A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum was a revival of the Sondheim 1962 musical. Phil Silvers, who had originally been announced to do the original Broadway version, was finally able to take on the lead role after playing Marcus Lycus in the film. While this would seem to have been a good idea it just didn’t seem to click. It didn’t have a profitable run and thus was not recorded.
Ambassador – London cast version available here– had been fairly successful in London but the Broadway version was never recorded. Our products are the first time it was ever recorded on CD. The version we carry contains pop songs and newly written songs as well.
Cherry was a musical version of the 1955 play “Bus Stop” by William Inge. This was to have played at the Palace Theatre. There was even a huge sign announcing its arrival but it never came.
ClownAround by Moose Charlap was an arena show that was slated to play Madison Square Garden I believe. It was directed by Gene Kelly. The actors never sang but they lip synced to a recorded soundtrack which RCA made into a cast album. But when the show closed all the copies were destroyed so it was one of the rare records of this period, although today it is easily purchased and is on Masterworks.
Different Times by Michael Brown Jr. had a very brief run on Broadway and was quite hard to find but we have put it on a CDR if you click the link here.
Comedy by Hugo, Luigi, and Weiss was to be a show sort of in the style of Commedia dell’arte. With more skillful people involved it might have succeeded but it didn’t. It never left Boston where I saw it.
Don’t Play Us Cheap, by Melvin Van Peebles, was a black musical that did not translate to a Broadway audience. It was on LP but has never been transferred to CD.
Dude by Galt McDermott and Gerome Ragni, is available on our site if you click here.
This was the follow up to Hair that closed opening night. Hair had been praised as just being a lot of fun and not being much about anything. The same could have been said about Dude but they did not enjoy dude the way they had their predecessor. MacDermott had a copy on LP and Original Cast records issued the LP on CD with bonus tracks from another recording by Salome Bay.
Grease had not done that well downtown at the Village. It transferred to Broadway and became much more successful. Now it is one of those things that’s played everywhere.
Halloween by Mitch Leigh and Sidney Michaels was another show scheduled for Broadway that never arrived. It was done in Florida with Barbara Cook in the lead role. She was replaced and the show was done in Bucks county where I saw it and a lot of what went on did not make any sense whatsoever. Despite a few good songs it still would never have had a shot on Broadway.
Hard Job Being God by Tom Martel was a rap musical at the Edison hotel and it was made into a cast album but everything about it was lackluster.
Heathen by Eaton Magoon Jr. was a Hawaiian set musical that closed opening night. I went to a backer’s audition just to hear the score. During this time I found out that it was going to preview and open during a period that I would be in London seeing musicals so I called the producers and pretended to be interested in giving them investment money. I asked if I could see a run through which I knew was planned for the day and they told me “sure”. I came and they greeted and treated me in a very courteous way. They weren’t quite ready to start but told me to sit and wait. Fifteen minutes later, another person not-so-courteously came up to my wife and I and said they were sorry but we’d have to leave. Lucia Victor, the director, did not want any outsider to see the show (she obviously knew how bad it was). So I asked the assistant if we could sit in the balcony where it’s dark and no one would know we were there and they replied “well don’t say I gave you permission, but you probably could.”
We went upstairs and sat for what seemed like a long time and Doris, my wife at the time, said “I don’t think they’re ever going to do the show.” But it was too late to see another Broadway show and I decided to wait.
Finally we heard an orchestra tuning up.
“They are going to do the show!”
Two minutes later somebody came and started walking up the mezzanine and I was sure we were going to get kicked out again. Instead, to my surprise, this person did not know that Lucia did not want us there and treated us like we were very welcome. The show was played without stopping just for us!
I really loved that moment and I loved a lot of the score.
The live recording is not perfect in fidelity but it is very entertaining!
Hurry, Harry by David Finkle, Bill Weeden was another show that closed opening night. One of the starts, Mary Bracken Philips, told me that Steven Schwarts, a friend of hers, wanted to see the show but she didn’t want him to. She was embarrassed so she asked the box office person to tell him there were no seats available which was far from true.
We have recorded a few of the songs and they probably will be on a future “Lost Broadway” album.
Lost in the Stars by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson was a revival and it did not last.
Mama (I remember Mama) starred Celeste Holm and Jill O’Hara. It was scheduled for Broadway and we saw the show in Buffalo. The score by jack Clifton had some very nice numbers. You can purchase Mama on our site by clicking this link. It had some decent songs but it was decided not to bring it in and it closed in Buffalo.
Man of Lamancha moved to Broadway from The Village, had a successful run and as a result has been done many times. We have the only complete recording of the entire show from the London cast. Purchase by clicking this link.
Mary. C. Brown was a sort of hippie musical by Dori Previn, the wife of Andre Previn and pop singer. It tried in Los Angeles but made no sense and did not come to NY as planned. It was only on CD from an LP with Dori singing the score herself.
Mother Earth by Terry Tennille, who was famous for being part of Captain & Tennille, was an environmental show and encouraged people to not ruin what mother earth had planned. A noble idea, but not a good musical and closed in a few performances.
Pippin by Stephen Schwartz had a very successful run and has been done many times, including the 2013 version which is available if you click this link.
Promises, Promises, This was a show that I saw the opening tryout for in Boston. It only got better. It was a huge hit in New York. We have a few copies left of the very rare London cast with Betty Buckley. Click here to check it out.
Sugar (Some Like It Hot) by Julie Styne and Bob Merrill starred Robert Morse and Cyril Ritchard and was not as good as it should have been but did manage to run a year and make a profit for David Merrick. We have a few copies left of the Kreitzerland remix of the score. If you click this link it’ll take you right to it.
That’s Entertainment by Dietz and Schwartz was a revue of the hits with terrific arrangements by Luther Henderson. It played the Edison Hotel which was considered to be Broadway where it was not favored by the composers and closed quickly. Unfortunately no recording exists.
Selling of the President was by Jack O’Brian (who is now a famous director) and Bob James (a famous jazz performer). This was a musical that was booked into the Shubert Theatre, maybe the most desirable New York location, and it just was not interesting. A number of the songs were commercials about Terminex. It had Pat Hingle who certainly wasn’t a singer and Karen Morrow who was a singer and was not given a song of her own. The Shubert became available very quickly.
Via Galactica by Galt Macdermott and Christopher Gore was a sci-fi musical that initially opened at the Uris Theatre (now called the “Gershwin” theatre). This was directed by Sir Peter Hall who had never directed a musical and never did again. It starred Raul Julia and was laughable in its sci-fi elements. It closed opening night. But you can listen to it by clicking here.