The first show was a flop but most enjoyable: A Joyful Noise by Oscar Brand and Paul Nassau. It starred John Raitt and had a very brief run. We have a very excellent sounding live recording through the sound system available.
Next came another flop which also great songs, A Time for Singing, based on the film, How Green Was My Valley. It was written by John Morris and the lyrics were by the director Gerald Freedman. It had the wonderful Tessie O’Shea. The story did not go well in the second act and the show closed.
Annie Get Your Gun was revived with Ethel Merman but I was unfortunately dissuaded from seeing the show when a couple reviewers said how old she was. I should certainly had seen the show as everyone speaks highly of it and it is a very attractive recording.
Next came a show that I certainly wish I had seen and planned to see, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Bob Merrill. Live and Studio casts are available on our website. The reason I didn’t see the show was that the show closed after three previews. We put out a live recording that a collector made and also a studio cast that I’m very proud of with Faith Prince. This was the last show I was to miss for 52 years.
Next came a show that I didn’t see on Broadway, Cabaret, by Kander and Ebb. I purchased a ticket after a long box office wait some six months in the future I put it some place safe. I have never found the safe place and since I paid in cash there was no proof that I ever had a ticket. I would have eventually seen it on Broadway but I went to England and it was playing there with Judi Dench. I do believe Judi Dench was much superior to Jill Hayworth but at least I saw the show which fits my criterion.
We have two versions of the show available, the demo and the 1986 London cast.
Click here for the demo.
Click here for 1986 London cast version.
Chu Chem was scheduled to open next but closed in Philadelphia. By Mitchel Leigh, there is no live recording of this but we do sell the demo.
Click here for the Chu Chem demo.
I Do! I Do! by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones with Mary Martin and Robert Preston was impossible to get a good ticket for and closed during, I believe, a newspaper strike. I did see the show with the matinee cast, Carol Lawrence and Stephen Douglass in Westbury as well as three or four other later productions.
It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams had an appealing score with the best song, You’ve Got Possibilities. The lead role of Superman was not Bob Holiday, He was very wooden and did not perform well. The best actors were Jack Cassidy and Linda Lavin.
Mame was a big hit by Jerry Herman. The producers had wanted a big Broadway name but Jerry Herman had been very impressed by Angela Lansbury in Anyone Can Whistle and got his choice.
Pousse–Café by Duke Ellington, Marshall Barer and Fred Tobias also played in 1966. The score may not have been substantially written by Duke Ellington as people now think. It was Billy Strayhorn as Duke didn’t seem that interested and may have passed this assignment along to his assistant. I found the star of the show, Theodore Bikel, to be very touching as he played an old teacher who is seduced by a sexy cabaret performer, Lilo. There is a jazz recording that does not really treat it like a Broadway show but there are only live recordings of the Broadway version.
Next came Show Boat, by Kern and Hammerstein. With an all star cast (again Stephen Douglass, Barbara Cook, and Constance Towers) it had a pleasant enough score.
Sweet Charity by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields was full of hit songs and starred a most appealing Gwen Verdon. Directed by Bob Fosse, this was to be made into a Hollywood film a few years later with Shirley MacLaine.
The Apple Tree by Bock and Harnick was also most appealing because of Barbara Harris. I found the three stories to be one less appealing than the last. The best was Adam and Eve which I would like to have seen as an entire musical. The second, the Lion or the Tiger, never did tell us whether the wife chose to let her husband free to be with a sexy lady or to be fed to the tiger.
The Three Penny Opera was revived with Raul Julia, Caroline Kava, C.K. Alexander with a new translation and is quite interesting because of the new lyrics.
Next came Wait a Minim, a South African musical with authentic South African songs that were very joyous to hear.
The last show Walking Little Happy by Cahn and Van Heusen, starred the very lively English star, Norman Wisdom. Most of the songs were first rate but the story about the mean father who didn’t really want his daughter marrying Norman Wisdom was disappointing.
Until Next Time,