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re: Helen Gallagher was a knockout in Sweet Charity
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 11:53 am EDT 07/23/21
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 11:51 am EDT 07/23/21
In reply to: re: Helen Gallagher was a knockout in Sweet Charity - mamaleh 01:32 am EDT 07/23/21

I remember her mostly from TV variety shows in the 50's and 60's. Besides The Ed Sullivan Show, she displayed her incredible dancing skills on The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Bell Telephone Hour, and the very bizarre Hallmark Hall of Fame TV version of the Broadway musical Shangri-La.

Like the LP of Helen Flagg, I was never able to find the OBC LPs of Gallagher's earlier musicals like Make a Wish and Pal Joey. In 1958 when I was 10 years old, my mom took me to the huge Polk Bros. warehouse in Chicago, which supposedly carried everything. It did have the Columbia LP of Pal Joey, which was advertised as Broadway Cast Recording on the cover. Unfortunately it was really just a 1950 studio cast LP with Segal and Lang, and not the Capitol Broadway cast LP with Gallagher and Stritch.

Over a decade later when Gallagher returned to Broadway in her two most famous roles, I bought the LPs of both Sweet Charity and No, No, Nanette, which really showcased her amazing ability to disappear into roles that were always so different. A few years later when I became a big fan of Ryan's Hope, I initially didn't even recognize her. I was stunned to realize she was the show's matriarch when I eventually spotted her name in the credits at the end.

In the CD era of the last 30 years, it has been pretty easy to collect all of Gallagher's Broadway and off-Broadway cast albums, including the elusive Make a Wish, Pal Joey, Hazel Flagg, Cry for Us All, Tallulah, and even a few studio cast recordings. Unfortunately I missed her stage performances at Papermill in No No, Nanette and at the York in 70, Gilrs, 70. However, in 2003, I finally was able to catch her on stage in Ain Gordon's non-fiction play Art, Life, and Show-Biz. It was a very slight show but watching Gallagher talk about her long career and even sing and dance a little was well worth the wait after being a fan of her work for over 50 years.
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