The world of entertainment recently lost two great contributors in the space of a year: Janis Orenstein and Alice Playten. Their untimely departures at a relatively young age should not go unremarked.
Chances are you have heard Janis Orenstein if you watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Clarice becomes smitten with Rudolph in spite of her father who wouldn’t hear of her daughter dating such a creature. When Rudolph threatens to run away, she sings There’s Always Tomorrow:
There's always tomorrow for dreams to come true, Believe in your dreams come what may. There's always tomorrow With so much to do And so little time in a day.
Janis was a young teenager when she sang her song for Rudolph, but she didn’t stop there. She studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and Julliard.
About this time, I was You-Tubing videos of a satire of Woodstock staged by National Lampoon. I wanted to find a parody of 50’s revival songs sung by Alice Playten who announced, “I’m Goldie Oldie and I’m here with my group the Oldies. We’re going to a little medley of my hit.”
More recently, Alice Playten portrayed Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical, a musical dear to my heart since I participated in the Theatre Victoria production. She sings the heart-tugging Notice Me, Horton. She was a diminutive figure, but she could fill a stage by herself.
I will not give up hope. I was hooked from the start When I noticed your kind And your powerful heart.
Exuent stage. Close curtains.
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