Added on 22-Jun-2007
Peter Straker welcomes the chance to play in a small, intmate theatre without the use of artificial aids, Bridget Galton writes
A MUSICAL journey through the life and lyrics of Lorenz Hart promises a treat for fans of Broadway show tunes.
Blue Moon, My Funny Valentine, The Lady Is A Tramp and Have You Met Miss Jones? are among the classics performed by the talented cast of five in From The Hart at New End Theatre in Hampstead.
Hart, a gay Jewish New Yorker, met musical genius Richard Rodgers at university. And, for the next 25 years, they formed a successful song-writing partnership.
But the troubled Hart had a fondness for drink and, in November 1943, he was discovered inebriated in the snow after the opening night of A Conneticut Yankee.
He died of pneumonia five days lateStraker went on to appear in a string of musicals and, in the 70s, had a career as a glam rock singer, making five albums, including one produced by his long-standing friend Freddie Mercury.
"It was fantastic, I had a great time. But it's such hard work. If they don't play your records you don't stand a chance. In those days, the BBC decided whether you should be listened to or not."
He got to know Mercury around the time his band Queen shot to fame with Bohemian Rhapsody.
"It was a wonderful friendship. He was crazy but wonderful - very creative and inventive with a remarkable voice.
"We liked the same things - tennis, football, cricket. We would phone each other from all over the world to talk about the scores."