arts 10.10.03

John Bucchino

They don't write them like they used to. Possibly, but if the subject is Broadway-style ballads and we're talking about composer John Bucchino, they do. Mr. Bucchino, whose name may not be familiar outside theatrical and cabaret circles, nevertheless has our vote as the most gifted quiet moment composer around (Jerry Herman he is not).

For proof, take a listen to the CD called "Grateful — The Songs of John Bucchino" (on RCA, executive produced by Bill Rosenfield). Clearly, we're not his only fans. Singing Mr. Bucchino's rich, wistful melodies and insightful lyrics are Patti LuPone, Andrea Marcovicci, Liza Minnelli, David Campbell, Judy Collins, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Feinstein, Art Garfunkel, Ann Hampton Callaway….you get the idea. While it's mostly ballads on the recording, Mr. Bucchino's talent is such that you feel like he could write anything. Someone get this man a show! We'd be duly grateful.
For those with dim or no memories of Broadway producer David Merrick, here's a precise summary of him: brilliant, mean, nuts. Rosie O'Donnell, (as she is intent on letting everyone know), is producing the new musical Taboo about London in the early 80s, and she's got some of Merrick's qualities down. But there's a star actually performing in the show. Two, even. One is Boy George who plays Leigh Bowery, a performance artist of the time and one is Euan Morton who plays Boy George. Mr. Morton played the role in the London production and word is he's terrific. Performances start October 24th at the Plymouth, 236 W. 45th [Bway/8th] 212.239.6200.

Just a guess, but Meryl Streep is reading Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life this very minute. Author Caroline Moorehead traces the 90 years of Martha Gellhorn, a war correspondent whose accomplishments and tenacity could make even Christiane Amanpour seem like a piker. Ms. Gellhorn was also married to Hemingway for a period of time and had friends ranging from Eleanor Roosevelt to Leonard Bernstein. Her life was quite an adventure and would no doubt make a compelling movie. ("Meryl Streep is Gellhorn…")

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