancha. And adding to the stature, the show was directed by Robert Dwan and the Gilbert & Sullivan star of the D'Oyly Carte Company, Martyn Green.
And, oh, as Ko-Ko -- Groucho Marx.
As you might imagine, Groucho is not the quintessential Gilbert & Sullivan performer. But as you also might guess, what he lacks in acting and operetta singing, he more than makes up in character, texture and presence. And as a lifelong Gilbert & Sullivan aficionado, he brought affection and enthusiasm to the role. And, as you'll see, a little bit of Groucho...
This comes near the end of the show, and is sung with Helen Traubel. " There is beauty in the bellow of the blast,"
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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