Saturday, March 9, 2013

Julie Andrews is Cinderella (1957) & Julie & Carol Burnett at Carnegie Hall (1962)

Julie Andrews
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is a musical written for television, with music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based upon the fairy tale Cinderella, particularly the French version Cendrillon, ou la Petite Pantoufle de Vair, by Charles Perrault. The story concerns a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother and self-centered stepsisters, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a Princess and finds her Prince.

Cinderella is the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written for television. It was originally broadcast live on CBS on March 31, 1957 as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, who played the title role. The broadcast was seen by over 100 million people.
It was subsequently remade for television twice, in 1965 and 1997. The 1965 version starred Lesley Ann Warren, and the 1997 one starred Brandy, in the title role. Both remakes add songs from other Richard Rodgers musicals.







Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall is an American musical comedy television showcase starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett. It was broadcast on CBS on June 11, 1962.

The special was produced by Bob Banner and directed by Joe Hamilton. Banner came up with the idea in the Fall of 1961. Burnett was then a regular on The Garry Moore Show and Andrews appeared as a guest, performing the song "Big D" from the musical The Most Happy Fella.

Burnett tells an anecdote about the development of the special. CBS programming executives Michael Dann and Oscar Katz were reluctant to approve it. They believed Andrews did not have sufficient name recognition and with Burnett appearing weekly on Moore's show the public would not tune in. Following a CBS promotional event, Burnett was unable to hail a taxi. Dann and Katz offered to wait until one appeared but Burnett said not to bother, that a truck driver would appear shortly and offer her a ride. Almost instantly a trucker appeared and offered Burnett a ride. Burnett received a telephone call from Katz immediately upon arriving home. Taking the trucker incident as a sign, he approved the special.

Mike Nichols wrote the script and co-wrote the song "You're So London" with Ken Welch. Writing began in February 1962 and the stars rehearsed for two weeks before the March 5 taping. Irwin Kostal was the musical director. George Fenneman served as the announcer. Burnett introduced the song "Meantime", written by Robert Allen and Al Stillman.

Program
"No Mozart Tonight" - Carol Burnett
"You're So London" - Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews
"Oh Dear! What Can the Matter Be?" - Julie Andrews
"From Russia: The Nausiev Ballet" - Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews, with ensemble
"Meantime" - Carol Burnett
"From Switzerland: The Pratt Family" - Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews, with ensemble
"History of Musical Comedy" - Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews
"From Texas: Big D" - Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews, with ensemble
"You're So London (reprise)" - Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews

Andrews and Burnett each perform one satirical interstitial in which each damns the other with faint praise; Burnett explains Andrews's disappointment at not being allowed to perform "Ol' Man River" in her "natural" bass voice while Andrews explains Burnett's sorrow at not getting to perform Mark Antony's speech from Julius Caesar.

Response:

Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall received mixed critical reviews. Billboard described the material as "warm and delightful" and noted "the hilarious hand of Mike Nichols" throughout. While describing the performance at taping as "smooth" and "scintillating", Cynthia Lowry of the Associated Press criticized the material, direction and photography of the program as aired, writing "after gay, funny starts the comedy plummeted to banana-peel level".

Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall received the 1963 Emmy Award for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Music. For her performance here along with her performance in 1963's An Evening with Carol Burnett, Burnett won the Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program or Series. The program also won the 1963 Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival Golden Rose.

Columbia Records released an LP record of the special in June 1962. It peaked at number 85 on the Billboard chart.

Andrews and Burnett re-teamed for Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center (1971) and Julie and Carol: Together Again (1989).


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