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Wonderful Town – A Walking Tour with Jamie Bernstein
September 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT$30
A truly unique walking tour with author, broadcaster and filmmaker Jamie Bernstein. The Maestro’s daughter will lead you on a fascinating ramble through the crooked streets of Greenwich Village which inspired Leonard Bernstein’s great 20th-century musical Wonderful Town.
The tour will end at the historic Washington Square Hotel, on Waverly Place at MacDougal Street. Betty Comden and Adolph Green were regulars at the Hotel’s North Square brunches. Why not follow Jamie Bernstein in for a relaxing chat and a refreshing happy hour libation and perhaps a bite to eat in the intimate North Square Lounge. (Not included in the tour price.)
Meet at Northwest corner of 14th St and 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
4-5.30pm (assemble 3.45pm)
Writes Jamie Bernstein:
“Come along!" booms the tour guide in Wonderful Town's opening number, “Christopher Street.” This 1953 Broadway show – book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and score by my Dad, Leonard Bernstein – is a love letter to the ultra-bohemian good old days of Greenwich Village, as seen through the adventures of two sisters from Ohio. All these years later, I'm inviting you to “come along!” as I retrace some of the Village spots that appear in the show, plus a few additional relevant points of interest.
Based on the 1940 play My Sister Eileen by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, and The Short Stories of Ruth McKenney, Wonderful Town was Leonard Bernstein’s second salute to New York City. As with the first, On the Town, Bernstein teamed up with lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Villagers who as cabaret artists had been fixtures at the nearby Village Vanguard. Rosalind Russell, who had earlier starred in the 1952 film of My Sister Eileen, was cast again for the Broadway version as Ruth, and a 25-year-old Juilliard graduate and future TV star, Edie Adams, as the ingenue younger sister, Eileen. Bernstein wrote songs – including “One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man” and “Swing” – that played to Russell’s strengths as a character actress not known for her vocal prowess. The original Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Oh, and by the way, Jamie recalls that her father wrote the musical to cover the cost of her baby clothes and diapers!