Walton also just stole the show at 'Sondheim Unplugged'
Last Edit: WaymanWong 11:45 am EST 11/29/23
Posted by: WaymanWong 11:25 am EST 11/29/23
In reply to: NEW INTERVIEW WITH JIM WALTON - T.B._Admin. 10:16 am EST 11/27/23

Earlier this week, Jim Walton and Ann Morrison appeared at ''Sondheim Unplugged,'' the N.Y. revue at 54 Below. And Volume III of the show's CDs, which briefly features Walton, was just nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop. Anyway, it was touching to see Walton and Morrison reunited onstage and reprising ''Not a Day Goes By'' from ''Merrily.''

But moments earlier, Walton stole the show with his solo of ''Rich and Happy,'' also from ''Merrily.'' To set up the song, he told the story of how Hal Prince approached him about trying out the role of Frank and replacing James Weissenbach. Walton was thrilled at the big break, but admits he also secretly thought: ''Isn't Kevin Kline available?'' Kline had recently won a Tony for ''On the 20th Century,'' which Prince also directed. Walton wondered if ''Merrily'' would benefit more from Kline's energy and star power, but he decided to kept quiet about it.

So Walton dedicated his rendition of ''Rich and Happy'' to NOT casting Kline and other alternate possibilities. He then performed the song with a twist: by interspersing it with his comic impressions of: Paul Lynde, William Shatner, Walter Brennan, Jimmy Stewart, Marlon Brando, JFK, Bill Clinton, Louis Armstrong, Elmer Fudd, Bert Lahr, Jim Carrey and more.

He was a riot. And with all those impressions, Walton managed to turn ''Rich and Happy'' into ''Rich (and) Little.''
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