Du Barry Was A Lady (2001 Production)

Louise Gold starred as May Daly/Mme Du Barry, for the second time in a Lost Musicals production of Du Barry Was A Lady, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, on 18th and 25th November 2001, this production was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 14:00 on 27th December 2001. She had played the part eight years earlier at The Barbican Centre in a Previous Lost Musicals production. This page is about her later performance.

Louise was not the only player in the show who had been in the earlier production. James Vaughan had played Charlie/The Dauphin in the that same earlier production

 

Cast

 Jones/Le Du De Choiseul - Stewart Permutt

Reporter - Mark Siney

Kelly - Chris Vincent

Harry/Capt. of the Guard - Gavin Lee

Alice/Alisande De Vernay - Lauren Ward

Man In Toilet/Florian/Zamore - Jeremy David

Louis Blore/King of France - Desmond Barrit

Vi Hennessy/La Duchess - Gabriella Santinelli

May Daly/Mme. Du Barry - Louise Gold

Alex Barton - Mark McKerracher

Charley/ The Dauphin - James Vaughan

Nurse To King - Shula Keyte

Gatekeeper - Stephen Llyod-Morgan

Doctor - Mark Siney

Mme La Duchesse Du Coeur Flottantes - Jenna Sokolowski

Come On In - Dancer - Hannah Berry

Come  On In - Dancer - Tanya Robb

 

Production Team

 Music/Lyrics - Cole Porter

Book - Herbert Fields and Buddy G De Sylva

Original Production – 6 December 1939, 46th Street Theatre, with Ethel Merman as May Daly/Mme Du Barry

Orchestra - BBC Concert Orchestra

Musical Director - Mark Warman

Director - Ian Marshall-Fisher

 

For a full account/review please click here.

 As with the previous year’s production of One Touch Of Venus, Louise Gold used her holiday time from Mamma Mia to do the Lost Musicals. Which is presumably also why she was not with the Mamma Mia cast when they appeared on Children In Need.

By complete coincidence, some 60 years earlier, the original London  production of Du Barry Was A Lady, starring Frances Day, played Her Majesty’s Theatre opening on 22 October 1942 and running 178 performances.

But In The Morning No suffered some problems when it was first written, due to its rather (for the time) dirty lyrics, for many yeas it could not be sung on air, and The Lord Chamberlain was particularly concerned with this song when the show originally played London. This may explain why there are so many variations of this song. For this production lyrics used were, according to The Complete Lyrics Of Cole Porter: the opening verse, and refrains 3, 7 and 8, namely the ones that begin “Are you fond of swimming, dear?”,  “Are you good at figures, dear?”, and, “Are you in the market, dear?”.

Friendship is also a song that has undergone several variations. For this production all the lyrics given in The Complete Lyrics Of Cole Porter were used, including the often unused Refrain 2 (the one that begins “If you ever loose your way, come to May”). In this production they sang the original opening line to Refrain 6 “If they hang you, pard, send a card” rather than its more often used replacement “If you ever crack your spine trussle mine”.  For more details on this see Anything Goes (Stage).

It has been said that King Louis XIV of France (The Dauphan) may have been left-handed. If that is the case, then it is perhaps particularly apt that in this production he was played by James Vaughan, who is left-handed.

Louise Gold is one of the few actresses to have played all five Ethel Merman roles in the quintet of musicals that Cole Porter wrote for Ethel Merman, having appeared in a revival of Anything Goes, and in Lost Musicals earlier concert staging of Du Barry Was A Lady at The Barbican, as well as their Barbican productions of: Red Hot & Blue, Something For The Boys, Panama Hattie.

Louise Gold and James Vaughan are long standing Lost Musicals performers, having previously appeared in: One Touch Of Venus (1992 Production), Du Barry Was A Lady (1993 Production), Of Thee I Sing (where their performances were a complete contrast to those in this show), Panama Hattie, and were perhaps best teamed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. They have also appeared in the film Crush. James Vaughan also helped out on the film Muppet Treasure Island on which Louise Gold puppeteered.

Louise Gold, James Vaughan, Stewart Permutt and Jeremy David all previously appeared in Panama Hattie.

Stewart Permutt had also previously appeared with Louise Gold in: Something For The Boys and Oh Kay. They went on to appear together in Mexican Hayride.

Jeremy David had also previously appeared with Louise Gold in: New Girl In Town.

Mark McKerracher had previously appeared with Louise Gold in 110 In The Shade.

The BBC Concert Orchestra had previously played for Sondheim At The Barbican

The BBC Concert Orchestra had previously played for Let ‘Em Eat Cake which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Louise Gold has appeared in quite a number of Cole Porter musicals, besides the Ethel Merman quintet of shows, she has also appeared in Kiss Me Kate, Noel/Cole: Let’s Do It, and, Mexican Hayride. However, she has made all too few recordings, the only albums of her singing Cole Porter are Noel/Cole: Let’s Do It (Recording), and the JAY/TER’s studio cast album of Anything Goes (recording) - Website Recommended Album.

Louise Gold and Desmond Barrit went on to appear at Chichester in Final Chic Cabaret 2003 , together in Curtain Up and to co-host Chichester’s Christmas Concerts 2003. They also went on to appear together in Flaunt It 2008.

Gavin Lee, Louise Gold, and, Tanya Robb have gone on to appear together in Mary Poppins.

Mark Warman played the piano (when Louise Gold returned to the Lost Musicals nine years later) in Darling of The Day.

 

In the show one of Mme Du Barry’s lines is “I don’t care what they say about me, so long as they spell my name right.” On the 29 November 2001, The Camden New Journal did a feature about Ian Marshall-Fisher’s Lost Musicals, focusing on his recent productions of Let’s Face It and Du Barry Was A Lady. The feature was illustrated by a photograph with the caption sic “Louse Gold and Desmond Barrit in Cole Porter’s Duberry was a Lady”.

 

Critics Comments

 “...Du Barry Was A Lady, a 1939 rarity in which Bert Lahr and Ethel Merman raised the roof with their great song Friendship. Desmond Barrit and Louise Gold do much the same, though hampered by scripts and polite evening dress..... Miss Gold has two feisty comic numbers.” Michael Coveney, DAILY MAIL, 23 November 2001

 “Louise Gold and Desmond Barrit are on glorious form in the main roles, and Lauren Ward and Gavin Lee, among others, lend sparkling support.” John Gross, THE TELEGRAPH, 27 November 2001

  “In the Ethel Merman part in this concert performance, Louise Gold nods to her predecessor without bowing to her. With a big, warm voice and a majestically playful manner, Gold -- you'd call her Junoesque except Juno never had any fun -- is more womanly than Merman but, like her, puts the hot numbers across by being joyous and powerful rather than sexy. One would call it a triumph of confidence if one spoke of a confident tank”. Rhoda Koenig, The INDEPENDENT, 22 November 2001

 “If 90 per cent of the job of a director is sometimes said to be done in the casting, then Marshall-Fisher is 100 per cent successful. In her tenth Lost Musical appearance, Louise Gold once again takes on a role originally played by Ethel Merman and, as her predecessor did, completely owns the stage. Combining sass, attack and lyrical grace, she has become one of our most formidable leading ladies.” Mark Shenton, THE STAGE, 22 November 2001.

 “ Louise Gold, once more cast in a Merman role, does splendidly by ‘Katie Went To Haiti’”..... “By the time Gold and Barritt launched playfully into the high-spirited duet ‘Friendship’ both they and the audience were palpably enjoying themselves, and the couple could have gone on performing encores of the number had there been any more lyrics to sing.” Tom Vallance, WHAT’S ON, 21 November 2001

 

Links about Du Barry Was A Lady

The Lost Musicals Charitable TrustTM: http://www.lostmusicals.org/  -. The site includes photographs from a number of past productions, including one of Desmond Barritt and Louise Gold in DuBarry Was A Lady (2001 Production).

 TheatreChannel.com page about the show, includes a photograph of the principals: http://www.theatrechannel.com/DuBarry.htm

Review from The Independent, by Rhoda Koenig: http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=106068 or: http://arts.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/article145183.ece

 Mini-Review from The Telegraph, by John Gross: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/01/11/27/theatre.html also on http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/4180024/A-Room-of-Ones-Own-Umoja-F-ing-Games-Dubarry-Was-a-Lady.html

Page about the original stage production of Du Barry Was A Lady, from The Cole Porter Reference Guide: http://www.geocities.com/porterguide/dubarry.html

This IS London .co.uk’s page for the show: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/article-895992-details/Long-lost+Porter+back+on+the+stage/article.do

British Theatre Guide (actually a piece about the Lost Musicals’ 2008 season, however it happens to be illustrated with a very nice picture of Louise Gold and company in this production of Du Barry Was A Lady): http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/news/lostmusicals08.htm

 

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