On Your Toes - 1952 Studio Cast Recording (CD)
Composer: Richard Rodgers
Lyricist: Lorenz Hart
Cassidy, Jack/Nelson, Portia/Tilton, Martha
There are many reasons to recall On Your Toes with warm affection, paramount among them being the fine, rollickingly satirical score of Richard Rodgers and the incisive, enormously adroit and witty lyrics of Lorenz Hart. There is also the colorful and popular dance score titled Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. At this album's original release in 1953, it was a most welcome addition to Columbia’s roster of previously unrecorded Broadway shows.
Introduced to Broadway in April 1936, On Your Toes was the first of the book-show musicals to take ballet seriously. Its plot about the backstage life of a ballet troupe incorporated two large-scale ballets created for the show by George Balanchine, one of which – the amazing Slaughter on Tenth Avenue – received its first full-length recording here.
The story of On Your Toes deals with a young hoofer, the son of vaudevillians, whose mother persuades him to leave the "two-a-day" and take up serious ballet. The young man’s early efforts at the art are laughable. Then, a friend of the hoofer’s presents the troupe with a new work that tells a contemporary story through the medium of ballet, and in this the young man, the leading ballerina and the troupe score a decided triumph. The plot of this successful ballet, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, is a satire on gangster stories.
Frankie Frayne - Portia Nelson
Phil Dolan III - Jack Cassidy
Phil Dolan II - Robert Eckles
Lil Dolan - Zamah Cunningham
Peggy Porterfield - Laurel Shelby
Sergei Alexandrovitch - Ray Hyson