On this day in classical music: French composer Georges Auric died at age 84 Paris in 1983. As one of the lesser-known members of the compositional group known as Les Six (Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honneger, Germaine Tailleferre and Louis Durey), Auric began writing film music around 1930. His best-known composition was the title song from the film “Moulin Rouge.” Listen to Antal Dorati and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra perform Auric’s “Overture,” a 1932 work for orchestra. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfKNfY1a31o&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL734A3C8A41112F34
On this day in the musical theatre: Daniel Radcliffe was born in London, England in 1989. Best known for his role as Harry Potter in the series of films based on J.K Rowling’s novels, Radcliffe made his Broadway debut in September 2008 in the non-musical “Equus.” In 2011, the British actor made his musical theater debut playing J. Pierrepont Finch in a Broadway revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Radcliffe’s reviews were mostly positive but it was co-star John Larroquette who picked up a Best Featured Actor Tony. Radcliffe adopted an American accent for his role as Finch, an ambitious employee of World Wide Wicket Company. Listen to Radcliffe and the cast of “How to Succeed” perform “Brotherhood of Man.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69WpCBLrdSQ
Musical musings: The evening I saw this production, some technical issue (that was never identified) resulted in a 30-minute delay during the first act. Finally, Larroquette made his way to the stage and joked with the audience after apologizing for the delay. As he prepared to leave the stage, he crouched down and whispered in a loud voice, “My name’s not Dan,” a reference to his character on the television sitcom “Night Court.” By the time I got out of the theater, a larger-than-usual crowd has assembled outside the stage door, hoping, of course, to catch a glimpse of Radcliffe. I eventually crossed the street which allowed me an unobstructed view of the stage door. Several of the ensemble cast members stopped to sign autographs as they left. Later, Larroquette emerged and chatted with the crowd before being whisked away. Finally, the door opened again and Radcliffe appeared. What I hadn’t noticed while watching this scene unfold were the six policemen who had previously blended in with the crowd. When Radcliffe stepped out, they converged near the stage door to guard the popular actor. At first I was a bit mystified by all this security but then it hit me — Radcliffe is indeed an international star who probably does attract his share of stalkers. After signing a few autographs and posing for a few photos, he too was whisked away. What a life!