Cy Coleman Book Giveaway – Classic Movie Hub

Classic Movie Hub is hosting a You Fascinate Me So:

The Life and Times of Cy Coleman Book Giveaway!

00122483From now through Saturday, June 6th, Classic Movie Hub will be giving away a total of SIX copies of You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman by Andy Propst!

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO ENTER:

TO ENTER via TWITTER (Four Chances to Win):

1.) Follow @ClassicMovieHub on Twitter for the contest announcements.

2.) Successfully complete a qualifying entry task during the specified contest week.

3.) One winner will be chosen at random at the end of each specified contest week and announced on Twitter the following day.

4.) One book will be given away each specified contest week during the contest period, for a total giveaway of four books within four weeks.

TO ENTER via FACEBOOK (Two Chances to Win):

1.) Visit Classic Movie Hub on Facebook or the CMH Blog for the contest announcement.

2.) Successfully complete a qualifying entry task during the specified contest period.

3.) Two winners will be chosen at random at the end of the specified contest period and announced on Facebook and the Blog the following day.

4.) Two books will be given away during the contest period, for a total giveaway of two books within one month.

PLEASE NOTE for all prizing: Only Continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) and Canada residents are eligible.

For more information, click here!

On the Aisle with Larry

Larry Harbison, editor of How I Did It: Establishing a Playwriting Career, recently reviewed On the Twentieth Century in his Playfixer blog! Read his opinion on the musical revival, as well as his opinions on several other musicals currently on and off Broadway!

On the Aisle with Larry

Lawrence Harbison, The Playfixer, brings you up to date with what’s hot and what’s not in New York. In this column, Larry reports on AIRLINE HIGHWAY, DISENCHANTED, SOMETHING ROTTEN, THE VISIT, ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY and IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU.

AIR279x238pxLisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway, a Steppenwolf import currently at the Samuel J.Friedman Theatre, is something of a throwback which put me in mind of the glory days of Circle Rep. It’s a thoroughly realistic large-cast slice of life play more about its characters than its plot. Think The Hot L Baltimore. Think Balm in Gilead (which was also a Steppenwolf import, directed by John Malkovich, with a sensational performance by an unknown-to-New York actress named Laurie Metcalfe. Both plays were by the late Lanford Wilson). D’Amour’s play is about the denizens of a seedy motel in New Orleans called The Humming Bird. There’s a seen-better-days hooker (played wonderfully by Julie White); there’s a transvestite with a heart of gold named Sissy Na Na, played with quite a flair by J. Todd Freedman (both actors are nominated for Tony Awards, by the way). What plot there is concerned the funeral of an elderly resident named Miss Ruby, once a madam. She ain’t dead yet (she’s in bad shape up in her room) but has requested that her funeral be held before her imminent demise so she can attend it. Joe Mantello has elicited fantastic performances from his ensemble cast.

As a Lanford Wilson fan, I was thrilled to see that his legacy is carrying on.

Disenchanted, at the Westside Theatre, spoofs heroines from Disney animated films, such as Belle and the Little Mermaid, done by an energetic cast of 5 women. The songs by Dennis T. deal_1413916803Giacino (who also wrote the sorta one-joke book) are tuneful and clever. This is a great “Girls Night Out” show. I rolled my eyes more than once, but the ladies in  the audience were whooping it up.

Something Rotten, at the St. James Theatre, is that SR-0026M-TelechargeLogos-176x176rarity these days – a Broadway musical which is not based on a popular film. It’s about a failing theatre troupe in Elizabethan London who need to come up with a New Idea which will trump their main competition, a guy named Shakespeare. Nick Bottom, the troupe’s leader, goes to a soothsayer, who predicts that the Next Big Thing will be musical comedy, so Nigel and his writer brother, Nigel, come up with a ridiculous musical comedy called “Omelette,” about a Danish prince trying to make eggs (The addled soothsayer, trying to come up with Shakespeare’s next hit so the Bottom brothers can beat him to the punch, scrambles the title, as it were).

Brian D’Arcy James and John Cariani are hilarious as the Bottoms, and Brad Oscar equally so as the Soothsayer, Thomas Nostradamus (not him – his nephew). The book, by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell and the  music and lyrics by Wayne and Carey Kirkpatrick are as funny as The Producers or Spamalot, loaded with witty references to musicals of the future, such as Cats.

You won’t find a funnier show on Broadway, except for maybe The Book of Mormon, and who can get into that?

The Visit, at the Lyceum Theatre, is a musicalization by Kander and Ebb of the great play of the99492 same title by Swiss playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt, about the world’s wealthiest woman who returns to her impoverished home town to enact revenge on the man who wronged her as a girl. She offers to give every citizen a million marks if they will kill the guy. Of course, everyone refuses – and then starts buying things on credit. Chita Rivera, although she’s more than a little creaky by this point, is striking as Claire, the rich woman intent on revenge, and Rogers Rees is touching her lover long ago whom she wants killed.

I think this is well worth seeing – but do so soon, because after the Tony Awards I don’t think it will be around much longer. There’s just too much competition, and this is not exactly an “audience-friendly” show.

The revival of On the Twentieth Century (book by Comden and Green, music by Cy Coleman), at the American Airlines Theatre is, if anything, even better than the original on-the-20th-century-large-643x441production. It stars Peter Gallagher as an insolvent Broadway producer named Oscar Jaffe and Kristin Chenoweth as the screen goddess he discovered and bedded years ago, named Lili Garland. who are both on the Twentieth Century Limited on its way from Chicago to New York. If Oscar can get Lily to star in his next Broadway project, a ridiculous epic of Joan of Arc which hasn’t even been written yet, all his woes are over. Problem is, she hates him. She’s travelling with her boy toy and recent co-star, Bruce Granit, played wonderfully by Andy Karl. Gallagher and Chenoweth and simply sensational, as are Scott Ellis’ direction, Warren Carlyle’s choreography and William Ivey Long’s sumptuous costumes.

You’ll get real bang for your buck with this one. Don’t miss it.

On the other hand, you could skip It Shoulda Been You at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, a itshouldabeenyoucontrived, unfunny musical loaded with tired ethnic humor about a wedding. She’s Jewish – he’s a goy. Both, it turns out, are gay. Oy, vey …

 

 

Also, be sure to check out both How I Did It: Establishing a Playwriting Career and You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman!

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Andy Propst on Sunday Show Tunes with Nate & Paul

You Fascinate Me So author Andy Propst was recently featured on Sunday Show Tunes with Nate & Paul! During the interview, they talk about Cy Coleman and Andy’s new book!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00122483He penned songs such as “Witchcraft” and “The Best Is Yet to Come” (signature tunes for Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, respectively) and wrote such musicals as Sweet CharityI Love My WifeOn the Twentieth Century, and The Will Rogers Follies—yet his life has gone entirely unexplored until now. You Fascinate Me So takes readers into the world and work of Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winning composer/performer Cy Coleman, exploring his days as a child prodigy in the 1930s, his time as a hot jazz pianist and early television celebrity in the 1950s, and his life as one of Broadway’s preeminent composers.

This first-time biography of Coleman has been written with the full cooperation of his estate, and it is filled with previously unknown details about his body of work. Additionally, interviews with colleagues and friends, including Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Ken Howard, Michele Lee, James Naughton, Bebe Neuwirth, Hal Prince, Chita Rivera, and Tommy Tune, provide insight into Coleman’s personality and career.

A Celebration of Cy Coleman

On Monday, April 27, Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland became the place to celebrate Andy Propst’s new book, You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman. Some of Cy’s favorite singers, including Lillias White, Cady Huffman, Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano, Steve Leeds, John Miller, Ilene Graff & Ben Lanzarone, and Billy Stritch came to sing his praises and songs accompanied by the Cast Party Symphony Orchestra, which included Mr. Stritch on piano, Steve Doyle on bass and Mark McLean on drums. As Cast Party is an extreme open mic night, each impromptu performance was completely unrehearsed, but endlessly “bewitching!”

Watch this video assembled by Jane Marino to see some of the activities from the Cy Coleman-themed evening!

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Andy Propst Talks About Cy Coleman on Broadway Radio

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Library Journal called Andy Propst’s new biography of Cy Coleman, You Fascinate Me So, “a fascinating look at an influential man whose showbiz career spanned more than 50 years…Highly recommended for theater buffs, fans of music history, or those looking for an intriguing study of a memorable man.”  Listen to Andy talk about Coleman and his book with James Marino, Peter Filichia, and Michael Portantiere at broadwayradio.com!

Andy Propst Interview with TheaterMania!

You Fascinate Me So author Andy Propst recently sat down with Zachary Stewart of TheaterMania for an interview during which they talk about his new book and his book’s subject, Cy Coleman!

00122483You Fascinate Me So: Andy Propst Biography of Cy Coleman Examines Multitalented Artist

Broadway composer Cy Coleman had a remarkably varied career. Before age 10 he was already a concert pianist. He eventually moved into the nightclub world and then onto Broadway where he penned musicals like Little Me and Sweet Charity, the show about a dancer-for-hire that features the unforgettable number “Big Spender.” His operetta tribute, On the Twentieth Century, is presently receiving its first Broadway revival at the American Airlines Theatre. Throughout his life, Coleman never stopped experimenting with musical and theatrical form.

Author Andy Propst charts it all in his expansive new biography of Coleman, You Fascinate Me So. Propst (who was a staff writer and critic for TheaterMania from 2009-2013) spoke to us about Coleman’s work, his fraught relationship with Carolyn Leigh, and his eclectic style.

TheaterMania: You write in the book that you saw your first musical, Sweet Charity, at the age of nine. Whose idea was it to take a nine-year-old to that?

Andy Propst: A woman by the name of Susan Miller. She was a teacher of acting at University of Illinois who had gone to college with my mother in Pennsylvania. She became my Auntie Mame. Susan was always introducing me to theater that might have been a little progressive for a preteen, but it did inspire a love of theater in me that exists to this day.

By the time Coleman was nine he had already played Carnegie Hall. How did he get such an early start?

His mother, Ida, was a landlord. She owned a couple of buildings in the Bronx. At the height of the Depression, one of the tenants left and took all their belongings except one thing they couldn’t get out of the apartment: an upright piano. Ida brought it into the house and Cy (who was known as Seymour Kaufman at that point) started playing by ear. He began taking lessons at the age of four and just before he was seven his teacher had gotten him to the point where he was winning citywide competitions and playing at The Town Hall.

Later he worked as a jazz pianist in clubs all over the city. How did that influence his work as a composer?

Musically he was a sponge. All of the music he heard and played was fused into him. He had a love of Rossini, which led him to the grandiose style we hear in On the Twentieth Century. When he was starting out in clubs he was doing covers of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter. All of that became a part of his musical DNA.

Click here to read the rest of the interview!

Listen: Barry Monush on Pop Culture Tonight with Patrick Phillips!

Barry Monush, author of The Sound of Music FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Maria, the von Trapps, and Our Favorite Things talks with Patrick Phillips of “Pop Culture Tonight” about his new book!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00123101The Sound of Music FAQ is a comprehensive, encyclopedia-like reference to the world’s most popular movie musical. Rather than focusing on the often-told stories of this classic movie, this book looks at the 1965 Oscar-winner in relation to its source, including the true von Trapp family story and the Broadway musical from which it was derived.

The Sound of Music FAQ explores such facts and trivia as the movie’s phenomenal original run in cinemas, during which it dominated the box office for a staggering amount of time and became the highest grossing movie of the 1960s and of all time; its long and varied life on home video and primetime television; the bestselling soundtrack and many other related recordings; information behind the stunning Austrian locations; the critical feedback; the many stage revivals; and the continuing references, homages, reunions, and tributes related to it over the many decades since its release.