AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE {A PORTRAIT OF COLE PORTER WITH ALFRED DRAKE, ABE BURROWS, MABEL MERCER, PATRICIA MORISON, HOWARD LINDSAY, BIBI OSTERWALD} (TV)

Summary

One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. This edition pays tribute to Broadway composer and lyricist Cole Porter one month after his death. Host Alfred Drake opens the show by introducing the Merrill Staton Voices, accompanied by the CBS Orchestra, who sing a medley of Porter hits including "Night and Day," "In the Still of the Night," and "Just One of Those Things." Drake then gives a brief history of Porter's career focusing on the following: his beginnings as a songwriter composing football songs at his alma mater, Yale; his first musical, "Paris" in 1928; his work with Mary Martin in his 1938 musical "Leave it to Me" (Martin is heard in a recording of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"); and his extensive work with Ethel Merman, the woman he considered the perfect performer, in "Anything Goes," "DuBarry Was a Lady," and Red Hot and Blue" (Merman's recording of "It's De-Lovely" is played). Drake then introduces Howard Lindsay, Porter's collaborator on "Red Hot and Blue," who reminisces about the length of his acquaintance with Porter, and plays a rare recording of Porter singing "You're the Top." Next, Bibi Osterwald sings "Let's Be Buddies," "I'm in Love Again," and "There Must Be Someone for Me." Demonstrating why she was one of Porter's favorite interpreters of his songs, the legendary cabaret artist Mabel Mercer performs "From This Moment On," "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," and "Looking at You." In a medley of songs from "Kiss Me Kate," Patricia Morison, who played Kate in the original Broadway production, sings "I Hate Men," Alfred Drake, Morison's co-star in the original cast, sings "Were Thine That Special Face," and they both perform "Wunderbar." Drake then introduces another of Porter's collaborators, Abe Burrows, who discusses Porter's method of working and his endearing quality of innocence. Singing numbers that are atypical of Porter's sophisticated lyrics, deft phrases, clever rhymes, and complex melodies, the Merrill Staton Voices close the program with a medley consisting of "I Love Paris," "Don't Fence Me In," "True Love," and "Begin the Beguine."

(This program contains technical problems. This represents the best copy of this program currently available to the Museum.)

Cataloging of this program was made possible by The Marc Haas and Helen Hotze Haas Foundation, 1998.

Details

  • NETWORK: WCBS-TV
  • DATE: November 14, 1964 Saturday 3:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:39
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:53168
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Ethel Burns … Producer
    • Bill Bryan … Director
    • Alfredo Antonini … Conductor
    • Merrill Staton Voices, The … Choir/Chorus
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • Alfred Drake … Host, Singer
    • Mabel Mercer … Singer
    • Patricia Morison … Singer
    • Bibi Osterwald … Singer
    • Abe Burrows … Guest
    • Howard Lindsay … Guest
    • Sam Hamilton … Instrumentalist, Pianist
    • Mary Martin
    • Ethel Merman
    • Cole Porter