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American Musicals

Chicago Sun-Times: "Loesser songs make for a great night with Grant Park Music Festival"

Frank Loesser

Over 10,000 people thrilled to the Loesser songbook at the Grant Park Music Festival.

"On hand were four of the best of Broadway’s current revivalists — Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley and Howard McGillin — along with the phenomenally flexible Grant Park Orchestra and members of the festival’s laser-sharp chorus. Stites and Griffin are completists by nature, and while Loesser’s catalogue is too enormous for even an all-night show, they pulled together generous servings from the composer’s first Broadway outing, “Where’s Charley?” (1948, including a Ray Bolger-inspired singalong of “Once in Love with Amy”), “Happy Fella,” the connoisseurs’ show “Greenwillow” (1961) and the 1952 Danny Kaye family film “Hans Christian Andersen,” with its own tearjerker, “Anywhere I Wander.”

"But for many in the crowd of 10,000, the evening’s highlight was... Jo Sullivan, “Fella’s” original Rosabella as well as Polly Peachum in the first U.S. “Threepenny Opera” in 1954, took the stage at evening’s end. Sharing memories, recalling Loesser’s generosity to other composers and praising the artists, she then sang the 1944 “Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year” written for Deanna Durbin, accompanied only by Stites on grand piano. Now that’s testimony to Loesser’s staying power.”

Read the full story by ANDREW PATNER on suntimes.com

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