Quote of the Day: Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident. Riches take wing. Only one thing endures. And, that is character. Horace Greeley

Gracie Anderson as Rosemary Clooney and C. Ryan Shipley singing “Sisters” in Tenderley, the Rosemary Clooney Musical at Old Log Theatre. Production photos.

Rosemary Clooney was a beautiful, talented singer and performer on radio, television and film. Her songs told a story. Her velvety rich voice entered your ears and captured your heart. She was friends with Bing Crosby, who was often her co-star in movies like White Christmas and Here Comes the Groom (one of my favorite classic films). She also knew and sang with Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and other stars of her era, and was friends with Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. She had a heartbreaking childhood, a tumultuous marriage, and suffered from addiction and depression. Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical tells her story in a beautiful and tender way. 

Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical at Old Log Theatre through June 8, 2019. OLT production photo.

Co-authors of this musical, Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman carefully weave some of Clooney’s most popular songs into the storytelling: Hey There, Sisters (of course) It’s Only a Paper Moon, Sway, Come On-A My House, Mambo Italiano, and This Ole House. Gracie Anderson plays Rosemary with grace and tenderness. She has the gorgeous vocals to emote the songs and an understanding for the person she was. C. Ryan Shipley plays various people in Rosemary’s life, her mother, sister, uncle George, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra (you should hear him sing a duet with himself as both Bing and Frank!) her abusive husband, and the gentle man that she should have married in the first place. Abigail Rose Sharp plays the Production Assistant, also helping to move set pieces and assist with costume changes. The entire story is told with these three actors and a three piece band, led by Luke Davidson. Spencer Schoeneman on Drums, and Kyle Baker on Bass.

Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical at Old Log Theatre through June 8, 2019. Set design by Erik Paulson. OLT production photo

The set design (by Erik Paulson) is a cube that folds out like a dollhouse. In the first scene, it is the doctor’s office where Rosemary is having her first session. Then, as scenes unfold, so does the set. Signs from Rosemary’s career, on loan from the Rosemary Clooney Museum in Augusta, KY, hang at the back. As they go through her career, certain ones are highlighted to give us focus. Director Eric Morris immersed himself in Rosemary Clooney history, learning many more gritty details of her life. He creates a beautiful stage to tell her story with exceptional actors and musicians.

Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical at Old Log Theatre, through June 8, 2019. Production photo

You can see Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical at the Old Log Theatre in Excelsior, MN through June 8, 2019. They have a long history of exceptional productions. I saw Lend Me a Tenor last December. The actors had smooth, comedic timing in this classic comedy. One of the lead actors had broken her foot a day before opening. My friend and I knew people were filling in for each other in the performance we saw, but we couldn’t tell who because they were all so smooth. Kudos to all of you! Coming up next at Old Log is Five Presidents (which looks intriguing) June – October, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, opening October 18, which I might put on my must-see list for fall!

(PS: I had my eye out for her famous nephew George, but did not see him. Maybe he was hiding in the back *wink.)

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Who are your favorite stars from the “Golden Age” of television and film?