Thursday, 11 March 2010
Spirit of '76
Referring not to the presidential plane which lands in Beijing near the start of Peter Sellars' durable staging of John Adams's resplendent Nixon in China - ENO production photo by Alistair Muir - but to nine-teen seventysix. Sing it, Louise, in the manner of the catchy refrains in Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.
In the booklet accompanying the 1976 release of DG's Kurt Weill box set, much-missed 'Phil' Langridge and the thankfully still very much with us 'Ben' Luxon sported flowery shirts and very of-the-time hairdos.
I was always amused by the fashions, shared above with Nona Lidell and Mary King, even at less of a remove in time, ever since I bought the treasurable set of Weill miscellanea (some of which has, alas, never made it to CD).
January 1976 was the month in which a Harburg/Arlen number from a 1939 Marx Brothers movie was remade, to achieve immortality in Episode 102 of The Muppet Show. We've been watching this over and over, and mindlessly humming the refrains, since I stumbled across this on YouTube. Pig Lydia made only one more outing, but apparently she was one of Jim Henson's favourites. Enjoy: we need a bit of lightening up after all these deaths and this endlessly prolonged winter. Do hang around for Miss Piggy's reaction.