Today’s picks come from the Executive Director at Richmond CenterStage, Richard Parison. No stranger to producing and directing, Richard also served as Producing Director at Barrington Stage Company, Associate Producing Director of the Prince Music Theater and the Assistant Producing Artistic Director at the Walnut Street Theater, both in Philadelphia, PA.
With an eye (and ear) for some quirkier selections, here’s what Richard had to say…
“Love Who You Love,” A Man of No Importance
“I love this song because love should be simple… ‘There’s no fault in loving, no call for shame… everyone’s heart does exactly the same. And once you believe that, you’ll learn how to say… I love who I love, who I love.’”
“Call from the Vatican,” Nine “I love this song because love is more than just romantic love.”
“These Boots Were Made for Walkin’,” Nancy Sinatra
“While not a Broadway love song, I love it because, hey, sometimes love just doesn’t work out.”
Everybody back in the time machine! I hope you had a great time discovering all the free-love, light ’em up joys of 1972 but now we’re skipping ahead a decade and just saying no in 1982.
Oh, but say yes to the 1982 Tony Awards because it features THAT performance. Yep, this was the year that Jennifer Holliday Godzilla-stomped, took a heaving breath and set fire to a theater (and the imaginations of thousand of little show queens in training at their TV sets) when she sang “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls.
But before we get to that video, what else do we see on this fair night from the Reagan years? Why there’s Roger Rees, a Tony nominee in 2012 for his co-direction of Peter and the Starcatcher, winning Best Leading Actor in a Play for the similarly story-theater styled The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. And there’s Amanda Plummer pulling a double by getting nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Play (A Taste of Honey) and winning for Best Featured Actress in a Play (Agnes of God)…all under the watchful eye of her father Christopher Plummer, nominated in ’82 for Othello.
Nine and Dreamgirls duked it out in the musical categories with Nine taking the top honor…but Dreamgirls, I’d say, having the more influential run in the popular imagination. Which is the perfect segue to watch…