Victor Herbert's "Babes in Toyland" at Carnegie Hall April 27th - New York City Article
Victor Herbert's "Babes in Toyland" at Carnegie Hall April 27th
Carnegie Hall Presents Victor Herbert’s “Babes in Toyland”
The Isaac Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage
57th Street & 7th Avenue
Thursday, April 27th
Victor Herbert (1859-1924) was the Rodgers & Hammerstein, the Stephen Sondheim, and the Andrew Lloyd Webber of Broadway’s first Golden Age: a name-above-the-title composer/superstar who dominated the genre (not yet known as musical theater) like no one has since. Most of his works are described as “operetta” rather than modern-style Broadway musicals, which implies a European origin, but make no mistake: Herbert was proudly American, and his works have an energy about them, a style and dash, that has much more in common with George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin rather than Puccini. Of his staggering 43 original shows, the 1903 Babes in Toyland is the most likely to be produced in the 21st century. It’s the best-known today because of two successful movie versions (the famous 1934 epic production with Laurel & Hardy and the 1961 Disney remake) and contains some of his most famous songs, such as the title theme “Toyland” (sung memorably by Doris Day) and the iconic instrumental “March of the Toys.” Like his younger contemporary Jerome Kern, Herbert was a Jedi master at composing lovely melodies for soprano voices, and the remarkable Kelli O’Hara is the best possible choice to sing them at Carnegie. This MasterVoices production (utilizing the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Ted Sperling) will also feature comedy from pantomime savant Bill Irwin and musical comedian Christopher Fitzgerald.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)