Remember in the old Steve Martin movie "The Jerk" when Navin Johnson gets all excited about seeing his name in the White Pages?
"The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!...I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity...that makes people!"
Well, it's no great exaggeration to say that's pretty much how I felt earlier today when I received my copies of Life Begins at 8:40, the recent release from PS Classics for which I -- you're not-so-humble blogger -- wrote the frickin' liner notes. (See my previous embarrassingly gushy post.) The CD is available for pre-order now on Amazon and CD Universe, but since the good folks at PS Classics saw fit to send me a few extra copies, I thought I'd give one away as part of a little contest for my readers.
Here are five questions based on the various personnel who were involved in the original 1934 production of Life Begins at 8:40. I'll select a winner at random from the people who answer all the questions correctly. Please use the comments function below to submit your response. (Don't worry about other people seeing your answers. I moderate the comments on my blog, and I won't publish the answers until I've selected a winner.) The deadline for submission is midnight Friday, June 4th. [The drawing has taken place. Thanks to everyone who entered. I will be contacting the winners individually. --C.C.]
Good luck. And enjoy.1. Composer Harold Arlen would go on to write the music for numerous Broadway shows, including one featuring a feminist storyline about the invention of a certain form of female undergarment. What was the name of this show? [ANSWER: Bloomer Girl (1944)]
2. Co-lyricist Yip Harburg was recently represented on Broadway in a short-lived (sniff) revival of what is probably his best-known show. What is the name of the show? [ANSWER: Finian's Rainbow (1947)]
3. Co-lyricist Ira Gershwin took a break from working with his brother George to collaborate with Harburg on Life Begins at 8:40. George was otherwise engaged writing the ambitious score to which Gershwin masterpiece? [ANSWER: Porgy and Bess (1935)]
4. Bert Lahr appeared in a number of Broadway musicals during his long career. For which show did he win a Tony Award? [ANSWER: Foxy (1964)]
5. Ray Bolger was well known primarily for his virtuosic dancing in various revues prior to Life Begins at 8:40, but he became a true leading man when he went on to star in which Rodgers and Hart show? [ANSWER: On Your Toes (1936). Quite a few people answered By Jupiter (1942), but Bolger's role in On Your Toes was a genuine starring role, and it's what solidified him as a leading man in the eyes of Broadway producers. But in deference to readers who didn't think On Your Toes was a starring role, I entered everyone who answered By Jupiter into the drawing as well.]
EXTRA CREDIT: What other project do Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Bert Lahr, and Ray Bolger have in common? [ANSWER: "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)]