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Introducing the Blog!

Welcome to the Footlight blog!

This is a blog of the owner of Footlight Records, Bruce Yeko. I have been going to the theater for 58 years. I have two Guinness type records. I have seen every new musical that opened on Broadway for the past 50 years. I have produced 124 cast albums, which is more than any other individual. I will be discussing my theater-going experiences and would be happy to talk about any particular show you are interested in.
We will be offering special deals to people who read this blog.

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Musicals of 1976

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – this Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner musical made to celebrate the centennial was a good idea but never really came together. There were many problems in telling the story of being backstairs at the White House with the president and first ladies. It changed songs, directors, and even story lines… eventually limping into the Mark Hellinger Theatre and only lasting 7 performances. We have a demo of a few of the songs. 

The Baker’s Wife was a Stephen Schwartz and Joseph Stein show. A part was originally offered to Zero Mostel, who said he would only do it if he owned a part of the show. Producer David Merrick was the last person who would give an actor ownership of his show so Chaim Topol, from the movie Fiddler on the Roof, was chosen. Topol did not want to keep the story true to the original Baker’s Wife plot because he felt no woman would ever leave him for a younger man. Carol Demas was replaced by Patti LuPone and six months later Paul Sorvino replaced Topol. I very much liked the Paul Sorvino version and made it into my first Broadway cast album which I am very proud of. 

Bubbling Brown Sugar was a black revue originating from Rosetta LeNoire at her Harlem based amas repertory. It moved to Broadway and had a healthy run and was even done in London after that. 

Going Up by Louis Hirsch originally had a moderate run in 1919. It was revised and remounted at the Goodspeed Opera House in 1976 but only played four performances then transferred to New York. We sell the studio cast of the full original score.

Home Sweet Homer by Mitch Leigh originally had lyrics by Eric Siegel and was called Odyssey (both titles, of course, alluding to Homer’s Odyssey). It had a long tour because of Yul Brynner’s popularity but in California the show took a terrible wrong turn and was made into a farce… an unfunny farce. The revised lyrics were written by Charles Burr and Forman Brown. It closed opening night on Broadway but the version we have was of an early part of the tour and is quite interesting! 

Music Is, by Richard Adler, directed by George Abbot, started in Seattle and then played the Kennedy Center but closed quickly when it arrived in New York City. There are a few nice songs but it was not Broadway worthy.

Pacific Overtures by Sondheim tried out at the Colonial in Boston and came into New York. While it was liked by many, it was not a typical Broadway musical as it was about the Americans’ Admiral Perry going to Japan. There are fascinating songs in this and it is highly recommended.

Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart was originally offered to Alan Jay Lerner who unfortunately was not healthy enough to participate. The show with Michael Crawford who suddenly had gotten a much bigger voice than he had in the film Hello, Dolly! was a huge hit and arrived in New York and is still there. 

Side by Side by Sondheim was the first Sondheim revue and featured his best known songs with a small cast of well known actors. It has been done in other places very successfully. 

Rex by Richard Rodgers and Sheldon Harnick starred Nicole Williamson was about Henry the VIII. I saw the world premier in Wilmington, Deleware and then the New York production. I was sad to see that the critics did not like it well enough to let the show run. 

Rockabye Hamlet by Cliff Jones started in Charlottetown Canada where it was called Kronberg: 1582 and was done originally in a very classical way. Gower Champion took over the show and decided to turn it into a rock musical that featured an entirely different cast except for Beverly D’Angelo who had originated Ophelia during the Canadian tour. The rest of the cast included Larry Marshall as Hamlet, Alan Weeks as Claudius, Leata Galloway as Gertrude, Kim Milford as Laertes, Rory Dodd as Horatio, Meat Loaf as the Priest, and Christopher Chadman and Winston DeWitt Hemsley as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. I really enjoyed both versions but the critics were appalled that the show had been turned into a rock musical. 

So Long, 174th Street by Stan Daniels was based on Stein’s play Enter Laughing, based on the Carl Reiner book of the same name. It had such appealing songs and great Luther Henderson orchestrations that I eventually made the cast album. Robert Morse was just too old to play a teenager (He was in his 40’s!) and the show closed within a week. They keep trying to get the show going again and it was recently done at the York Theatre for the third time but it would not succeed on Broadway in today’s world.

Something’s Afoot was an Agatha Christie type movie-murder/whodunnit. Where the majority of the cast is killed one by one. It starred Tesse O’shea who was great in the title role but the show only managed to run a couple months. John Yap has, after all these years, made a New English recording with well known English singers and it is scheduled to be available around Christmas-time. 

Your Arm’s Too Short To Box With God was a black revue that had a brief run and has not been revived since. 

Hellzapoppin’ was an attempt to bring Jerry Lewis to Broadway in a contemporary version of the movie Ole Olson and Chic Johnson had starred in in the 40’s. The score was mostly by Hank Beebe and Bill Heyer and unfortunately was somewhat lacking in Broadway appeal. The shows that I saw, the opening in Wilmington and the closing in Boston, would simply not have succeeded on Broadway.

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Musicals of 1974

Bruce Yeko, owner of Footlight Records, reflects on the musicals of 1974.

Brainchild by Michel Legrand and Hal David closed in Philadelphia. It took place in the mind of a woman and was very confusing. Tovah Feldshuh played one of the women. 

Candide by Leonard Bernstein and Richard Wilbur moved from a small Brooklyn theatre’s base to the 8 or 10 times as big Broadway theatre. It was still worth seeing even at the expense of taking out seats and other things as a result of the musical not returning it’s investment. 

Good News started in Boston where I saw it and found it was quite well done. Unfortunately, Alice Faye and the somewhat older cast were sent on a  nine month tour and by the time it finally arrived at the St. James Theatre, everyone was just tired. The recording we have was made by one of the cast members, Lane Bryant, as he toured with the show. It has many songs that were cut during the long tour. 

Gypsy by Styne and Sondheim starred Angela Lansbury. It was first done in London and a triumph there sent it up to Winter Garden in New York. 

Lorelie was a revival by Styne, Robin, and Comden and Green. It starred Carol Channing reprising her ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ role with additional material as she looked back upon her life. It too had a very long tour and was made into two LP’s: one was the out of town tour after many changes and the second LP was made to incorporate the new songs. It arrived on Broadway and had a moderate run.

Miss Moffat by Albert Hague and Emlyn Williams. This show was Bette Davis second and unfortunately last attempt at doing a musical. At the first preview in Philadelphia, she was given the task of riding a bicycle across the stage. Which was obviously something not easy for somebody at her age. The curtain came down and she started the show off the bicycle. This musical version of ‘The Corn Is Green’ takes place in the South where she is a teacher. She was only able to do a few performances in Philadelphia and they closed the show without going to New York.

Mack and Mabel by Jerry Herman was about Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, really early pioneers in the silent movies. The great score, one of the best Jerry Herman ever wrote, was sung by Bernadette Peters and Robert Preston. Unfortunately they felt compelled to tell the actual story which was not a musical comedy and it involved murder and cocaine and this was seemingly responsible for the show not having the run it deserved. It has been revived many times and the story gets a little better each time. 

Over Here by the Sherman brothers was a WWII musical starring the Andrews Sisters and introducing John Travolta and Ann Reinking. It had a successful run at the Shubert but by the end of the run the two remaining Andrew sisters were not talking to each other off-stage. The show has only been done infrequently since 1974. 

Rainbow Jones by Jill Williams was a musical but certainly did not belong on Broadway. It was written by an unknown person. Both music and lyrics. And I have no memory of anything that happened during the show. The music wasn’t the best, better suited for off-Broadway, and closed, I believe, opening night.

Ride the Wind by John Driver was a samurai philosophical musical that did not belong on broadway or anywhere. It too closed opening night.

Sheba (Come Back, Little Sheba) was intended for Broadway. Starring Kaye Ballard, it played a small theatre in Chicago and never reached New York. Many years later it played West Port County Playhouse where the fabulous Donna McKechnie took over the lead role. We were lucky to preserve this and we did it primarily because of Miss McKechnie and the wonderful Ralph Burns orchestrations. I believe this is the only small show he ever orchestrated. 

The Magic Show by Stephen Schwartz was quite popular with Doug Henning’s magic. I believe many tourists did not even know it was a musical. But it is an excellent score and we have a CDR that has been long out of print. 

Where’s Charley? by Frank Loesser was revived by the Circle in the Square theatre. It starred Raul Julia who was quite excellent in the lead role but it did not get extended past the initial run. We have found a very rare recording of the Where’s Charley score from a school in the 50’s with the original orchestrations. Look for this in future releases. 

Words and Music was basically an evening with Sammy Cahn. It moved from the 92nd Street Y after one performance to a Broadway show where it played a few months. It was also done I believe in London and Los Angeles. Sammy Cahn was always worth watching. 

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1973: An Alphabetical Look at the Musicals of 1973

A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim I saw the premier performance in Boston at the Colonial Theatre and even from the opening chorus numbers I realized it was a very special evening. The music was that enjoyable to me. 

Cyrano is by Anthony Burgess and Michael J. Lewis. Christopher Plummer made this a memorable musical as he played a most convincing Cyrano. This was the only singing he did except for (of course) in the movie The Sound of Music. 

Gigi by Lerner and Loewe was, in my opinion, the best movie musical ever. It was not however the best Broadway musical as everything about the Broadway show paled in comparison to the movie. The Broadway Gigi, Karen Wolfe, had no particular charm or appeal. Alfred Drake played Maurice Chevalier’s character Honore LaChaisse unfortunately at the end of his singing career and lacked the charm that Maurice brought to the movie. Frederick Loewe, the composer, was unwilling to write any new material and a few unused melodies did not do much for this version and was an ultimate flop. 

Gone With The Wind by Harold Rome was scheduled to come to Broawday in 1973 but did not. We recommend the Japanese “Scarlett” available at Footlight over the now out of print Gone With the Wind from London. The English lyrics are subpar and the Japanse singing is very beautiful. 

Holiday by Cole Porter was a failed attempt to transfer to Broadway what again had been much more successful as a motion picture (this time a non-musical film movie). It was an early example of a jukebox musical where the songs do not particularly fit into the musical. It closed opening night with no recording.

Irene by Tierney and McCarthy was a revival of a 20’s musical that achieved more success in 1973 due to Debbie Reynolds and Gower Champion being cast. 

Molly by Jerry Livingston took so long to get to Broadway that one of the composers died along the way. The idea of a musical based on Molly Goldberg as originally performed by Gertrude Berg on radio and television. Gertrude was not a singer and so Kaye Ballard was chosen to replace her on stage in what was to be her only starring Broadway role. She did what she could with the part but the story they told was not very interesting and the music was in most cases disappointing. No recording was ever made of this musical.

Nash at Nine by Milton Rosenstock and Martin Charnin and Ogden Nash was an attempt to do a revue of verse mainly already written by Ogden Nash. It had a certain charm but was not a Broadway worthy musical especially with E.G. Marshal, a very good straight actor with no particular singing voice. Again no recording was ever made. 

Up next is Rachael Lily Rosenbloom written by disco writer Paul Jabara. Until the terrible 2016 musical “Disaster” appeared at the Nederlander Theatre, this musical was by far the worst musical I ever saw. It took 40 years to make a worse musical. I attended the first preview and after a few jokes about stupid Oscar movie titles there was nothing else entertaining about the entire show. The original idea had been to star Bette Midler. But even though she was a friend of the book writer she was not that good a friend that she wanted to stop her rising career and they were stuck with Ellen Greene. Ellen Greene has this distinction of appearing in two musicals that closed during previews. Ellen is only as good as her material. Paul Jabara called me and said, years later, “I hear you record every show” to which I replied, “Not the shows that I don’t like”. 

Raisin by Judd Woldin and Robert Brittan was a terrific adaptation of the play Raisin in the Sun. The play continues to be performed to this day. The show had wonderful songs and touching performances and even won some awards but the musical has never been done again except for a few small regional productions. The demo is available here at Footlight.

Seesaw by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields was a fairly popular version of the play Seesaw. In Detroit it starred Lainie Kazan who was not a dancer. She was replaced by Michelle Lee who was quite charming in the part. This was a big Michael Bennett dance musical and featured Tommy Tune doing a big dance with balloons called “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish”. 

Smith by Dean Fuller and Matt Dubey started off-Broadway at the same theatre that starred “The Best Little WhoreHouse In Texas”. The plan was for this show to get good reviews and move to Broadway. It got decent reviews but not strong enough ones to raise the money to bring it to a Broadway house. It was orchestrated by Jonathon Tunick. I once spent a few hours talking to Mr. Tunick about his career and he expressed great love for the songs in this show. I loved the idea of the show. The hero, Don Morray, meets a pretty girl and attempts to talk to her and she responds in song saying that she will only talk to him if he sings everything. He initially finds this very difficult as he is just an ordinary man who is not used to singing ever but he is willing to do it to be part of this girls life. No recording exists of this. 

The Pajama Game, by Adler and Ross, was a revival of the 50’s hit again directed by George Abbott with a cast of Hal Linden, Barbara McNair, and Cab Calloway. Cab wasn’t right for this particular part. Barbara McNair. None of them were particularly great for the parts and none of them were as good as the original people in the show from the 50’s had been. The show only ran a couple months. 

Tricks by Jon Jorey and Jerry Blatt was based on a Moliere play and started as a small regional production. It certainly should never have been booked into the huge Alvin Theatre and closed after 8 amount of performances. No recording exists. 

More Than You Deserve was a musical by Jim Steinman that played the Papp Public Theatre was like a M*A*S*H set to music and has some wonderful that Steinman used when he wrote his songs for Meatloaf. We feature another Jim Steinman show, The Confidence Man for sale here at Footlight. 

Shelter by Cryer and Ford was another show that should not have been at a Broadway house and it ran only a few performances. Shelter was revived along with songs from another Cryer-Ford musical, The Last Sweet Days of Isaac. We recorded the York Theatre production of this and highly recommend it. 

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1972 Musicals

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.

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1971

70, Girls, 70 was a Kander and Ebb musical that had many problems. The idea of casting 70 + year old actors proved to be a problem as one of them actually died. Actor David Burns in fact died on stage of a heart attack during the out-of-town tryouts in Philadelphia.
Actors in the show appeared to have trouble with some of the more active scenes. A specific scene comes to mind, one where the actors are breaking into a store, that highlights how much they seemed to be exerting themselves. It just looked to me that the actors could not handle that kind of activity.
The replacement for David Burns was Hans Conreid and he was nothing like David Burns. I managed to see the first preview in Philadelphia and was lucky to have seen David Burns before he died. The show hired a new director but closed after a couple weeks of performances.
Despite the mishaps that the physical show had, the cast album is very good.

Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death by Melvin Van Peebles was an all black musical and not in the tradition of your typical Broadway show. Many of the numbers were very jazzy and it was strange to see on Broadway. There never has been a CD but we may put one out sooner or later.

Ari by Leon Uris and Walt Smith was a musical based on the novel “Exodus” that didn’t sound like a terrible idea but it certainly was. Mr. Uris, who wrote the original book and screenplay, decided that it should be a musical. While skiing, he met somebody playing in a local bar and decided he would be the perfect composer for Ari. He was not. It was an embarrassing show. I saw the first preview and could not believe what I was seeing.
I did not see the final version that didn’t open in New York because I was in London at the time. I did manage to grab a program and I saw new songs written by other people. I asked Phil Lang, who orchestrated the music, who those people were and he told me that because they put money into the show they got to write a song or two.
We have the demo available for purchase at Footlight.

Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope by Micki Grant is a much more traditional black musical that people enjoyed for a fairly lengthy run.

Next is the Earl of Ruston. This is a musical created by Peter Links about himself and growing up in the South. There was no reason for this to be on Broadway because he did not have a very interesting life. He managed to write some songs and the songs were co-written by C. C. Courtney It closed opening night. There is an LP and we may put that out for people who just want everything.

Follies by Stephen Sondheim was of course a monumental musical in the history of theater,. Produced and directed by Hal Prince and co-directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett. Dorothy Collins and Alexis Smith were ideal as the two female leads. In all the subsequent productions of this show, no one has really matched these two women. I was at the first preview in Boston and seemingly everyone I know was also there (they tell me they were there, they could not all have been there). The show was even better when it opened in New York but never did make its money back even after a tour.

Frank Merriwell was a musical by Skip Redwine. This was a limited budget musical that looked cheap and was not highly entertaining but it could have been worse. It closed after a handful of performances.

Godspell, by Stephen Schwartz moved from off- Broadway to Broadway and had a very successful run. It’s been made into a movie and then revived and performed all over the country in the last fifty years.

Grass Harp, a Truman Capote Story, didn’t succeed as a musical. Claibe Richardson was on board for music and, despite really good songs and good performers such as Barabara Cooke and Karen Marrow, it just didn’t have an interesting story. My friend, Ben Bagley, wound up recording the show and putting it out on his label.

Grease was another very successful show that started off Broadway. It premiered at the Eden Theatre (formally known as the Phoenix Theatre). The show had been done in Chicago but was considerably different by the time it appeared in New York off-Broadway. I went to the first preview and there was a fifty percent discount if you came in tennis shoes. At that point I did not own any tennis shoes so I borrowed a pair from my brother in law who is not the same size foot. So I went to the box office in my regular shoes, my loafers, and put on the sneakers I was carrying. I realized that when I was in front of the box office that they couldn’t tell I was wearing sneakers so I just said I was and they just gave me the ticket. Some of the actors were coming out after rehearsal and they said “when are you going to see the show” I said “tonight” they said “please not tonight! We’re not ready!” and I said I already had my ticket so I was going. I did not care for the off-Broadway version that I saw that night but the version that moved to Broadway was a lot more appealing.

Inner City by Helen Miller and Eve Merriam was labeled a “ghetto” musical and had a very appealing rhythm and blues songs. It ran for a few months.

Jesus Christ Superstar, Webber-Rice, started as a concept album from England. Despite there being good songs I somehow did not think I would enjoy the show so I waited until the end of the run from two years later and I found that I was wrong and that it was an excellent production in edition to the songs being good.

Lolita, My Love – a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and John Barry, of James Bond fame. Started in Philadelphia (and I was there!) and Alan Jay Lerner came out and begged us to be kind because things might go wrong. He was afraid the show may have to be stopped, it was not stopped and although there were fascinating songs, the songs are problematic because of the subject matter of an older man and an underage girl. They fired the Lolita I saw and hired a slightly older, but still underaged, girl in Boston and the show closed there. There are two recordings that we have, one live from boston and recently we put together a composer demo and more songs by pop singers – we highly recommend this score.

No No, Nanette by Irving Caesar and vincent Youmans, this was a revival of the 20’s show that had been a big sensation. They gave it a more up to date feel. They rewrote the book and reorchestrated it to make it sound like the 60’s. I knew nothing about the show prior to seeing the tryout in Boston and was pleasantly surprised how it worked well in 1971. It went on to have a long run in NY with Ruby Keeler, Bobby Van, and Patsy KElly. It made a wonderful recording and was done in London and on tour.

On The Town, by Bernstein, Comden, and Green, was a revival of the 1945 musical. Even though it had really good stars, like Burnadette Peters, Phillis Newman, something was missing. It managed to play for a few months but it was disappointing.

Prettyebelle by Styne and Merrill – On the way back from a California vacation, I found that Prettybelle was going to close in Boston and caught the closing performance. I certainly appreciated the music, but the show was a show that should never have played in Boston because the subject matter was totally inappropriate for a typical Boston audience. Ten years later the idea of recording the musical was mentioned to Jule Styne. He then got all excited and said that we should call Angela because he had her California number. She was not in California but we found that she was making the movie of the Pirates of Penzance. She was reached on set and of course came to the phone for Jule Styne. Despite the face that there was a big misunderstanding about the payment to Angela, we still got the recording with Angela and most of the cast.

Soon by Joseph M. Kookolis and Scott Fagan was a musical about the record industry and had an unbelievable cast of soon-to-be-famous people such as Barry Bostwick, Peter Allen, Richard Gere, and Nell Carter. It was a bitter tale of the record industry and did not appeal to the critics or the audience and closed opening night.

To Live Another Summer and Pass Another Winter was an Israeli musical that I remember almost nothing about but it was recorded on LP.

Two Gentlemen of Verona (Galt MacDermot and Jean Guare) was loosely based on Shakespeare but was more in the spirit of Hair. It started as a summer musical in Central Park and moved to the St. James for a fairly long run and was even taken to London. Broadway people disliked this show because it beat out Follies for best musical.

Wild and Wonderful by Bob Goodman was a small musical that starred Walter Willison and was supposed to have starred pop singer Julie Budd. During rehearsals, Julie felt that being in this musical was not a good idea and she quit. They then had to postpone the opening to find another singer. The show closed opening night. It was orchestrated by the great Luther Henderson. I asked him during the first preview that I saw why a few of the songs weren’t orchestrated and just had piano and it had turned out that they didn’t have the money to pay him.

W.C. by Al Carmines was done as a tryout in the Guber, Ford and Gross tent shows in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Long Island. It starred Mickey Rooney and featured Burnadette Peters. I saw an early preview in Massachusetts on a Wednesday matinee and it was sparsely attended. Mickey, who was at a low point in his career, was bored and while the show was going on, he sat with the audience, chatting with members while others were performing. I did enjoy some of the songs but Mickey did not give it much effort. I then decided to see the closing performance a couple months later on Long Island. This was a packed house and, to his credit, Mickey Rooney rose to the occasion and gave an inspired performance. It was still determined that the show would not be able to run in New York and was never done again. We did a recording of the principle songs with Al Carmines singing along with the score. They do a great job singing the songs and there are some other songs from Al Carmine’s musicals.