re: No, No, Nanette With Helen Gallagher
Posted by: FleetStreetBarber 01:11 pm EDT 04/14/17
In reply to: No, No, Nanette With Helen Gallagher - raydan 10:26 pm EDT 04/13/17

Helen Gallagher so deserved her Tony. Although Ruby Keeler got the lion's share of the press at the time, and deservedly so, Gallagher gave Nanette it's sheen, according to one punning critic (Walter Kerr, perhaps?). She brought a stylish professionalism to "Too Many Rings Around Rosie," You Can Dance with Any Girl" with Bobby Van and "Those Where-Has-My-Hubby-Gone Blues?" They were standouts in a show that was almost wall-to-wall showstoppers. Even an old chestnut such as "Tea For Two," so lovingly staged by Donald Saddler, also a Tony winner for "Nanette," brought down the house every time. "No, No, Nanette" also marked one of the low points, if not the lowest point in the reviewing career of John Simon. He not only panned much of it, he lambasted the audiences who lapped it up, notably the "tacky faggots" as he called them in his New York Magazine review. Much of the original cast remained with the show for nearly two years, although the beloved Jack Gilford was replaced early on. If I recall correctly, producer Cyma Rubin didn't renew his contract because she could hire another actor, Benny Baker, for less. The production rode the crest of the nostalgia craze, which had been gaining momentum for a few years, beginning perhaps with the successful off-Broadway revival of "Anything Goes" a few seasons earlier, followed by campy send-ups such as "Dames at Sea" and "Curly McDimple." "George M" added to the phenomenon as did a renewed interest in the Busby Berkeley film musicals, which cropped up in revival houses and at MoMA. Even Liberty Magazine re-appeared briefly with facsimile editions and reprints of some of its original gossipy stories.

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