Life Was a Cabaret
A very entertaining article from London's The Guardian, sent to me by my long-time Camp Nebagamon friend John Kander (the nephew of...) about reminiscences by composer John Kander (the uncle of...) and Judi Dench about the original London production of Cabaret. The show was the first musical that Dench had starred in, and though by her own admission not much of a singer, she subsequently starred in several others, most notably A Little Night Music.
My favorite line in the piece is the very first, with John Kander commenting, "As I see it, I was part of the last generation that was allowed to fail." To anyone who doubts the importance of this in creating art -- or doing pretty much anything -- he goes on to tell a story about flopping with the first show he and lyricist Fred Ebb wrote, Flora the Red Menace, but even during rehearsals the director Hal Prince told them that whatever happens he wanted to start talking about their next show. And so they did. And that next show turned out to be Cabaret.
Judi Dench tells a very funny about how her dressing room was situated such that she should easily hear the public as they walked past. And one afternoon after a matinee she overheard a woman tell her husband, “Oh, you told me it was all about nuns and children.” To which Dench then adds, "I think she was rather disappointed."
You can read the whole thing here.
A long while back, I posted a video here of Judi Dench singing "Don't Tell Mama" in performance during that initial production. Here's a video of her rehearsing the number. (Side note: the main "talking head" here is a woman named Marti Webb. She not only starred with Dame Judi in one of those afore-mentioned musicals, The Good Companions, but she was the female lead in the original London production of Half a Sixpence, which made Tommy Steele a stage musical star.)
But enough about Marti Webb, here is Judi Dench.
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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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