Roberta (Full Score on 2 CDs) Jerome Kern/Otto Harbach


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Roberta, a musical comedy by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, which opened at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre in November 1933, was intended to follow a similar structure of his two previous musicals, The Cat And The Fiddle (1931) and Music In The Air (1932). These musicals were chic, sophisticated tapestries of dialogue, song, and dance interwoven with nearly continuous underscoring. Based on Alice Duer Miller’s novel, Gowns By Roberta, the musical is a romantic coming-of-age comedy about a young American’s growth from na├»ve college athlete to sophisticated owner of his Great-aunt Minnie’s Parisian fashion house. Like The Cat and The Fiddle, which had been set in Brussels, Roberta presents a comedic clash between Old World Europe and brash New World America Likewise, the wonderful Kern score contrasts such haunting songs as “The Touch Of your Hand” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” with the brassy “I’ll Be Hard to Handle” and “Let’s Begin.” Conducted by Rob Berman, one of Broadway’s finest musical directors, the cast includes West End, Broadway, and opera stars Kim Criswell, Annalene Beechey, Jason Graae, and Diana Montague. There have been previous recordings of the songs from Roberta, but this is the first recording of the complete score in its original orchestrations by Kern’s orchestrator-of-choice, Robert Russell Bennett.


Disc: 1


1. Let’s Begin

2. Lindy Hop

3. Madrigal

4. You’re Devastating

5. Dialogue 1

6. Finaletto

7. Dialogue 2

8. You’re Devastating: Stephanie’s Reprise

9. Dialogue 3

10. Yesterdays

11. Dialogue 4

12. Dialogue 5

13. Something Had to Happen

14. Rhapsody in Prose

15. Dialogue 6

16. The Touch of Your Hand

17. Scene and Trio

18. Scene and Sidonie’s Reprise

19. Opening of Scene 4

20. Fashion Show

21. I’ll Be Hard To Handle

22. Yesterdays Dance

23. Act One Finale


Disc: 2


1. Entr’Acte

2. Hot Spot

3. Dialogue 7

4. Scene: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

5. Dialogue 8

6. Let’s Begin: Reprise 1

7. Dance Scene

8. Dialogue 9

9. Something Had to Happen: Reprise

10. Dialogue 10

11. Let’s Begin: Reprise 2 and Sewing Dept. Dance

12. Don’t Ask Me Not to Sing

13. The Touch of Your Hand: Party Performance

14. Scene Change

15. Wardrobe Scene

16. Clementina

17. Reprises: I’ll Be Hard to Handle & Let’s Begin

18. Finale Ultimo

19. Appendix: Armful of Trouble

20. Appendix: I Won’t Dance

21. Appendix: Lovely to Look At

22. Exit Music

23. Song: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Additional information


Jerome Kern


Otto Harbach


Jerome Kern




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