Yesterday, I wrote about Lucille Ball making her stage debut in Wildcat written by Carolyn Leigh and Cy Coleman. In talking about the vastly underrated Carolyn Leigh I mentioned another show she wrote, How Now, Dow Jones.
I should first note that Carolyn Leigh, though little known, especially for a Broadway lyricist (in large part because she passed away too early), is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And in addition to writing for Broadway, she also wrote some popular songs, including a couple of huge hits for Frank Sinatra, "The Best is Yet to Come" and the even better, "Young at Heart."
How Now, Dow Jones wasn't well-regarded, but it has a terrific score -- lively music by Elmer Bernstein (best known for his legendary movie scores, like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and so much more, among his 14 Oscar nomination) and Carolyn Leigh's always-witty and intelligent lyrics. And it lasted for 220 performances.,
The show starred Anthony Roberts, who later came to much more attention starring in a bunch of Woody Allen movies (and going by Tony Roberts at that point). The story dealt with a down-on-his-luck shlub who figures out a way to become a successful stockbrocker charming middle-aged ladies and gets some unexpected, somewhat devious help from his girlfriend, played by Marlyn Mason, who works for the Stock Exchange. The satire was written by famed comic novelist Max Schulman.
The fun score also had one really big hit, a big production number helped by one of the more unlikely Broadway chorus lines you'll see. This is Tony Roberts and chorus, at the 1968 Tony Awards, telling you that he's finally become a winner, so get out of his way and "Step to the Rear."
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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