The hardest working woman in the world. I remember seeing her on Thanksgiving morning in 1981 in the Macy's parade. After two performances of SUGAR BABIES the day before, there she was at 8 a.m., fully made-up, gowned and coiffed, riding the Big Apple float down Broadway in the freezing cold. "Hello, everybody! Come see our show! Come see Sugar Babies! Sugar Babies at the Mark Hellinger Theater! Happy Thanksgiving and COME SEE SUGAR BABIES!"If one wants to understand discipline, studying Ann Miller would be a delightful way to start. http://www.julienslive.com/images/lot/9032/90320_0.jpg
She flogged that show throughout the New York run and then a couple of years later proceeded to do the same on every local TV talk show and in every podunk paper she could find all the way through a long, long tour. Trouper hardly begins to cover her drive.
Almost. I had a small relationship to SUGAR BABIES and delighted to all the stories that came from the road. The show played a long sit-down engagement in Los Angeles. While in L.A., the show's producer, Terry Allen Kramer, negotiated a deal to take SUGAR BABIES to Tokyo. It was to be the first American production of an American musical to be presented there. It was announced with much fanfare, but Mr. Rooney refused to go. He reasonably asserted that they could not play that show to an audience that would sit quietly throughout, responding only at the curtain call. Without Rooney, the Japanese presenters backed out and Mrs. Kramer was livid. To express her anger, following L.A., as they were not going to Japan, she booked the show into one week engagements in small towns all over California. SUGAR BABIES played Modesto, Fresno, Salinas, El Centro and a slew of other small cities, a week at a time. When that schedule was announced, Miss Miller noticed that she had an injury and departed for her home in Sedona to heal and recuperate. Carol Lawrence filled in for her. At the end of six grueling months, the show was booked to play a long engagement in Chicago... and Miss Miller recovered. Just in time. In her book, MILLER'S HIGH LIFE, published in 1972, she stated that she was 15 when she made YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, her mother having altered her birth certificate to indicate she was 18. Her Playbill bio, in 1979, stated that she was 13 when she made YOU CAN"T TAKE IT WITH YOU. I remember laughing out loud when I read that. In 1988, she and Mickey took the show to London, the last place they played it. All the publicity photos of Ann were from the Broadway production, 10 years earlier. I was living in London and made it a point of seeing SUGAR BABIES one last time. Her bio interestingly stated that she was 11 when she made YOU CAN"T TAKE IT WITH YOU. Her mother changed her birth certificate, you know. Show biz!
Oh, lord - the sheer surreality of the very idea of Sugar Babies in Japan. Would have been worth it just for the inevitable PR shot of Miller in full geisha get-up.Fascinating story about the CA mini-tour. Not sure I entirely blame Annie from missing Fresno - and if anyone could outwork her, it would have been Carol Lawrence (who made me lasagna once, but that's another story).
I want to hear the lasagna story!
Oh, my dear - a boy must have some secrets!Some day I'll spill - not much intrigue, but good fun. And the lasagna was delicious.
"I have worked like a dog all my life, honey. Dancing, as Fred Astaire said, is next to ditch-digging. You sweat and you slave and the audience doesn't think you have a brain in your head." - Ann MillerOne helluva gal! Jx
Easter isn't Easter without Easter Parade!
Oh Sugar! The Incomparable Ann and her million dollar legs...I love her for her trooperism and her semi-circular hair style in later days. No one lends a sequined gown more class than Miss M...Love and happy Easter!
Love her. Shouldn't have been a much bigger star than she was (I'm talking Hollywood, not Broadway.)