Tag: Ethel Merman

Darkness at Noon: The Musical

John Judis alerted me to this PBS show on the Jewish origins of the Broadway musical. Among other things I learned from it: Ethel Merman, born Ethel Zimmerman, was German, but so terrified she’d be outed as a Jew was she that people would think she was Jewish that whenever she said she had been praying for the success of a show, she would quickly add, “In church!” She was also so scared she’d have nothing to eat at Jule Styne’s seder—he promised her she wouldn’t have to eat any Christian babies—that she brought a ham sandwich with her. In her purse. [This paragraph was revised from the original version of this post.] The original last line of “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes” […]