The Russell Davies Song Show
23rd July 2006, the Russell Davies Song Show on BBC Radio 2 reached
Dorothy Fields in its series of shows devoted to the 20 Greatest
As he always does, Russell Davies has unearthed some unfamiliar
recordings and offers interesting background information and opinions.
You can hear it online for up to a week i.e. until 30th July
Also visit his Greatest
A Fine Romance: K.T.Sullivan and Mark Nadler
This new CD devoted to the songs of Dorothy Fields is due to be
released on January 24th 2006.
The songs are performed by cabaret artistes K.T.Sullivan and
Mark Nadler, and it follows the highly praised show they performed
last year in honour of the Dorothy Fields centenary. (See reviews
of that show at the AAAArtistes
As well as several of the best known songs, this recording also
includes some songs which are very rarely recorded such as I'll
Try, You Wanna Bet, and
Don't Mention Love To Me.
This is a DRG Records release and more information may be found
at their site.
Ladies Don't Write Lyrics: Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn spends most of his time launching witheringly contemptuous
attacks on anti-war activists, environmental campaigners and others
he believes guilty of sloppy and sentimental thinking.
When he turns his critical pen to the musical stage and the great
American songwriters he is an original, thoughtful and very entertaining
commentator. For Dorothy Fields' centenary he has produced a 48-page
booklet which can be bought at his
site. The booklet is cheaply produced but has lots of illustrations.
Most importantly it's full of great insights, starting with a
short general section and followed by pieces on 20 of her songs.
The price includes a copy of the CD An
Evening with Dorothy Fields.
Rerelease of Debbie Allen Sweet Charity recording
cast recording of the 1986 production of Sweet
Charity, starring Debbie Allen and Bebe Neuwirth, has been
out of print for some time.
It was rereleased on November 22nd 2005.
A review will follow.
New Sweet Charity Recording
new cast album of Sweet Charity was released on 12th July 2005.
It includes six bonus tracks, mostly of Cy Coleman singing demos
of the songs three years before the show originally opened on
Broadway. More details are to be found on the
A review will follow.
Smart Girls Sing Dorothy Fields
A new cabaret show Smart Girls Sing Dorothy
Fields can be seen at the Encore in New York in May. More
Smart Girls Sing Dorothy Fields
Sunday, May 8th 7:30 PM
Friday, May 20th 7:30 PM
Wednesday, May 25th 9:30 PM
$15 Cover, $15 Minimum
$5 Cover for MAC and Cabaret Hotline
266 West 47th Street
Reservations highly recommeded: (212) 221-3960
Sweet Charity takes its time
The new Broadway production of Sweet Charity
will finally open on 4th May 2005. In the three years of preparation,
numerous actresses have been linked to the starring role.
Originally Jenna Elfman was named as the star, but she backed out
in late 2002. Marisa Tomei stepped up for the part and was due to
open on Broadway in spring 2003. However halfway through the workshop
which finally took place in June 2003, Jane Krakowski took over.
Melanie Griffith expressed an interest in September 2003, but she
was probably never a serious candidate.
In October 2003, the producers announced they would still like
Marisa Tomei for the role.
However in March 2004 Christina Applegate was confirmed as the
star. At the same time it was announced that Wayne Cilento would
choreograph and the opening date would be April 2005.
The pre-Broadway tour started in February 2005 in Minneapolis and
then moved on to Chicago. On March 11th Christina Applegate broke
She was replaced by Charlotte d'Amboise for the Boston performances
in March. The actresses playing the roles of Charity's best friends
were also replaced at the same time.
On March 25 producer Barry Weissler announced that the show would
not open on Broadway after all, citing weak sales.
On March 29th he announced that following pleas from Applegate
and confirmation that she would be able to perform by 18th April
he had changed his mind, and the show would open as planned.
Charlotte d'Amboise will play the first week of previews starting
11th April, with Christina Applegate returning to the role in time
for opening night on 4th May.
For more information see the most recent Playbill
The production makes some changes to the original. Notably the
song I Love To Cry at Weddings has
been dropped and two new songs have been added. One song, If
There Were More People Like You is from the unproduced show
Eleanor. It was sung by Dorothy Fields
herself in her Lyrics and Lyricists concert and recorded in An
Evening with Dorothy Fields. In the new production it is sung
by Charity's friends at the end of the show. (Note: by the time
the show opened on Broadway If There Were
More People Like You was dropped and I
Love To Cry at Weddings was restored.)
The other song, A Good Impression
is a new song for Oscar. Apparently is an unused Fields lyric set
to a new melody from Coleman, which he finished a few days before
It has been announced that a cast recording will be made on May
16th and released on June 24th. See Playbill
Cy Coleman dies
Cy Coleman died on 18th November 2004. He was the last
of Dorothy Fields's greatest cowriters. Read
an obituary by Christopher Hawtree.
Decca puts Up in Central Park / Arms and the Girl on general sale
In October 2003 Decca Broadway released on a single CD the original
cast recordings of Up in Central Park
and Arms and the Girl. Neither had
been on CD before. However the CD was not available in stores, and
was only available on the website for three months.
However as of September 2004, the CD has gone on general sale and
can be ordered from any retailer.
great to hear the remastered CD release of the recorded elements
of these two scores. A review by Marc Miller with a lot of interesting
background information can be seen at the
More details on the two shows involved:
Up in Central Park. Eight tracks from
this wonderful score, written with Sigmund Romberg, were recorded
in 1945. Four singers were involved: Wilbur Evans and Betty Bruce
from the original production, with Eileen Farrell and Celeste
Holm helping out.
More on the show
and the Girl. The score for this 1950 show was written with
Morton Gould, and the recording features Nanette Fabray, Georges
Guetary, and two terrific songs for Pearl Bailey.
More on the show
Dorothy's Side of the Street
The 92nd Street Y is mounting a centennial celebration
of Dorothy Fields on March 19-21, 2005. It is to be hosted by
Deborah Grace Winer who wrote the On the Sunny Side of the Street
biography. More details are available on the 92nd
Street Y site.
Centennial events at the New York Public Library
Dorothy Fields' centennial will be in July next year, and it's
great news that the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
is planning a series of special events in its season leading up
to the date.
The series features two concerts - one by Barbara Carroll on 22nd
September and another by David Lahm and Judy Kreston on 9th December.
There are also two screenings of the film Swing
Full details are at the NYPL website; please click the image below.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The New York City Centres next Encore series of musicals will include
a production of Dorothy Fields' great musical A
Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
The production will be based on the revised book by Elinor Rensfield
which was used at the Goodspeed revival in 2003. Dates are 10th
to 13th Feburary 2005, and more details can be found at the Encores
CD Release for Dorothy Fields film scores:
Lovely to Look At and Texas Carnival
CD company Rhino Handmade specialises in releasing "limited
editions of otherwise unavailable audio and video goodies from the
vast Rhino Archives for sale on the Internet".
This release is particularly welcome - it contains all the music
from the 1952 film Lovely To Look At,
a new version of the story of the Jerome Kern stage show Roberta.
The songs used have a complicated history. As well as two Dorothy
Fields songs written for the 1930s screen version of Roberta, the
film used several old Kern songs with new lyrics supplied by Fields.
As a bonus Rhino Handmade has included five tracks (four by Dorothy
Fields) from the 1951 film Texas Carnival - a first release.
The CD is not generally available in stores but can be ordered
from Rhino Handmade.
Click here for my review.
Dina Blade CD
CD was released in 2002 but has only recently come to my attention.
It contains a series of excellent jazz renditions
of the standards by Dina Blade - see my
review for more details.
The CD was released by the Seattle-based Nocturne
Records. It can be ordered from the CD
Dorothy Fields article in UK musicals newsletter
Spotlight on Musicals is the informative
newsletter produced by the UK-based Stage Musical Appreciation Society.
The September 2003 issue includes an article about Dorothy Fields
which I contributed.
If you'd like to know more about the Society or the newsletter,
please visit the Spotlight
on Musicals site.