MARVIN HAMLISCH through the years has given us such wonderful musical work over the years. He was just 21 years old when this song – “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” (Lesley Gore recording) reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1965. Hamlisch wrote music and songs for Woody Allen’s films such as “Take the Money and Run”.
He also wrote adaptations of Scott Joplin’s ragtime much for the film “The Sting”. He worked with a favorite of his Johnny Mathis in live performances on occasions – and Mathis also recorded many of his classic song compositions in the studio. He went on to get awards of all kinds. He has success with the scores for “Ordinary People”, “Sophie’s Choice” and for the film version of “A Chorus Line.” He also composed the score for the 1975 Broadway musical “A Chorus Line” For that he won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
I met him a few times at the magnificent Fairmont Venetian Room. He recently appeared there last year in at the “Bay Area Cabaret.” After a brief illness Hamlisch died on Aug. 6, 2012, in Los Angeles, at the age of 68. His music will endure forever. Barbara Streisand praised Hamlisch, stating that it was “his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity and delicious sense of humor that made a delight to be around.
At 8’o’clock in the evening (August 8), the lights of 40 Broadway theatres were dimmed for one minute in tribute to Hamlisch. So Sad – and much too soon. It won’t seem like “Old Times anymore!”
War Horse - Joey and Topthorn.Jpg. Courtesy SHNSF
WAR HORSE IS A TIMELESS LOVE STORY
WAR HORSE (the Stage Play) is truly an epic family show. This marvelous play is based on the fantastic novel by Michael Morpurgo. His awesome wonderful story about a young man and his Horse Joey will never leave your mind. Originally Morpurgo thought, “They must be mad” to try to make a play from his best-selling 1982 novel. Of course, he was proved wrong. The instant success of “War Horse” is testament to a spellbinding stage production.
Here the story: At the outbreak of World War 1, Joey, young Albert Narracott’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Joey (the Horse) serves in the British and German armies. There is another Horse (Topthorn) that is prominent in the story. Both horses get caught up in enemy fire. The horror of war, disease and fate takes young Albert cannot forget Joey, and, he ends up in No mans land. Albert lied about his age to get in the Army to find Joey. It’s a dangerous mission that only true love would embark on. The play has received many awards around the World. AND FOR GOOD REASON.
First I saw the movie, which was magnificent. Now comes along the live version that Stars Joey the Horse. Of course, on the stage you would not expect live horses to be trotting along, but it only takes a few minutes to fall in love with the story. Just look into those big eyes on Joey – and you will be hooked. The Handspring Puppet Company captures the mystery and love between a Boy and his Horse magnificently.
Let me say this. There are no dumb animals. They know more than you think. It’s the Wars that are futile. I don’t really relish the sight of gorgeous Animals and sword-brandishing soldiers charging into the fray of great blasts of machine gun fire. War is a mess – and it should be abolished. I repeat – it’s the humans that are dumb, not the animals.
The lifelike puppets come to life right before your eyes. And when their eyes meet yours. You never forget the connection. And it is the love between a 16-year-old Boy Albert, who gives one of the most moving performances ever seen on the stage. Albert joins the Army to find his ‘Joey’ among the cruelty of war. When the Horses are overworked they just shoot them to put the poor animals to death. Don’t make a mistake about it. The Horse knows what you are about. Just look into those eyes – that tells you what they know.
The show sweeps you away. It’s an absolutely electrifying masterpiece. The breathtaking action sequences will keep you on the edge of your seat.
RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) – trademarked-
NOW ON STAGE AT THE CURRAN THEATRE
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))
The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour. www.lafterhall.com.
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME HERE: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS STUFF: email@example.com
Podcasts, blogs, vblogs: web.mac.com/buzzmixer/