Last week I featured the late Betty White revealing her largely unknown talent as a singer however many of the sitcom performers that we are familiar with on television were known as musical performers before they got their chance at the TV or film “big time” including many of Betty’s colleagues on MTM. Cloris Leachman was Mary Martin’s understudy in the original cast of South Pacific and played Nellie in the National touring company of that hit. Georgia Engel was in Hello Dolly, and The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway and in many regional theatres productions. And of course Mary herself started as a dancer and singer though unfortunately the one big musical she is known for is Holly Golightly renamed Breakfast at Tiffany’s just before its disastrous previews – it closed after four performances and never did have an opening night. However she did appear on several variety shows highlighting her musical comedy chops.
Other Broadway musical performers who went on to major TV or film roles include Bea Arthur (Fiddler on the Roof, Mame), Beth Howland (Company), Glen Close (Barnum, Sunset Boulevard), Betty Buckley (Cats, Sunset Boulevard), Jerry Orbach (Carnival, Chicago, 42nd Street) and the list goes on. Perhaps it is that because musicals demand ability in many disciplines that it has produced so many major talents.
The word for January 12th is:
Discipline /ˈdisəplən/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1.1 The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.
1.2 A branch of knowledge or metier.
2. To train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.
Middle English (in the sense ‘mortification by scourging oneself’): via Old French from Latin disciplina ‘instruction, knowledge’, from discipulus