Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds

Author Michael Levin Remembers Marvin Hamlisch

08/09/2012
.
(News and Experts) News and Experts sent over best selling author Michael Levin's tribute to composer Marvin Hamlisch, who died this week at the age of 68:

The first time I saw Marvin Hamlisch, he was playing piano at Carnegie Hall. It was May 6, 1972 and the occasion was "An Evening With Groucho." My childhood hero, Groucho Marx, was performing a show of reminiscences, comedy and song, and Hamlisch was his accompanist. The audience, jammed with knowledgeable Groucho-philes, responded favorably to his glissandos and general keyboard mastery.

Over the next couple of years, Groucho's accompanist and straight man did something even more remarkable than win a string of Emmys, Oscars and Tonys. He completely reshaped the nature of the American musical.

"A Chorus Line" opened in 1974, music by Hamlisch, lyrics by Ed Kliban, stories by the actual dancers themselves. Until "A Chorus Line," Broadway musicals told big stories about larger-than-life people: the king of Siam; Oklahoma farmers, Russian peasants; ancient Roman notables and slaves. "A Chorus Line" was the first to focus on the lives of the performers themselves, the individuals behind the makeup and costumes, the ones who lived for the stage and had suffered enough in their childhoods to need an audience to shower them with love.

One of the many haunting moments of "A Chorus Line" is when the dancers, auditioning for a Broadway musical, stand in a row with their headshots in front of their faces. We are human beings, just like you; we'll do anything to dance for you and entertain you. We'll give you our lives.

There would never have been an "Avenue Q" or "Rent" or any of the other "reality" musicals without "A Chorus Line." More importantly, we might never have recognized the humanity, or the dignity, of the non-star performer, without this show.

If you weren't alive and in New York back in 1975 when it opened, let me set the scene. No one had ever thought of sitting dancers down in a room, turning on a tape recorder (nothing digital back then, kids), and letting them tell the stories of their lives. Of pretending that an absent father was an Indian chief, dancing around the living room. Of rising from an inner-city childhood to a potential career as an elementary school teacher … and suddenly realizing that you haven't the slightest interest in teaching elementary school and that you may have gotten scholarships to college, but "there ain't no scholarship to life." Of a mother digging a father's girlfriend's earrings out of the car.

The lyrics were blunt and powerful and raw and real: "I was terrific at a dance, guys were coming in their pants…" "And I thought, sh*t, Richie…" No one had ever heard words like that on a Broadway stage before. And the music that Hamlisch and Kliban created swept audiences off their feet and created a demand for tickets so huge that the show ran seemingly forever. The show that looked like nothing else on Broadway ran longer than anything ever had on Broadway, and completely changed Broadway and its audience, right down to the present day. "A Chorus Line" made theater, the home of artifice and distortion, real.

Hamlisch then went on a winning streak like no other. He composed music for "The Sting." "The Way We Were." Shows. Movies. He won every award you could win, and he did the seemingly impossible: He made the ultimate Brooklyn Jewish name, Marvin Hamlisch, for God's sake, sexy.

And now he's gone. It doesn't make sense that someone who gave voice to so many no longer has a voice of his own.

I can still see him pounding those keys so exuberantly at Carnegie Hall, taking verbal punches from Groucho and gleefully giving as good as he got.

I'll miss you, Marvin. And thank you again for "A Chorus Line." You made those in the shadows come to life.

About Michael Levin: New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin runs www.BusinessGhost.com

News and Experts submitted this story.
Copyright News and Experts - Excerpted here with permission.

Marvin Hamlisch CDs, DVDs and MP3s

Marvin Hamlisch T-shirts and Posters

Marvin Hamlisch CDs, vinyl and rarities


Share this article


antiMUSIC News featured on RockNews.info and Yahoo News

.


...end




.
News Reports
.
• Day in Rock:
Sammy Hagar Open To Van Halen Reunion Including David Lee Roth- Rush Premiere Long Lost Song- Slipknot's Corey Taylor Challenges Gene Simmons' Claim- A7X- more

• Day in Pop Suge Knight and Katt Williams Charged With Robbery- Garth Brooks Previewing New Album As Halloween Treat- Taylor Swift and Beyonce Mashup Goes Online- more

• B-Sides: David Gilmour Reflects On The End Of Pink Floyd- Foo Fighters Preview New Song Congregation- Machine Head Preview New Album- Led Zeppelin- Sixx A.M.- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

• Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

• Culted - Oblique to All Paths

• Scott Ian - Swearing Words in Glasgow

• Lordi - Scare Force One

• Road Trip: Styx Rocks Cozumel, Mexico Aboard The Carnival Breeze

• Anubis Gate - Horizons

• Rock Reads: Excess All Areas: Demands and Idiosyncracies of Rock Icons on Tour

• Riot V - Unleash the Fire

• Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

• Classics: Virgin Steele - Invictus

• Manilow - Cease and Desist

• Striker - City of Gold

• Ali Campbell (UB40) - Silhouette

• Hank 3 Live

• 5 Star: Ozzy Osbourne - Memoirs of a Madman

• Excel - Split Image

• Sister Hazel - 20 Stages

• Portrait - Crossroads


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

• Sammy Hagar Open To Van Halen Reunion Including David Lee Roth

• Rush Premiere Long Lost Song

• Slipknot's Corey Taylor Challenges Gene Simmons' Claim

• Avenged Sevenfold Documentary Coming

• Dave Grohl Already Planning Next Foo Fighters Album

• Allman Brothers Band Surprise Fans At Final Concert

• Bob Seger Expands North American Ride Out Tour

• Slayer's Kerry King Shares His Own Little Slice Of Hell

• Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach Mixing It Up With Aliken

• Anthrax Making Progress On New Album

• Peter Gabriel To Offer Recordings From Upcoming Concerts

• Halestorm Announce Special Reissues

• Raised Fist Releasing First New Album In Five Years

• Hate Eternal Announce New Member

• Blitz Kids Hitting The Road With Taking Back Sunday

• Suicide Silence Tap Fit For An Autopsy For Upcoming Tour

• Ray Davies Says The Kinks Would Fail In Today's Music Scene

• Dream Theater's Petrucci Finds Brevity Difficult

• Karnivool Reveal Spring Tour Plans


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

• Suge Knight and Katt Williams Charged With Robbery

• Garth Brooks Previewing New Album As Halloween Treat

• Taylor Swift and Beyonce Mashup Goes Online

• Marvin Gaye's Family Win Court Ruling Robin Thicke and Pharrell Case

• Dr. Luke Files Lawsuit Against Kesha's Mother

• Phil Collins Upset With Adele

• Sam Smith Duets With Ed Sheeran

• Nas Surprises With New Song At Run the Jewels Release Party

• Lady Antebellum and Keith Apicary Team for 'Freestyle' Video

• Zac Brown Band To Play College Football Championship Tailgate Party

• Public Enemy Deluxe Reissues Set For Release

• Chief Keef Streaming Collaborative Album With Gucci Mane

• Diggy Simmons Teams With French Montana For New Track

• Walk The Moon Releasing New Album

• Elvis Costello Jams With The New Basement Tapes In New Online Clip

• Rick Ross Recruits K. Michelle For New Track

• Ludacris Releases New Ludaverse Over Jay-Z Hit

• Lil Boosie Streaming New Life After Deathrow Mixtape

• Previously Unreleased Tupac Poems Surface

• Angaleena Presley Release Haunting Pain Pills Video

• Usher On Hitting His Prince Moment

.
.
Latest B-Sides News
.


• David Gilmour Reflects On The End Of Pink Floyd

• Foo Fighters Preview New Song Congregation

• Machine Head Preview New Album

• Jimmy Pages Says Fortune Teller Predicted Led Zeppelin Success

• Sixx A.M. Release Let's Go Lyric Video

• Yes Preview New Live Package

• Epica Release Victims Of Contingency Video

• Slash Looks Back At His School Days

• Brian Eno Streams Songs From Upcoming Expanded Reissues

• Singled Out: WVM's Pale Horse

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
• AudioNationRadio.com • The Screen Door • A Journal of Musical Things • Lloyd Zeffler blog • Demolish Mag • Nightwatcher's House of Rock • CJ Chilvers • Deja Voodoo • The 1st Five • thecopycat.biz • Hard Rock Memorabilia • Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2014 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.