Jerry Herman: If he walked into my life

Written by Samuel Kidd


In category: Song of the Day

Published September 16, 2020

I chose this song both because it’s a wonderful song from a great show, but also to highlight Jerry Herman and Marin Mazzie, two giants who each died in the last few years. I feel that even though Jerry Herman won two Tony awards, he may be somewhat overlooked as a songwriter. And it’s hard to overstate the importance of La Cage aux Folles in raising the profile of gay life into the mainstream during the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s. 

Most people have probably heard Angela Landsbury’s rendition of this song, as she created the role of Mame and won a Tony for it. But I absolutely love what Marin Mazzie does with it. She has such finesse when necessary, and then a very sassy and brash chest voice when called for. How she never won a Tony award is beyond me, even though she was nominated 3 times and starred in the Broadway run of Next to Normal, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. She’s one of my favorite performers because of the passion and honesty she brought every time she was on stage, and it’s so sad that she died at only 58, with years of performing left ahead of her. 

author: Samuel Kidd

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Samuel Kidd, baritone, is a second-year master student studying vocal performance at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, under the instruction of Bill McGraw. Before CCM, he graduated from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Freda Herseth. Last year at CCM, Samuel performed the role of Krušina in the mainstage production of The Bartered Bride, in addition to the title role in the workshop production of Falstaff. He was involved in several operas at the University of Michigan as Friar Laurence in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Dr. Talbot in Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight, and Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Samuel will make his NYFOS debut in We’ll Be Together Again, a virtual concert premiering online on September 30, 7pm ET. Register here to view.


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