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Musicals of 1975

Chicago by Kander and Ebb. After seeing the show at the world premier in Philadelphia, we saw it a second time and it was even better. 

Chorus Line by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban. We saw this off-Broadway at the public theatre. It moved to the Shubert and became one of the biggest hits of all time. 

The Night That Made America Famous – A revue of Harry Chapin songs. Not exactly Broadway type material and although he had a following, it was not enough to ensure much of a run.

Philemon by Harvey Shmidt and Tom Jones was  a stirring, religious musical which has just been commercially released on CD for the first time. 

The Robber Bridegroom by Robert Waldman and Alfred Uhry. We recorded a version of four songs with Jerry Orbach and Virginia Vespa singing and in the early days of CD’s we made a deal to record the Broadway version starring Barry Boswick. This CD version has additional dialogue and small song samples and it was the concept to do it as a story cd plus all the original songs from the Broadway LP. 

The Wiz by Charlie Smalls.  I was sure this did not have much chance of success. I was afraid that everybody would think it was a bad idea to do a new version instead of the traditional movie version by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. The reviews were fairly good but I went to see it again and there were many empty seats in the orchestra. They turned the show around by getting black church groups to bus in to see the show and eventually it became a very successful musical that was made into a movie and revived everywhere. 

A Gala Tribute to Joshua Logan was a Sunday evening gala with stars from Mary Martin to Ethel Merman and everyone in between. We have made this into a two CD set. 

Rodgers and Hart was a revue but more like a summer stock show with moderately talented singers. It only ran a couple months despite some good songs.

Shenandoah by Gary Geld and Peter Udell was a wonderful civil war musical about a father whose sons go off to war. It starred the always talented John Collum. I saw this at the Goodspeed Opera House and was happy that it went to New York. It had at least a three year wonderful run.

The Lieutenant was a rock musical about the My Lai massacre. Well intentioned but did not belong on Broadway. 

Truckload by Louis St. Louis and Wes Harris. The book was written by Hugh Wheeler, the wonderful writer of A Little Night Music. This was not a wonderful musical however as it was just about people going around in trucks. It was intended to be something like Hair but did not have the music for it and closed without ever opening.

Very Good Eddie. This was a vintage Jerome Kern musical that started at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut and had a nice run at the Booth Theatre. It makes for a very listenable CD. 

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