Sunday, May 08, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Henry Lascoe, Leon Belasco, David Opatoshu

Artist:Henry Lascoe, Leon Belasco, David Opatoshu
Album:Silk Stockings: An Original Cast Recording

These three character actors are probably best known for their work in film and TV. but they were also versatile enough to appear in Broadway musicals. In this case, it is the 1955 musical Silk Stockings with songs by Cole Porter. It was based on the 1939 film Ninotchka. So it's about Russians in Paris. The show starred Hildegard Knef, Don Ameche and Gretchen Wyler who were all Broadway newcomers. So several veteran character actors were hired to play supporting roles. The show played on Broadway for over a year and then was turned into a 1957 film starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Henry Lascoe, Leon Belasco and David Opatoshu play three commissars and they do a couple of songs including Siberia. In the film, the commissars were played by Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin and Joseph Buloff. Lorre was a much bigger star than any of these other guys. Lascoe was the most experienced Broadway performer. Before Silk Stockings, he was in successful shows like Call Me Madam and Fanny. He also worked a lot on TV usually doing guest shots on shows like Perry Mason and The Naked City. He died in 1964 at age 52. Belasco began his film career in the late 30s. He usually played temperamental and overbearing Russians in films like Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion and Can-Can. He also led a band that introduced The Andrews Sisters. Later on he worked a lot on TV until his 1988 death. Star Trek fans will remember Opatoshu as Anan 7 in the classic episode A Taste of Armageddon. But he began his career in the New York Yiddish Theater in the late 30s. His most notable films were Torn Curtain and Exodus. He appeared a lot on TV until his 1996 death. The original cast of Silk Stockings is available on CD. Beware of poor quality European versions. This cover is for the original RCA recording. Here's a video of Henry Lascoe, Leon Belasco and David Opatoshu performing Siberia from the musical Silk Stockings.

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