Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical

Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical

Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. In Tenderly, Rosemary Clooney’s journey starts with her simple Maysville, Kentucky childhood and follows her rise to Hollywood stardom. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as her struggles in her personal life – with a career fading during the advent of rock-and-roll and her battles with addiction and depression. Audiences stand and cheer as they rejoice at her triumphant comeback and even more successful career as a jazz singer.

Tenderly is based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, who was hailed as America’s favorite girl singer, in this exhilarating and inspiring new musical biography.  Her journey starts with her humble Midwest childhood and rise to Hollywood stardom, and continues beyond battles with depression to a triumphant comeback.  Through it all, she topped the charts for nearly five decades with signature songs. Tenderly offers a remarkably personal and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. The show, which received rave reviews and a double-extension of its run in its second incarnation at Cincinnati Playhouse earlier this year, features many of Mrs. Clooney’s signature hits, including “Hey There (you with the stars in your eyes),” “Tenderly,” and “Come On-A My House.” 

Mrs. Clooney was born on May 23, 1928, in Maysville, Kentucky.  She became a popular recording artist during the 1950s, known for her warm, engaging voice.  She started out singing with her sister Betty on a Cincinnati radio show, and the two joined Tony Pastor’s touring big band orchestra in 1946. After her sister retired from singing, Mrs. Clooney went to New York to launch her solo career in 1949. Two years later, after signing with Columbia Records, she had her first No. 1 hit with “Come On-a My House.”  More hits followed, such as “Hey There,” “This Ole House” and “Tenderly.”  

She also appeared in feature films, including The Stars Are Singing (1953) and White Christmas (1954) with Bing Crosby.  In the late 1950s, she had her own self-titled television show. She experienced personal problems in the late 1960s, including a divorce from actor Jose Ferrer, medication addiction, and depression. She spent years recovering and rebuilding her career, starting out in small clubs and lounges.  In the mid-1970s, she joined Bing Crosby on his final tour, which helped spur her comeback.  She later signed a recording contract with the Concord Jazz label and married Dante DiPaolo, a dancer she had known from two of her films, in 1996. Mrs. Clooney continued to record and perform, and in 2002 received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Mrs. Clooney died from complications related to her battle with lung cancer on June 29, in Beverly Hills, CA. She had five children from her marriage to Mr. Ferrer.

Scenes & Songs:

ACT 1

SCENE 1

Harold’s Club, Reno, Nevada, 1968

“Someone to Watch Over Me”

“Come On-a My House – Part 1”

SCENE 2

A Psychiatrist’s Office at a Hospital, Beverly Hills, 1968

“Come On-a My House – Part 1” (cont’d)

“Band Tuning”

SCENE 3

WLW Radio Station, Cincinnati, 1941

“Band Tuning” (cont’d) “Hawaiian War Chant”

“Hawaiian War Chant Tag”

SCENE 4

On the Road, 1946

“Hawaiian War Chant Tag” (cont’d)

“It’s Only a Paper Moon” “Paper Moon Variations”

SCENE 5

Sisters

“Paper Moon Variations” (cont’d)

“Sisters”

“Count Your Blessings”

SCENE 6

Joe

“Straighten Up and Fly Right”

“Tenderly”

SCENE 7

Dante

“I Remember You – Variations”

“Softball Underscoring”

“Botch-a-Me (Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina)”

“Stayed Too Long at the Fair – Fragment”

SCENE 8

Are You in Love Again?

“Stayed Too Long at the Fair – Fragment” (cont’d)

“Are You in Love Again?”

“I Get Along Without You Very Well”

“Come On-a My House – Part 2”

“Come On-a My House” – Instrumental

ACT 2

SCENE 9

I Remember You

“I Remember You” “How About You” “After How About You?”

SCENE 10

Hey There

“After How About You?” (cont’d)

“Sway”

“Hey There”

“Rock and Roll Short Instrumental”

SCENE 11

Rock & Roll & Pills

“Rock and Roll Short Instrumental” (cont’d)

“Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair”

“Before Mambo Italiano”

SCENE 12

Loose Ends

“Before Mambo Italiano”(cont’d)

“Mambo Italiano”

“After Mambo Italiano Underscoring”

“TV Commercial Break Music”

SCENE 13

The Girl Singer

“TV Commercial Break Music” (cont’d)

“What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”

“Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) Reprise”

“This Ole House”

TENDERLY: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (100%) Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney  (75%) By Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman  (50%)

Developed and Premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director

Subsequently produced by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Blake Robison, Artistic Director and Buzz Ward, Managing Director

1M/1F

Rosemary Clooney

The Doctor

3 Musicians:

Piano

Bass

Drums/Percussion