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Wonderful Town – Jamie Bernstein and Janis Siegel and friends in a seventieth anniversary celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s great downtown musical
September 13, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm EDT$25
A unique and intimate cabaret – featuring the Maestro’s daughter Jamie Bernstein with Grammy-garlanded Janis Siegel, baritone Michael Kelly, and pianist Yaron Gershovsky, long-time musical director of The Manhattan Transfer. A glorious celebration of songs such as “Ohio,” “Pass the Football,” and “One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man” – and the stories behind them.
“My, what charm
My, what grace
Poets and peasants on Waverly Place!”
Wonderful Town immortalized Greenwich Village, just as a later Leonard Bernstein musical immortalized the West Side of Manhattan. This unique and intimate cabaret – featuring writer and broadcaster Jamie Bernstein, with Grammy-garlanded chanteuse Janis Siegel, baritone Michael Kelly, and pianist Yaron Gershovsky – is a glorious celebration of songs such as “Ohio,” “Pass the Football,” and “One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man,” plus a surprise song famously left out of the original score. For good measure, this unique evening will also dip into more of the Maestro’s Manhattan musicals, On the Town and West Side Story – and Jamie will reveal some behind-the-scenes stories!
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!
Tickets: $25 from Joe's Pub