Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Grand Tour

If Jerry Herman’s best score is that to Mame, his greatest hit is Hello, Dolly! And the cult favorites are Dear World and Mack & Mabel. So The Grand Tour is his unappreciated title. ~ Ethan Mordden – One More Kiss: The Broadway Musical in the 1970's.

With vaudevillian elements rubbing shoulders with the unpleasant spectacle of summary arrests and executions, at times you feel you’re only a few goosesteps away from the bad taste of that spoof Producers musical, Springtime for Hitler. Still, amid a generally pleasing score, there’s one stirring stand-out number of survivors’ defiance, I’ll Be Here Tomorrow, which is up there with “I Am What I Am”, that famous anthem from Herman’s later, greater La Cage Aux Folles. ~ Dominic Cavendish - The Telegraph. 2015.

While the original play Jakobowsky and the Colonel had the two leads evenly matched the musical adaptation was designed as a star vehicle. Joel Gray's Jakobowsky carried the show while Ron Holgate's Colonel was made into a supporting buffoon. Their conflicting worldviews and eventual truce were under served by this shift. The show closed after 61 performances. Jerry Herman added songs to the Marx Brothers pastiche A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine but would not write another full Broadway score till his Tony winning La Cage Aux Folles in 1983.

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