Barbra played the put-upon secretary Miss Marmelstein. In the second act of the show she rolled onto the stage in an office chair and sang, "Oh, why is it always Miss Marmelstein? Every one in the audience stood up and cheered and yelled and whistled. It seemed like the applause would last forever. The mousy little girl from Brooklyn has stopped a Broadway show for five minutes. It gave me chills. I had though that 'stopping a show' was the stuff of legends; that it never really happened.
And it was my friend, my publicity client, that had done it! I knew I was present at a moment that made show business history. I really don't know. From our perch in the ethereal reaches of the Shubert theatre's balcony, my friends and I had a clear if distant view of the stage and also of a good portion of the orchestra seats, many filled with luminaries of the American theatre. Conspicuous at the absolutely opposite ends of third or fourth row center were on the left, Leonard Bernstein, and on the right, Richard Rodgers.
As this workmanlike — and, for its time, almost relentlessly dark - musical progressed, Rodgers politely but perfunctorily applauded each song, while Bernstein, arms folded across his chest, sat motionless in an attitude of 'Okay, show me something' — until the middle of the second act.
Then, in one of the show's few light moments, a secretary bemoans in song how her bosses and co-workers are on strictly formal terms with her while on a familiar first-name basis with each other.
When the 'Miss Marmelstein' number ended, Bernstein leapt to his feet and began clapping so wildly I feared for the person to his right. Following the maestro's cue, the entire audience rose to its feet for a prolonged ovation. What we had witnessed and what inspired Bernstein's enthusiasm was the Broadway debut of an unknown nineteen-year-old performer named Barbra Streisand. It was, as they say, worth the price of a ticket.
Shubert Theatre in New York City. The show then moved to the Broadway Theatre on October 1st, , running a combined performances. Barbra Streisand created an original biography in the Playbill see above. Later during the run, Playbill used a more standard biography. Everything was so pompous and serious. I was playing a Jewish secretary. So to say in my bio that I was from Brooklyn and I was brought up in Flatbush meant nothing.
If they thought that I came from Madagascar I changed it.
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I was trying to be funny. It has to be serious. Below Two ads for the Philadelphia run at the Shubert. Brown :. To many who lived through them, the 's are the "realest" decade of this century. Those halcyon days before the First War are but picture-book memories, bound in velvet and packed away in grandmother's attic. The Twenties of bathtub gin, Charleston flappers and roller-coaster prosperity have vanished forever with the last bubbles of bootleg champagne.
If they are but a dream, then Hitler's holocaust made the Forties a nightmare that lives uncomfortably in the memory. But the Thirties are still alive, for in their crucible of depression and recovery, idealism, crass opportunism and labor unrest was forged the world in which we live. In New York, just south of Times Square, lies the teeming heart of the city, the Garment District, a hard, sweaty, get-rich-quick world of high fashion and low finagling. After the propulsive, pounding Overture the curtain rises on a snarled and snarling street scene clogged with boys pushing racks of dresses and furs, sweaters and skirts from one to the other of hundreds of dress firms that line the narrow byways.
When some resist, a fistfight starts, dresses are destroyed and the non-union clerks who continue to work are denounced as "scabs.
I Can Get It For You Wholesale - The Guide to Musical Theatre
In the office of dress manufacturer Maurice Pulvermacher Jack Kruschen , the bristling boss tries, between munching pills and calling his doctor, to cope with the chaos caused by the strike, jangling phone calls bring still more jangled nerves as important customers cancel orders that have remained too long undelivered. To his harried secretary, Miss Marmelstein Barbra Streisand —a combination office manager, confidante, nurse and general factotum—he proclaims in apoplectic frustration that I'm Not a Well Man. Midst pressures and paralysis, one of the striking shipping clerks, brash, young Harry Bogen Elliott Gould , barges in.
Distraught Pulvermacher is in no mood to arbitrate and is about to throw Bogen out, when Harry tells him he only wants to do him a favor. Settle the strike? No, better than that; tell the strikers to go jump in the lake and hire Harry's company, The Needle Trades Delivery Service, to do his shipping for him.
The reluctant Pulvermacher, over a barrel, signs the contract. Harry Bogen, ex-shipping clerk and betrayer of his co-workers, is on his way to parlaying his talents into a fortune. In the street, Harry jubilantly shows the signed contract to his partner, Tootsie Maltz James Hickman.
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Unfazed, he knows he can talk someone into lending him some. He is tired of being poor, and this is his chance to go places. In The Way Things Are he pours forth his bitter, cynical philosophy. In this dog-eat-dog business, either "you're the diner or the dinner. Harry slithers up to the Bronx to visit his one-time girl friend, pretty Ruthie Rivkin Marilyn Cooper. To Harry, Ruthie is only a reminder of the drab, underdog world which be wants to escape, but she loves him deeply. She has always hoped he would go to law school, but Harry is in a hurry.
In When Gemini Meets Capricorn Ruthie tells him that their meeting just now was written in the stars. Her warmth, her love and faith in him are all the more touching, because she does not know that this meeting is not the result of astrology but of cold calculation. With wide-eyed seeming innocence, Harry has no trouble in conning Ruthie into lending him the money be needs.
In the simple but homey kitchen of an apartment on the other side of the Bronx, Mrs. Bogen Lillian Roth in housedress and apron prepares dinner for her Harry. When he bursts in with the news, she can hardly believe that in one day be has gone from twelve-dollar-a-day, shipping clerk to businessman. She is proud of her boy, and delighted with a new hat he has bought her.
He sweeps her into a lilting dance and tells her there is nobody like his Momma, Momma , and he will not marry until he finds her equal. As his delivery service rapidly becomes a monopoly, his gifts to his mother become more lavish.
In a montage of passing time he gives her a dress, coat and finally a fur stole—delivered to her together with the announcement that he is starting his own dress business. Hotshot Harry bribes the bartender to page him and impress Martha. But she is not fooled by his ploy. Like Harry, she is on the make, harder than the diamonds that befriend her. He becomes ten thousand dollars richer when he sells out his share of the Delivery Service to the delighted Tootsie. This information helps us design a better experience for all users.
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