THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Scandalous Composer David Friedman Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
July 31, 2013

Playbill.com's new feature series, Their Favorite Things, asks members of the theatre community to share the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience.

This week we spotlight the choices of composer-conductor-author David Friedman — co-composer of Broadway's Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson — who has just released a two-CD retrospective of his music, "A Different Light" and "Let Me Fly," which feature his own vocals.



(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)

 

Carolee Carmello in Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson

 

"I may be a bit prejudiced since I was a writer on the show, but I have to say I have never seen a tour de force powerhouse singing and acting performance like that in my life. And, she’s really nice, too!"

 

 

Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl 

 

"OK. So I got my front-row matinee ticket (I paid full price, $5.50) and sat watching the whole show through binoculars. Was I gay or what?"

 

 

 Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly!
 

 

"I went to the show thinking, 'Why would I be interested in this?' and was totally captivated by Carol Channing's amazing stage presence and desire to please an audience."

Patti LuPone in Evita

 

"It was just amazing to see Patti deliver that level of passion and unbelievable belting. I was mesmerized."

 

 

Jefferson Mays in I Am My Own Wife 

 

"I really learned something about acting in this as I watched Jefferson switch seamlessly from one character to another without a millisecond break. I also had the pleasure of sitting with Patricia Neal at this performance, and Jefferson was so kind to come out to the house to greet her rather than her having to go backstage." 

 

 

Mary Martin and Robert Preston in I Do! I Do! 

 

"To watch these two actors, one almost 50, one over 50 believably play everything from young newlyweds to old, old people was a lesson in professionalism and charisma."

 

Bette Midler in The Divine Miss M

 

"I felt privileged to see Bette's first Broadway appearance. She was so gifted, so raw, so driven, so entertaining, and when she gave her pianist, Barry Manilow, a chance to sing a couple of songs at the top of Act II, you knew that he, too, was headed for stardom."

 

Randy Graff in City of Angels

 

"There was something about seeing how still Randy is, how she simply lets the character inhabit her and pour through her and through that gorgeous, rich voice, that taught me a great deal about real acting."

Judy Kaye in Souvenir

 

"I had grown up listening to (and laughing at) Florence Foster Jenkins' famous album, 'The Glory???? of the Human Voice.' Not only was it absolutely uncanny that Judy could so accurately and hilariously produce Florence's vocalisms, but even more astounding that she could give someone I had always thought of as a joke such heart and make her such a sympathetic character."

 

 

Julie Harris in The Belle of Amherst
 

 

"What impressed me so much about this performance was that Julie Harris was playing an icon but inhabited her as a regular person. She reminded me that people from history, famous people, powerful people, are all just people."