It’s hard to believe that Kander & Ebb’s iconic “Theme from ‘New York, New York'” was not nominated for best song the year it was memorably sung by Liza Minnelli in the Martin Scorsese musical. The Oscar-winner that year, as I was reminded on Twitter by @ShawnLevy, was “When You Light Up My Life.”
What happened? Well, I remember when the movie came out in 1977, partly because I worked on it as an assistant at United Artists. We knew it was a great song. But the movie itself was an overcostly flop for the studio, excoriated by many critics when it opened (it’s fresh now). The song grew in stature over time, was covered by Frank Sinatra, and became a centerpiece in Minnelli’s act. It’s the song the Broadway community performed as a tribute after 9/11.
Why hasn’t anyone stepped up to take this potentially great musical to Broadway? Anyone know why? Too expensive to mount when the original wasn’t successful? Rights issues?