The Name's LaGuardia -- Part 8
After a slight break -- let's call it the Intermission -- we continue with the Second Elisberg Industries International Film Festival, and our presentation of Fiorello! with a score by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock. If you've missed any of it, the Fest began here, so you can start there and scroll up.
At this point in the story, newly-elected Congressman Fiorello H. LaGuardia returns heroically home from World War I. Mixed with his political efforts, he picks up once more with the beautiful Thea, who Fiorello had met during a labor strike she was leading and helped get her out of jail. Their relationship had always been one more of respect and almost convenience on her part, since Fiorello loved her and accepted in return that she admired him and was appreciative to him more than loved But with the distance of the war, his heroism, and energy, and love, things have grown to the point where she agrees to marry him. Quietly, Fiorello's long-time secretary Marie, who has been in love with him for years, sadly adjusts to the news. And the curtain falls on Act I.
As Act II begins, it's now 1929, and LaGuardia and Thea have gotten married. Moreover, he has decided to take on directly the corrupt Tammany Hall and is running for mayor against the very popular, albeit empty and with criminal ties, Mayor "Gentleman Jimmy" Walker.
LaGuardia heads off to work. And on this day, the sometimes surprising realities of life catch up to Thea. After several years with this dynamic man who adores her, she realizes that...to her shock...she is deeply in love with him. And she sings one of my all-time favorite love songs -- and one of the most beautiful love songs in the Broadway lexicon -- "When Did I Fall In Love"
I wrote about the song here, which includes the original Broadway performance by Ellen Hanley. This is a version from a cabaret performance by Analisa Leaming.
10/6/2019 01:29:33 am
I didn't realize this until I was listening to a clip from Encores!, but Sheldon Harnick changed an historical reference. Can you spot it? (Many covers of "When Did I Fall in Love" leave out the first bit of the song, which is when that term comes up -- I had to google it. As originally written it's a neat bit of wordplay. Pity to lose it, but given that only certain hobbyists would get it today, I can see why.)
10/6/2019 09:41:22 pm
I hadn't seen that Encores! version of the song, and it was easy to pick-out the change. I understand his reason for it, though it's minor.
10/8/2019 01:29:10 pm
I looked around online to find out more about "Dragons" -- it sounds interesting!
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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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