CELEB PlayBlogger Phyllis Newman: April 1

PlayBlog   CELEB PlayBlogger Phyllis Newman: April 1
We are happy to welcome guest celebrity blogger Phyllis Newman, the famed singing actress who won a Tony Award for her performance in Subways Are for Sleeping as well as the special 2009 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. Newman, who was married to the late lyricist-librettist Adolph Green, will blog for Playbill.com all week; her fourth entry follows:

Well, good day to you. I'm very excited because I just received hot off the presses — or whatever things are hot off these days — the brand new "Comden and Green Songbook." It's quite beautiful with an insightful little history of them by Cary Ginell, wonderful photos, a short piece by me…and most important of course a batch of their great songs. Not just the well known…like "The Party's Over," "New York, New York, etc., but many lesser known gems…and I mean gems.

I always made the joke that I was "The Other Woman."


Adolph and I met when I auditioned to be Judy Holliday's understudy in Bells Are Ringing. I was catatonically nervous knowing I would be singing and acting in front of three theatre legends — Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne. I got the job and I got a husband (that's a whole other songbook), and I also got to have and be, the other woman in his life — our life. I was marrying a team, and embarking on a unique adventure.

Writing and onstage, they were the perfect fit, perfect foils — Betty was dignified, still and classy, and Adolph was always in motion, a manic sprite from another planet. They so loved to perform, but they were ambitious and uniquely talented as writers.

Offstage, Adolph and I were a perfect fit as well. We were two people who found each other completely interesting and funny, loving our lives and our children, with never a bump in the road (a complete canard). But, (a truth) we never wanted to work together, writing or onstage. As Jule Styne used to say, "Phyllis does a solo."

Their shows are filled with optimism and happy endings. Their range was vast, from the zany "Moses" (from "Singin' in the Rain") to the honest and heartbreaking "Learn To Be Lonely" (from A Doll's Life), which they wrote after Betty's husband Steve died.

Comden and Green met every day, every single day, and worked — on a show, or an idea, or just in despair, looking for a project, "the kids trying to make good." Their songs and shows speak for themselves.

Betty was the perfect woman to be the "Other, Other Woman," and Adolph, well, he was just Adolph — my Adolph, the one and only Adolph.
So go forth and sing and play and enjoy these glorious songs, and you will "Make Someone Everyone Happy."

[caption id="attachment_6063" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Betty's husband Steve Kyle, Betty, hubs Adolph Green and Yours Truly."]Betty's husband Steve Kyle, Betty, hubs Adolph Green and Yours Truly.[/caption]

So long for now, gotta rush! Colin Firth is texting me.

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