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Taking My Turn - Off-Broadway Cast (Friedman - Holt)
Composer: Gary William Friedman
Lyricist: Will Holt

Price: $16.95


Product Description
TAKING MY TURN is a musical about aging that is irrepressibly young at heart. That it also deals sensitively with a serious subject is a tribute to the collaborative hands that are responsible for this joyful entertainment. The new musical, which opened last night at the Entermedia Theater, was created by Gary William Friedman, Will Holt and Robert H. Livingston, acting respectively as composer, lyricist and adapter-director, as they did for the long-running THE ME NOBODY KNOWS, a group portrait of children in the city. The team has moved from a consideration of growing up to one of growing old, using a similar approach by combining ''found'' words with original songs that spring from the material. This is neither musical with a story nor a random collage but a show on a single subject, with music thematically integrated. The spoken words have been collected from interviews with scores of ''people in their prime,'' who are credited in the program. The observations, as expressed in the dialogue and the lyrics, deal with experience as an educator, with a culture that elevates youth at the expense of the aged, and with time as a foreshortener. Necessarily, the show is also concerned with dying, but through some alchemic artistic process it is never depressing. Instead it is rejuvenating. For that contribution, one must credit the cast, eight remarkably musical and youthful performers (admittedly, some must be considerably younger than the roles they are playing). They perform with a minimum of artifice and a maximum of sincerity and style. The first clue to the show's quality comes with a trio: Cissy Houston, the memorable Margaret Whiting and Marni Nixon - who sang for Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood and Deborah Kerr in movie musicals and now asserts her own personality. Linking arms, they sing a sisterly song of self-acceptance, ''Fine for the Shape I'm In,'' which could serve as an anthem for the evening. Not all of the dialogue is equal but many of the lines are pungent, and the songs maintain a level of sophistication even when dealing with potentially sentimental matters. The first act is fine; the second act soars when, in succession, three members of the company perform individual numbers. First there is Tiger Haynes, with a vintage musical talent and a smile that warms the back row of the balcony. He sings the vibrant ''Taking Our Turn,'' and then leads the company in chorus. In the background, Barry Levitt's seven-piece combo swells with the sound of horns, reminding one of the music of the Dorsey Brothers. In this and other moments, the show is nostalgic in the best sense of the word. Mr. Haynes is followed by the sultry Sheila Smith, who tells us that ''Sweet Longings'' never diminish and by Miss Houston, who insists with a soulful cry, ''I Am Not Old.'' Along the way we hear from Mace Barrett about an older man's loneliness and from Victor Griffin, a graceful ballroom dancer entreating a reluctant Miss Smith to take a turn on the dance floor. By the end of the evening, as Miss Whiting and Ted Thurston sit on a step and sing, ''It Still Isn't Over,'' an intimate and plaintive love song, even the most confirmed cynic should be moved. Wisely, the show is not set in any arbitrary place, such as a retirement home, and no plot about late-blooming romance has been contrived. The actors chat informally and interact while playing roles with some continuity. For example, Mr. Haynes is a wry philosopher who can make a familiar line seem like an ageless aphorism, as in his comment, ''Ain't nobody gettin' any younger''... At one point, the show salutes a roll-call of people in their prime, including those two theatrical Georges, Mr. Burns and Mr. Abbott, as proof that one should never retire from life and that one is never too old to take a turn. This is the principal message of a life-enhancing musical evening. --The New York Times

Product Description

The original cast recording of the 1983 Off-Broadway production. With lyrics by Will Holt and music by Gary William Friedman, TAKING MY TURN won the 1984 Outer Critic's Circle Award for Best Lyrics/Music, and was a nominee for the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical. TAKING MY TURN was one of the first musicals to deal with aging. Director/Adapter Robert H. Livingston gathered a collection of the actual writings of people in their prime, which became the basis for the non-linear book. The show was an overwhelming critical success, and was presented on the PBS Great Performance Series. The exceptional cast included Margaret Whiting, Cissy Houston, Marni Nixon and Tiger Haynes.

Track Listings

1. This Is My Song
2. Somebody Else
3. Fine For The Shape I m In
4. Two Of Me
5. Janet Get Up
6. I Like It
7. I Never Made Money From Music
8. Vivaldi
9. In April
10. Do You Remember
11. Pick More Daisies
12. Taking Our Turn
13. Sweet Longings
14. I Am Not Old
15. Do You Remember? (Reprise)
16. The Kite
17. Good Luck To You
18. In The House
19. It Still Isn't Over
20. This Is My Song (Reprise)

Browse style(s): Music / Cast Recordings

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