Sunday, September 16, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-George Hearn

Artist:George Hearn
Song:La Cage Aux Folles
Album:La Cage Aux Folles: The Broadway Musical

Veteran Broadway musical performer George Hearn won a Tony award for his performance in the 1983 musical La Cage Aux Folles. He has done films and TV but is mainly known for stage musicals. He was born June 18, 1934 in St. Louis. After college, he moved to New York. His first notable role was as John Dickinson in the 1969 musical 1776. In 1980, he replaced Len Cariou in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and starred in the touring company with Angela Lansbury. That show was produced for Showtime and Hearn won an Emmy. Meanwhile, Allen Carr had successfully produced Grease and was interested in turning La Cage Aux Folles into a musical after seeing the 1978 film. He acquired the rights to the 1973 play. After a false start, producers Fritz Holt and Barry Brown approached director Arthur Laurents about doing the show. They worked with him on Gypsy. At first he wasn't crazy about the idea but composers Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman talked him into it. As a gay activist, Fierstein thought this show was important. Herman had success in the 60s with Hello Dolly but hadn't had a hit in a while. The show is about a gay couple who also perform at a drag nightclub. George Hearn and TV actor Gene Barry played the couple. The show ran for four years and won seven Tonys. Hearn won a Best Actor Tony. Hearn also appeared in the London cast. Sony has recently released the La Cage Aux Folles Original Broadway cast album as a budget CD. Of course La Cage Aux Folles was turned into a musical film and it has been revived on Broadway numerous times, most recently in 2010 starring Kelsey Grammer. George Hearn has done films and TV but seems to prefer the stage. His most notable show since La Cage Aux Folles was the 1994 Broadway musical Sunset Boulevard. He won his second Tony for that. Here's George Hearn and company performing La Cage Aux Folles in the London production the British TV special A Christmas Night of a Hundred Stars.

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