There was a lot to celebrate at Symphony Space in Manhattan on Monday night.
First, it was the reason everybody was there: a musical tribute to Kurt Weill’s longest-running Broadway show, One Touch of Venus, with an amazing orchestra and a fabulous array of singers.
First, it was the 70th anniversary of the snappy show — down to the day!
Second, it turned out to be the eve of the release of the decade-delayed Jay Records cast recording of the full show, which features quite a few of the singers from the Symphony Space performance — including a transcendent Melissa Errico (who noted “I’m wearing same dress I word 20 years ago … after three kids,” referring to her star turn in the lead role of the 1996 Encores! revival), the always- welcome Ron Raines, and the smooth-voiced Brent Barrett. (It’s available now on iTunes, with a CD release to follow at an unspecified date.)
Third, the chief dancer from the original production, Sono Osato— whose work we got to see in a wonderful collage of moving and still images at the top of the show — was in the audience and took the spotlight for a hearty round of applause. Continue reading →
Julie Andrews and Bing Crosby in the 1956 TV version of High Tor. The new production of High Tor on High Tor uses music composed for this teleplay.
The free staged reading of Maxwell Anderson’s thought-provoking play High Tor starts today (Saturday, Aug. 21) at High Tor State Park — the patch of open space in north New City, N.Y., on the mountain from which the play takes its title.
The 1936 comedy-fantasy, written by a resident of the High Tor neighborhood along South Mountain Road, helped fuel an interest in land preservation in the area that is going strong today.
Click here for a video interview with Terri Thal of the West Branch Conservation Association, Rockland’s land trust, which is producing the play to call attention to open-space preservation issues that persist today and here for a LoHud blog item and photo gallery related to the show.
The free show is being staged at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Parking is free. Seating is provided. Come early and have a picnic in the beautiful mountainside park. Click here for directions and more details.
Click here for a fun item about the vineyard that once occupied part of High Tor, and some details of the West Branch Conservation Association’s successful battle to save it from development.
Posted in Free, History, Music, News, Theater
Tagged Alan Jay Lerner, Archer Huntington, Bing Crosby, Burgess Meredith, Hesper Anderson, High Tor, High Tor State Park, John Houseman, Julie Andrews, Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Maxwell Anderson, Milton Caniff, New CIty, New York Drama Critics' Circle, New York Trap Rock Corp., Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Pomona, Pulitzer Prize, Rockland County, South Mountain Road, West Branch Conservation Association
See A free reading of the play that helped save this rockland County peak from destruction
In just 10 days from today, on Saturday, Aug. 21 and Sunday, Aug. 22, we’ll get a chance to see a performance of High Tor, a play that really did change the world.
The West Branch Conservation Association, Rockland County’s Land Trust, is producing two performances of Maxwell Anderson’s New York Drama Critics’ Circle Best Play Award winner for 1937 on the on mountain the play was written to save and from which it takes its name.
Write what you know
The old adage for writing is that you do your best when you “write what you know.” That’s what famed playwright Maxwell Anderson did in 1936.
Maxwell Anderson, left, accepts the 1936 New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1936, a year before he won it again, this time for "High Tor."
Anderson was a resident of South Mountain Road in New City, an area that had become artists colony over the years, attracting creative folks such as Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, John Houseman, cartoonist Milton Caniff — along with Burgess Meredith and Alan Jay Lerner, who lived just over South Mountain in Pomona. Continue reading →
Posted in Free, History, Music, News
Tagged Alan Jay Lerner, Archer Huntington, Burgess Meredith, Hesper Anderson, High Tor, High Tor State Park, John Houseman, Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Maxwell Anderson, Milton Caniff, New CIty, New York Drama Critics' Circle, New York Trap Rock Corp., Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Pomona, Pulitzer Prize, Rockland County, South Mountain Road, West Branch Conservation Association