Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No, No Nanette

Becca Kloha is carried along
by (from left) Warren Curtis, Ralph Meitzler
and Blakely Slaybaugh in "No, No, Nanette."
Photo courtesy of Merry-Go-Round Theatre

Last evening Joan and I attended the Merry-Go-Round production of No, No, Nanette. The company did a splendid job. The singing was superb and the dance routines made your feet tap. The crowd was extremely attentive especially the youngsters in the audience.

Joan Vadeboncoeur of The Post-Standard gave the play a good review, as did Tony Curulla a Post-Standard Contributing Writer.

Two fact of interest were featured in the program handout.

One, originally No, No, Nanette was a non-musical play titled My Lady Friend which opened on Broadway in December of 1919. The show was financed by producer Harry Frazee who owned the Boston Red Sox. In order to make the funds needed for the play, Frazee traded baseball legend Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. This resulted in a superstition called the "Curse of the Bambino," which many fans believed kept the Red Sox from winning the World series from 1918 to 2004.

Second, the song "Tea for Two," written by Irving Caesar, begins with the lyrics "picture you/upon my knee/just tea for two/and two for tea" which were originally just "dummy lyrics" put in place to figure out the rhyme and rhythm of the song. But the producer loved these lyrics just the way they were and kept them.

The Broadway revival of No, No, Nanette opened in 1971. It lasted longer in its revival than the original production. It ran for 861 performances and won several Tony and Drama Awards.

So glad Ed Sayles included this production in the 2009 Summer series. The enthusiasm of the troop made for enjoyable theater.

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