And with only one mere hour left, as Trump has departed airspace from Washington, D.C. to Florida, we offer a final so long and a wave. As the expression goes, don't let the door hit you on the way out --
And so, after four years that have been "Miserables," we close out the night and look with joy toward tomorrow with the clock clicking down.
By the way, there are some eerily prescient lines here, albeit it out of context, like when Javert sings about sneaking in to join the revolution, and when Jean Valjean sings -- "These people who know of my crime / Will come for me a second time."
One day more...
For the longest while, I was planning to post the real video of this song the day before the Inauguration – and when I tracked it down online, I discovered that someone had made this parody with new words dubbed in. And did a wonderful job with it, especially if you know the original, even I believe using a brief line from original soundtrack since it fit so well..
Here's the new, remix --
This morning, we celebrated Ben Franklin's 315th birthday with a couple of songs from the Broadway musical, Ben Franklin in Paris. But of course we have to follow that up with something from 1776. So, here then is "The Egg."
And...oh, okay, it's not a musical about Ben Franklin, but how can we end a celebration of the good fellow without this from Mary Poppins?!
Ben Franklin was born on this day, January 17, in 1706. And as I like to do to celebrate, I thought I'd post a few songs with the good fellow from a couple of Broadway musicals. Yes, a couple -- there are two musicals I know of that feature Benjamin Franklin, which is probably two more than most people would have guessed for a very long time.
While I'm certain that 1776 comes first to mind for most people, instead we're going to start with another. It's a show that opened in October, 1964, called Ben Franklin in Paris. And it had an impressive lead -- Robert Preston, in his first musical since The Music Man. It had music and lyrics by a fellow named Sidney Michaels and also starred Ulla Sallert. The show didn't have a long run, though did play for 215 performances, which is half a year.
I'm not bowled over by the score, but it does have a few nice things in it. And happily, my favorite song even has video of it when the cast appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed the song and the scene that leads into it. This is "Half the Battle."
The other song, "Look for Small Pleasures," is quite nice, in a small, charming way. In fact, it even had a bit of life outside the show and was recorded by several people, with moderate success.
Okay, let's head back to our 1999 videos of when Laura Benanti made her Broadway starring debut when she was a replacement lead as 'Maria' in The Sound of Music, taking over the role from Rebecca Luker. As I mentioned, she took over the lead at the same time Richard Chamberlain joined the cast.
For those who don't remember, Chamberlain was famously a big TV star in the early-1960s series, Dr. Kildare. He then dropped out of sight for three years, and when he resurfaced, it turned out he had been studying serious acting and played the lead in Hamlet with the well-regarded Birmingham Rep in England to much praise. And then reprised the role on TV in The Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Anyway, here is Laura Benanti and Richard Chamberlain singing Something Good, which wasn't in the original stage show, but has since been interpolated into it after being added to the movie.
I was trying to think what to post tonight that would be appropriate. And this came to mind. It's from a 1960 movie that starred Bing Crosby, High Time, about the owner of a national chain of hamburger restaurants who decides to go back to college. (It got basically remade in 1986 with Rodney Dangerfield as Back to School. I say "basically" because I don't think it gave credit but is incredibly close in plot and even scenes.) The song was written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, and was nominated for Best Song -- though lost out to "Never on Sunday."
Even though Bing Crosby introduced it, Frank Sinatra had a big hit with it and oddly is even more associated with it. And his version seems to fit a little be better for the occasion.
All that aside, it just seems so right for today.
And what the heck, let's throw in second one, for a bonus. Because you can never say "a second one" today enough times.
Well, after our brief interruption, let's head back to Laura Benanti' at the very beginning of her career, when she made her starring debut on Broadway in the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music. This video comes from the following year after she took over the lead role of 'Sister Maria," replacing the wonderful Rebecca Luker, who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.
As I noted yesterday, if Benanti's name isn't familiar, despite many major Broadway credits since then, she may be best-known for her appearances on Stephen Colbert's show playing 'Melania Trump.'
Here she is with the Von Trapp children singing -- oh, you can probably figure it out. The one oddity here is that she uses sign language for the "Do Re Mi" part. Initially, I figured it was just something she put in for personal reasons, but then when I tracked down and posted a video of Luker in the same production, she did the same thing. For most versions of "Do Re Mi" I've come across, the director seems to like to put their own notable twist on their staging of the number. (A fun production in Norway that I posted here years ago used swings.) I'm guessing the director here went with sign language.
At the very beginning of the video, for about one second, you'll see 'Capt. Von Trapp' handing her a whistle to order around the children. If the quick look seems familiar, that's because it's Richard Chamberlain, who joined the cast at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the sad passing of actress Rebecca Luker and noted that among her many roles she starred on Broadway in a 1998 revival of The Sound of Music.
Also last month, I posted a parody video here of "The Man with a Plan," performed by Laura Benanti, which she collaborated with Randy Rainbow. I mentioned that she might be best-known the public for playing 'Melania Trump' on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. What I also wrote was that "She recently starred in the revival of My Fair Lady (though as the replacement 'Eliza Doolittle'), as well as the revival of She Loves Me (from which I just posted a Holiday Music Fest song yesterday), and revivals of Gypsy (as 'Gypsy,' not 'Mama Rose') and The Sound of Music (as a replacement 'Maria' in her Broadway debut).
What I didn't mention was that when she made her starring debut on Broadway as "Maria' in The Sound of Music, the person she replaced was...Rebecca Luker! (This came near the start of her career, and she had initially played a postulant in the production and was also in the ensemble, later being promoted during the show's run to the lead role.)
I tracked down a few videos of her in that production and will post several videos -- including a couple of duets with the actor who also joined the cast at the same time and was a replacement for 'Baron Von Trapp'...Richard Chamberlain. But for starters, here is Laura Benanti solo in her Broadway starring debut with the title song.
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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