We made it in. And just in time to wish Happy birthday, Benjamin Franklin. On January 17, 1706, the good fellow was born 311 years ago today. And he might be one of the least-likely historical people to be depicted in two Broadway musicals.
You well-know the second show he was featured in, the Tony-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning 1776. But the first musical is far-lesser known, Ben Franklin in Paris, which opened in 1964. The show followed Franklin's efforts to raise money in France for the American Revolution, and it certainly had a major star in the role, none other than Robert Preston. And though it wasn't successful, it nonetheless ran for a moderately respectable 215 performances.
I'm not crazy about the by Sidney Michaels, though it had a few very nice songs. And one of them, happily is actually available on video. Not great quality but very watchable. It is likely from a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show (to bring Ed up again...) and includes the scene that leads into the song -- "Half the Battle."
The other song from the show that I like a lot is "Look for Small Pleasures." It's audio only from the original cast only, but well-worth including here. Here is Robert Preston and the female lead Ulla Sallert
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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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