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Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney musical

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Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney musical

Post by Katiedot on Fri 21 Jul 2017, 08:11

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Weston's 'Tenderly' brings Rosemary Clooney alive
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Susan Haefner and Sam Lloyd Jr. star in the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company's production of "Tenderly" at the Weston Rod and Gun Club through August 5.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY TIM FORT



Posted Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:57 am
By Kevin O'Toole, Journal Correspondent
In 1968, Rosemary Clooney, the fabled 1950s songstress who starred opposite Bing Crosby in the movie "White Christmas," was performing at a gig in Reno, Nevada. In that tumultuous time, she offered her audience a generous helping of past hits that swung, but were no longer in fashion. As she began to warble "Come On-A My House," she unraveled.

"Tenderly" presents the life of Rosemary Clooney, framed around that 1968 breakdown and her attempts with a psychiatrist to see her way back by revisiting past struggles, glories and disappointments. Weston's production of this appreciation of her full, flawed life is a triumph. And there are all of those wonderful songs!

"Tenderly" first opened as a two-act musical in 2014 at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Playwrights Mark Friedman and Janet Yates Vogt tweaked the piece for a subsequent production at Showplace Memphis in Tennessee, introducing the character of Bing Crosby and adding some new scenes and songs, including "How About You," "Mambo Italiano" and "Paper Moon." According to producing director Steve Stettler, Weston's production represents the authors' latest revision.

Happily, Susan Haefner, the actress who originated the role of Rosemary Clooney in Cincinnati and starred again in the Memphis production, is back at it. For years now, Weston audiences have seen Haefner strut her stuff in a myriad of roles. Last Friday, she did not portray Rosemary Clooney as much as channel the actress/singer's pluck and desperation to please those around her. Her musical phrasing was crisp and interpretation of this complicated soul touching. When Haefner's character finally let her guard down, the audience learned what fueled an unlikely path from Maysville, Kentucky, to Hollywood. It was not all roses. 

In "Tenderly," Weston veteran Sam Lloyd, Jr. plays everybody else. Lloyd was convincing as the psychiatrist who talks the star through her troubled past. His malleable face and voice served him well as he was called upon to switch back and forth from doctor to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Clooney's one-time husband Jose Ferrar, her mother, and her sister, Betty. (Haefner and Lloyd performed a delightful rendition of "Sisters.") Tim Fort's skillful direction of these two Weston favorites showed onstage in their great teamwork and trust in one another. Choreographer Felicity Stiverson also mixed in a fox trot here and a soft shoe there. 

Scenic designer Kristen Robinson's antiseptic hospital office set included blinds that opened to reveal music director Jeffrey Lodin on piano, John Convertino on string bass and Andrew Gillum on drums. Those cats can play. Costumer Barbara A. Bell's dresses and especially the coiffed wigs for the character of Rosemary Clooney were spot on. A flowing gown, overlarge glasses and layered hairdo fully displayed Clooney in her later years as the reinvented interpreter of smooth jazz.

Weston's production of "Tenderly" was not light fare, but a full, sumptuous meal that informed, entertained and, finally, inspired.

Performances of "Tenderly" continue at WPTC's alternative stage at Weston Rod and Gun Club through August 5. For ticket information, call the WPTC box office at (802) 824-5288 or visit its website at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Re: Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney musical

Post by Katiedot on Fri 21 Jul 2017, 08:13

Want to perform in the next version? They're casting:

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Tenderly – The Rosemary Clooney Musical – cast announcement
Tenderly – The Rosemary Clooney Musical – cast announcement
JULY 20, 2017 LAST UPDATED: JULY 20, 2017 5:08 PM BY ADMIN LEAVE A COMMENT

Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney Musical Casting is announced today for The UK Premiere of Tenderly – The Rosemary Clooney Musical that is being produced at the New Wimbledon Studio from 1st to 23rd September 2017 with press night on 4th September, at 7.45pm.

Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical with book by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman offers a fresh, remarkably personal and poignant portrait of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend.

Rosemary Clooney’s journey starts in Maysville, Kentucky and portrays her rise to stardom in Hollywood, and continues beyond battles with depression to a triumphant comeback. Through it all she topped the charts for nearly five decades.

Katie Ray will star as the iconic Rosemary Clooney whose recent theatre credits include Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet (UK Tour), Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour), Liesl in The Sound of Music (London Palladium), and the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (New London Theatre).

Fed Zanni will play Clooney’s Doctor amid other roles including Clooney’s lovers. His recent theatre credits include The 12 Tenors (European Tour), Somewhere in England (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.

As previously announced Tania Azevedo will direct the production with musical direction from Daniel Jarvis, musical staging by Chi-San Howard, design by Anna Yates, lighting by Ali Hunter and casting by Harry Blumenau. The production is produced by Joseph Hodges.

We learn through her music of her life and her success on film, radio and television and the struggles in personal life. Rock and Roll came on the scene and her genre of music was no longer as popular which did not help in her battle with addiction and depression. However, Rosemary was always a fighter and fought back with an even more successful career as a jazz singer. The show features Rosemary Clooney’s hit songs including “Hey There”. “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “Sway” and “Mambo Italiano”.

Tenderly – The Rosemary Clooney Musical
Friday 1st to Saturday 23rd September 2017
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Re: Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney musical

Post by LizzyNY on Fri 21 Jul 2017, 23:54

Do you think they'll invite George to see the show? I wonder if he'd go, if invited.
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Re: Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney musical

Post by Katiedot on Sat 22 Jul 2017, 05:25

I'm assuming the family were involved in this - need to have a look through this part of the forum for the background.

I don't know that he'd go, but I'd bet he's been invited!
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Re: Tenderly - The Rosemary Clooney musical

Post by melbert on Sat 22 Jul 2017, 11:54

I'm sure both George and Nick have been invited.
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