In Full Awareness

Broadway Songfest Comes to Sarasota

Some rights reserved by thesolaris5I grew up going to broadway shows.

Instead of having birthday parties, my parents took us to see Broadway shows, such as Fiddler on the  Roof, Cabaret and many more.

It is not surprising that I watched film versions of Broadway shows that I had not seen live.

That is why I am really looking forward to “Broadway! The Band Years” which is coming to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on April 4, 2016.

This musical cabaret will feature big band songs from musicals such as Gypsy, 42nd Street, Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun and West Side Story. The songs will include “The Lady is a Tramp,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “I Got Rhythm” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

Let’s take a look at some these classic songs.

The Lady is a Tramp,” often associated with Frank Sinatra, originally appeared in the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical, “Babes in Arms.”

She gets too hungry for dinner at eight
She likes the theatre and never comes late
She never bothers with people she hates
That’s why the lady is a tramp

Doesn’t like crap games with barons or earls
Won’t go to Harlem in ermine and pearls
Won’t dish the dirt with the rest of the girls
That’s why the lady is a tramp

She likes the free fresh wind in her hair,
Life without care
She’s broke and it’s ok
Hates California, it’s cold and it’s damp
That’s why the lady is a tramp

“This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette (the first line of the verse is “I get too hungry for dinner at eight…”). It has become a popular standard,” according to Wikipedia.

“The lyrics portray a woman who has her own priorities in life and who is not interested to play with New York high society stereotypes. Hence she is dismissed as a tramp. The original lyrics are more explicit than subsequent versions and portray dated references to mid ’30s New York urban life and culture,” Wikipedia points out.

Some of the references in “The Lady is a Tramp” including the Ritz hotel; Sardi’s, a New York restaurant; and Fiorello La Guardia, former mayor of New York.

There have been many renditions of the song including a 2011 duet by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

Luck Be a Lady”, written by Frank Loesser in 1950, was performed Robert Alda, Alan Alda’s father, when he starred in the musical “Guys and Dolls.”

They call you lady luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very un-lady-like way
Of running out

You’re on this date with me
The pickin’s have been lush
And yet before the evening is over
You might give me the brush

You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay
And so the best that I can do is pray

Luck be a lady tonight
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck if you’ve been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight

“The lyrics relate the point of view of a gambler, Sky Masterson, who hopes that he will win a bet, the outcome of which will decide whether or not he is able to save his relationship with the girl of his dreams,” according to it Wikipedia article.

In a bit of strange casting, Marlon Brando starred and sang the song in the film version of “Guys and Dolls.”

“Luck Be a Lady,” just like “The Lady is a Tramp” is a Frank Sinatra signature classic.

It has been parodied on the Simpsons as “Luke be a Jedi” in one of its episodes, and was featured in the Robin Williams movie, Mrs. Doubtfire when his “character is given a makeover to ‘become’ a woman.”

“Broadway! The Big Band Years” is coming to the Van Wezel on Monday, April 4, 2016. The songs that will be performed that night are worth the price of many tickets. There is a reason why they are called classics, and a big band is how they were supposed to be performed.

But if you are going to buy tickets for this show, why not go out in style by hiring a sedan service to pick you up and to take you to dinner, the show and back home such as Blue Ribbon Transportation. That’s how Old Blue Eyes would have done it — he would have included a nightcap on Main Street, as well.

Check out the Van Wezel’s website for more information.


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