Ever since Richard Rodgers first saw Diahann perform he knew he wanted to work with her. He had her audition for the lead in Flower Drum Song inbut they couldn't make her look oriental enough as the role required.
A few years later Aha - Olav Basoski - Samplitude: Australian Exclusive CD2. Rodgers saw her perform on the Jack Paar show, and he decided to contact Diahann again about a possible role in a musical.
Diahann writes in her book, Diahann! Rodgers, and they decided to meet the next day for lunch. This was the beginning of what would become No Strings. Rodgers actually had Diahann Carroll in mind from the beginning, and when they first met over that lunch, he hadn't yet actually written the musical, but wanted to see if Miss Carroll was interested in it before he went on conceiving it.
Richard Kiley was choosen for the male lead, Joe Layton became the director, and on Diahann's suggestion, Peter Matz was choosen as conductor. Ralph Burns wrote the arrangements. Diahann had a wonderful time during the rehersals. Layton was not only a gifted director, but also very good at negotiating - something you need when working with theater people Richard Kiley and Diahann also Introducing - Carroll Gibbons - Carroll Calls The Tunes (No.
7) (Shellac) a very good working relationship. But when it was time for the first tryout in Detroit it was a fiasco. Diahann recalls in her book. In any case, I concentrated so heavily on the singing that I did not take one single dance step the entire night. The dancers were very kind.
Some of them grabbed the back of my coat and pulled me out of the way, then the others pushed me off to the side. It was so embarrassing, but I sold those songs! I was mortified. I thought I'd never be able to live it down. The director then restaged the scenes so that Diahann only had to walk through them. But this was only a minor problem. More serious was the fact that they all had problems communicating with Richard Rodgers.
Diahann was used to working with Harold Arlen, whom had been nothing but warm and friendly during her House of Flowers years.
Richard Rodgers was totally different - according to Introducing - Carroll Gibbons - Carroll Calls The Tunes (No. 7) (Shellac). Carroll he was much more formal, even insensitiv. Several incidents during these years made Diahann Introducing - Carroll Gibbons - Carroll Calls The Tunes (No.
7) (Shellac) never to trust Richard Rodgers again. When Warner a couple of years later discussed making a movie of the musical, Mr. Diahann had to find this out reading the morning paper - needless to say she was furious. Rodgers said it was out of his hands, but Diahann never believed him. NAACP ultimately protested against the lack of Black actors and actresses in Warner movies, and the movie project was shelved.
No Strings opened in New York on March 15, C arroll and Kiley remained in the musical until July offor a total of performances. This was Richard Rodgers' first musical without writing partner Oscar Hammerstein. Rodgers had wanted to use Diahann Carroll in a musical ever since he'd seen her in the Harold Arlen show "House of Flowers".
Carroll was a beautiful young woman and a splendid singer with a charming personality, made for Broadway stardom at a time when the Broadway musical was a robust and lively medium.
As an African- American, though, in the late s, she faced limited options. So she largely gave up on Rodgers' interest in her. That is why she thought someone was playing a joke on her when she got a phone call from Rodgers on an April morning inafter she had appeared the night before on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. It really was Rodgers, and he invited her to lunch.
In her autobiography Diahann! She had no idea that Rodgers was about to pitch to her the idea of starring in an original musical about an African-American fashion model living Ia dolce vita in Europe.
There were elements in the idea that were daring for the time. Carroll had avoided Broadway since House of Flowers because she was tired of Intro - Gówno - To Nie Jest Kurwa Pink Floyd offered patronizing material.
This proposed musical would have to be set in Europe, since it was Introducing - Carroll Gibbons - Carroll Calls The Tunes (No. 7) (Shellac) yet possible for an African-American woman to achieve that kind of broad success as a fashion model in the U. The subject of race would never be mentioned.
It would just be a fact in the show's sophisticated setting, for the audience to accept. Rodgers moved swiftly once Carroll indicated her enthusiasm. He decided on Samuel Taylor to write the show's book. He and Rodgers hammered out a story in which Carroll's character would become involved in Paris with a burned-out expatriate and white American novelist. Empty Air - Flotsam And Jetsam - Drift helps him regain his desire to write, but Paris is too alluring and he realizes that he can't work unless he goes home to Maine.
They realize that their relationship could never work there, and they part. With her would be a flutist, who would open the show with a striking, bittersweet solo that eventually partnered Carroll. Across the stage, her lover-to-be - unknown to her at the moment - picked up the song, accompanied by a clarinet. Richard Kiley was eventually signed to play the cynical novelist opposite Carroll.
Choreographer Joe Layton would direct and choreograph the show, which would have an oldfashioned chorus line as well as fresh ideas about how the story and, literally, the show would move. The youthful Layton came to Rodgers' attention as the choreographer of Once Upon a Mattress, and he was hired to stage the dances in The Sound of Music. The scenery and lighting by David Hays would be simple and clever, and the costumes by Fred Voelpel and fashion designer Donald Brooks would evoke the elegance of Parisian haute couture and the ennui-ridden jet set.
As usual, Rodgers would produce the show. A March, opening was announced for the Mark Hellinger Theatre where My Fair Lady was winding down its record- breaking six-year runand an advance sale began to pile up for Broadway's first Rodgers and Rodgers musical. A squabble over the Mark Hellinger was an early problem for No Strings. Rodgers made a deal with the theater's Introducing - Carroll Gibbons - Carroll Calls The Tunes (No.
7) (Shellac), who thought they had grounds to evict the My Fair Lady production. But that show's producer Herman Levin clung tenaciously to his view that his show Pump Up The Jam - Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam stay. The upshot was that No Strings opened several blocks north, at the 54th Street Theater.
No Strings began its out-of-town tour in Detroit on January 15,and the Porcelain Eyes - F.R.
David - Words / Long Distance Flight night was hardly promising. For one thing, Carroll, who sang beautifully but had failed to convince Layton that she really couldn't dance, "went up" on the choreography she'd been given.
But a more serious problem was the show's book. Carroll found herself disappointed in the end that the script completely avoided the issue of race, spending almost two hours bringing these lovers together only to pull them apart at the curtain because 'it wouldn't work. Carroll recalled in her autobiography that she and Kiley kept insisting that the characters go back to the U.
No Strings might raise some eyebrows, but it wasn't going risk angering its pre-Civil Rights Act audience. As an example of the atmosphere of the time, it's interesting to note that Carroll's character was referred to in one New York gossip column - in a misleading attempt at flattery, apparently as a "colored Frenchantress. Between Toronto and New Haven, prior to opening or Broadway, Rodgers decided to add a week of performances in Cleveland. Alan Jay Lerner had told him that Camelot had gone straight from Toronto's vast O'Keefe Center to a smaller house, with disastrous results "It was," Lerner said, "like walking out of Grand Central into a phone booth.
David is immediately taken with her and offers to walk her home. She is drawn to David but suggests they not see each other again. Their relationship is loveless, though, and Barbara can think only of David.
At the moment, David is doing what he does best these days - freeloading off rich Americans. He tells her he loves her and wants her to stop seeing Louis. At home and alone, though, Barbara's feelings for David and her concern for him are beginning to bother her.
He appears and asks her to join him in Honfleur, where they can be alone. She thinks this will be good for him and she finally admits that she loves him. Despite Barbara's best intentions, David isn't getting much writing done and he longs to be in Deauville for the parties during Easter Week. Barbara is furious at his frivolous attitude and, accusing her of meddling, David leaves her for the party crowd.
Barbara returns to Paris, where Louis offers to forgive everything. But he's confronted with the worthless existence he's been leading when his two friends begin to quarrel. He rushes back to Paris, finding Barbara in Luc's studio.
He asks her to join him but she can't leave Paris. As they were during the tryouts, the reviews were mixed when No Strings arrived in New York.
Rodgers' confidence in Carroll, which had paid off handsomely, made her a star overnight. Despite the tempered nature of the show's reception, No Strings had a healthy run of performances, spending its last year in the heart of the theater district at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Capitol Records entered into a partnership with Rodgers to make the original cast recording. As usual, Rodgers retained creative control but he relied on Capitol's ability to get airplay for his songs. Capitol artists began recording songs from the score, and the original cast album won a Grammy. Film rights for No Strings were sold to Warner Bros.
Though the film was never made, Carroll became angry when she read speculation that Eurasian actress Nancy Kwan was being considered for her role onscreen. Rodgers told her that the matter was out of his hands, though Carroll didn't quite believe him. Her relationship with Rodgers had, from Tweedlee Dee - Various - Testament Du Rock Vol. 1 point of view, changed since they had began working together as she discusses candidly in her autobiography Diahann!
It was a collaboration that began with affection and excitement and ended strictly as business.
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