Speaking yesterday of Phil Silvers starring in the revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and winning the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical, I just found his Tony-acceptance speech at the 1972 ceremonies. It’s long, and (as a result) funny how they keep trying to get him off (including his co-star Larry Blyden, who as I mentioned yesterday was one of the revival's producers, I believe), but it’s actually a very charming speech from someone know for his brashness. What I most-like is that when he refers to "my cast" -- a common, if a touch arrogant expression that Big Stars sometimes use -- he.surprisingly and happily corrects himself.
Fortunately, I got to see the show when it played in Chicago before going to Broadway. Unfortunately, we don't have any video (thus far, I live in hope and with exploration) that shows how wonderful Phil Silvers was when he starred as Pseudolus in the stage revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but at least we have this showing that the theater community thought he was, indeed, wonderful.
Well, that's the best we can do with this production. Fortunately, we do have film of Phil Silvers in the movie version of Forum -- though not in the starring role, rather as the procurer Marcus Lycus. It's not remotely the same thing, but beggers don't have a choice. Here he is coming in near the end with Zero Mostel, Michael Hordern and Jack Gilford in the song, "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid."
Hey, we try. We go with the best we've got...
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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