Magazine article Variety

More Than an Ingénue

Magazine article Variety

More Than an Ingénue

Article excerpt

1927-2017 The gifted Barbara Cook was a Broadway and cabaret legend

WHEN BARBARA COOK had been hired to play the lead in "She Loves Me," my image of her was based on the roles I had seen her play. I thought she was more or less an innocent ingénue. The first time I had a glimpse of her personality was when we were holding auditions for other roles in that show, and I was unprepared for the nature of the comments she made as she watched people auditioning, phrased in unexpectedly salty language!

One of my favorite memories has to do with a number Jerry Bock and I wrote for her during the out-of-town tryout of "She Loves Me." We played the song for her one morning, and to our surprise, she said, "Why don't we try to put it in tonight?" Jerry and I protested: This wouldn't allow her enough time to learn the number. She replied: "The music is simple enough, and a fairly large part of the number consists of me writing a letter, so I'll have the lyrics right in front of me on the page." Against our better judgment, we allowed Barbara to put the number in that night. …

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