On The Broadway Scene, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-09


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ON THE BROADWAY SCENE ByBurtBoyar NEW YORK May 8 Mr Sammy Davis Sr Hollywood California DEAR SAM SAMI I know that nothing short of your health could have prevented you from coming here to see Sammys one man show Sunday night at Town Hall for the Childrens Asthma Research Institute If youll pardon the play on words it wouldve done your heart good Ill try to give it to you as it happened The place was completely sold out The tickets went for up to fifty bucks apiece Mike Wallace Thelma Ritter Steve Lawrence and Eydie Diana Barry more Jack Carter and Dore Shary were just a few of the names who were there Jack Benny whos in town for a few weeks came onstage as a surprise guest to in ¬ troduce Sammy SammyA A A A ABenny Benny got a tremendous hand My God he said when it quieted down Im not going to be that good I was asked an hour ago to come over and introduce the star of this show Naturally what I say will be impromptu With that he glanced at a sheaf of notes I came to New York and decided Id make no per ¬ sonal appearances I was just going to see some shows take it easy and for a change just have fun However when I was asked to appear here tonight well a ham can stand it just so long I had to make ONE appearance Ed Sullivan heard I was coming to town and asked me to do his 1 show He offered me a salary But I said No Benny then lowered his voice con ¬ fidentially and explained I said I would if hed give me 15000 thinking of course that hed turn it down and he did But there is a certain significance in introducing Sammy Davis Jr tonight Quite a few years ago before Sammy was the great star he is today I had him and Gisele McKenzie in a stage show that we did one summer After every opening night the papers would say Just seeing Sammy Davis was worth the price of admission Benny paused So thats what I paid him himAt At that time Sammy had his father and his uncle onstage with him and he ex ¬ plained to me how important they were to him because they had taught him every ¬ thing about show business that hed ever known Again Benny paused I was never that lucky he explained MY uncle was a shoemaker and my father a tailor I didnt think it would be good showmanship for me to stand in the center playing the violin with my uncle on one side sewing a pair of shoes and my father on the other side fixing pants A A AMr Mr Benny then becdme serious and in ¬ troduced Sammy This is not only one of the nicest men that I have ever known in my life but he has so much talent that if we werent of the same faith I would hate him To me Sammy Davis Jr is proba ¬ bly the greatest entertainer in the whole world I say PROBABLY Benny s face implied that perhaps a certain comic vio ¬ linist was greater But 1 will say he is DEFINITELY the most versatileentertain er that we have ever known in America I am now about to present to you one of the greatest evenings in show business I am excluding my appearance at Carnegie Hall I bring you now one of the closest friends I have in show business a man I love dearly and who I really believe is the greatest entertainer in the world Sammy told the audience If I was smart I would leave right now for Cali ¬ fornia The show began The first half said Sammy well try to stick to straight songs The secondhalf well open up with night club hits He then sang Gypsy in My Soul Earthbound Somethings Got to Give This Is My Belqved Love Me Or Leave Me Hey There Funny Val ¬ entine My Heart Is So Full of You Begin the Beguine and medleys of Rod gers Hart Cole Porter and George Gershwin A A A AI I can never uite describe to you what your son did to that audience Standing in front of a magnificent 38piece orchestra led by Morty Stevens whose arrangements never sounder greater he began to build Peak after peak He kept topping himself until he closed the first half with Old I Man River He drew so much emotion out outContinued Continued on Page FortyTwo ONTHEBROADWAYSCENE ONTHEBROADWAYSCENEBy By BURT BOYAB Continued from Page Two Twoof of that song that it left the audience in tears A A A AThere There were some very cute little things Like when he needed a cue card for the lyrics of People Will Say Were in Love but he couldnt read them from where they were being held offstage so he brought them out and handed them to a gentle ¬ man in the first row center I wonder Sam if when the three of you were fighting it out on 25 a week in the early days you could ever have imagined that some day your son wouldbe standing onstage at Town Hall spellbinding a must sophisti ¬ cated audience and having his cue cards held for f Scharyf him by Dore Schary A A A I almost forgot that just before Old Man River he did an Impression of Robert Preston in The Music Man He put on white shoes and a fourbutton jacket and using Prestons album he mouthed the pool table song with all the gestures A com ¬ plete showstopper Whats more Bob Pres ¬ ton is going to add some of SAMMYS gestures in his own show After intermission Max Youngstein who wag MCing explained that again he was not going to have the pleasure of introduc ¬ ing Sammy It seems he said there are many unemployed comics around This one is the only man whod have the nerve to take a Diners Club Card to Moscow It was Bob Hope HopeHope Hope ad libbed I have my own charity and I d9nt usually come out for rival diseases A A A AHe He did some quickies like discussing his traveling I fly so much that the other day American Airlines gave me a nionogrammed container Ive spent more hours on the runway than Uli St Cyr Wellr Crosby is married and the scientists are all taking bows about that I didnt believe it until I read it in the medical journal And hes having a baby His last child was 23 years ago What a coffee break Its amazing His idea of an exciting night used to be to turn his electric blanket up to medium About golf Ikes hitting the balls further now He hasN Trumans picture painted on them I played with Sin ¬ atra Hes the best threeiron Ive used I wont say Sinatras thin but hes the only man who can put on a new shirt without taking the pins out outA A A A AIt It was time to introduce Sammy again Hope became serious and said Sammy is one of the greatest talents to come alpng in years but whyd he have to come along in my time This concert hall was built for this kind of talent Its my privilege to introduce him himA A A A AFor For the second half of the shew Sammy did night club stuff The impression of Sinatra the dancing some gags a few songs until suddenly it was midnight The redvelvet curtains swung closed and a per ¬ formance they will talk about for years was over A lot of people rate a bow for organizing this great show As Sammy said It takes 90 people to put on a oneman show Lee Copley produced it with Steve Blauner as his right hand Not to men ¬ tion Murray Roman who organized the whole thing thingA A A A AIn In the lobby we did a little listening People were marveling at how late it got so early The three hours had swept by so fast One man was saying I have never seen anything like that boy since Al Jolson did Sunday night shows at the Winter Garden GardenA A A A AThat That was the general feeling Between that and what Jack Benny said there is nothing I can add addLove Love from Jane and myself to you all BURT

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1958050901/drf1958050901_2_2
Local Identifier: drf1958050901_2_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800