On this day in classical music: Jacques Offenbach’s opera bouffe “La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein” was given its premiere in 1867 in Paris. It’s a satirical opera that focuses on a spoiled young Duchesse who learns she cannot always get her way. Listen to Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops Orchestra perform the overture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCxVmTCO0BY
On this day in the musical theatre: Veteran performer Ann Miller was born on today’s date in 1923. In 1979, the popular entertainer teamed up with Mickey Rooney for “Sugar Babies,” a hit musical that paid tribute to the era of burlesque.
Theatrical musings: “Sugar Babies” featured a paunchy, graying Mickey Rooney and a still shapely Ann Miller cavorting through routines and songs from Minsky’s glory years. Double takes, double entendres, pratfalls, fright wigs, bumps and grinds and strip teases were combined in an irresistible entertainment whose slickness and glitter Minsky might have envied. Audiences were … busy having the sort of totally escapist good time that the musical theatre was providing all too rarely. – From American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle, by Gerald Bordman