Did You Know?
Although producer Allan Carr
received much of the blame for the infamous Rob Lowe
/Snow White duet, the opening musical number was actually planned and staged by Steve Silver, creator of the long-running San Francisco musical revue, "Beach Blanket Babylon." According to the book, "The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards," by Steve Pond, Allan Carr asked Steve Silver to create an opening number for the Oscar show, but didn't give him any guidance on what the number should include or how long it should be. Silver planned and rehearsed the opening number with his "Babylon" cast in San Francisco, while Carr concentrated on renovating the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Silver conceived the number as "Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Hollywood." (In the "Babylon" stage show, a Disney-like Snow White is the main character. Also, the show features elaborate costumes, wigs, and headdresses, and satirical songs like the "Proud Mary" parody sung by Rob Lowe and Snow White.) On the day before the Oscar broadcast, Silver and his "Babylon" cast staged the opening number for the first time at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The original version was 26 minutes long. Carr then informed Silver that the number was too long, and needed to be cut down. Silver cut it down to 14 minutes, but it still remains the longest opening number in Oscar history. (Those who saw the 26-minute version said it was better than the shorter version.) On the night of the Oscar broadcast, the opening number famously bombed. Silver later said he thought it flopped because the Oscar audiences weren't familiar with his "Babylon" show, and didn't realize the number was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. See more
Written by Ray Evans
and Jay Livingston See more