Celebrate Broadway Vol. 5: Hello Young Lovers
- Disc 1
- 1. Hello, Young Lovers (from The King and I – Constance Towers)
- 3. The Human Heart (from Once on This Island – Andrea Frierson, Ensemble)
- 4. My Cup Runneth Over (from I Do! I Do! – Mary Martin, Robert Preston)
- 5. It’s Never That Easy / I’ve Been Here Before (from Closer Than Ever – Sally Mayes, Lynne Wintersteller)
- 6. Who Can I Turn To? (from The Roar of the Greasepaint – Anthony Newley)
- 7. Love Can’t Happen (from Grand Hotel, The Musical – Brent Barrett)
- 8. I Still Get Jealous from High Button Shoes (from Jerome Robbins’ Broadway – Faith Prince, Jason Alexander)
- 9. Not a Day Goes By (from Merrily We Roll Along – Jim Walton, Ann Morrison)
- 10. Small World (from Gypsy! – Angela Lansbury, Barrie Ingham)
- 12. I Know Him So Well (from Chess – Judy Kuhn, Marcia Mitzman)
- 13. Easy To Be Hard (from Hair – Lynn Kellogg)
- 14. I Don’t Remember You from The Happy Time / Sometimes a Day Goes By from Woman of the Year (from And the World Goes ’Round – Bob Cuccioli, Jim Walton)
- 15. My True Love (from Phantom – Glory Crampton)
This fifth volume of Celebrate Broadway is really a celebration of love in all its manifestations. These songs, like the very nature of love itself, run the gamut of emotions from joy to sorrow, from confusion to foolhardiness, and from disbelief to utter contentment.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I contains two romances, the unspoken one between Anna and the King, and the forbidden one between Tuptim and Lun Tha. In “Hello,Young Lovers” Anna recalls the love she and her late husband shared and wishes the same happiness for the young Siamese lovers. The original production starred Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner. This production (1977, starring Mr. Brynner and the lovely Constance Towers) was a huge success all over again when it opened in New York after an extended national tour.
Showboat is a great, spectacular musical that has been constantly revived since it was first produced by Florenz Ziegfeld in 1927. This production (produced by Richard Rodgers in 1966 at the New York State Theater) starred Constance Towers, David Wayne, William Warfield, and singing the timeless duet “Make Believe,” Stephen Douglass and Barbara Cook.
In terms of production values, Once on This Island was the complete opposite of Showboat. This was Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s intimate and charming Caribbean fairy tale (exquisitely staged by Graciela Daniele) about the power of true love to overcome any obstacles put in its way. In “The Human Heart” Andrea Frierson as Erzule, the Goddess of Love, blesses the union of Ti Moune and her beloved Daniel.
A big Broadway musical with a cast of two was what David Merrick created when he teamed Mary Martin with Robert Preston in I Do! I Do!, Jones and Schmidt’s musical version of The Fourposter. Mr Preston won a Tony® for his role as Michael. (Miss Martin, who already had three Tonys®, lost hers to Barbara Harris in The Apple Tree.) “My Cup Runneth Over” was a pop-chart hit at the time in a version recorded by Ed Ames (then a popular actor on TV’s Daniel Boone).
Closer Than Ever was the second revue of songs by the talented team of Richard Maltby, Jr., and David Shire. The show began at Eighty-Eight’s, a small cabaret in Greenwich Village. From there it moved to the Williamstown Theatre Festival and from there to Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theater. Since then it has been produced at regional theatres throughout the world. Two cautionary love songs, “It’s Never That Easy” and “I’ve Been Here Before,” are blended together here and performed to perfection by Sally Mayes and Lynne Wintersteller.
In the mid-1960s Broadway showtunes dominated the pop charts, and “Who Can I Turn To?” (sung by Tony Bennett) was one of the most popular in the country. Bennett’s recording was released while The Roar of the Greasepaint was in the midst of an extended pre-Broadway tryout, and it helped the show become so successful on the road that only five weeks after it made its Broadway debut on May 16, 1965, the show had repaid its entire investment.
While Grand Hotel, The Musical, was trying out in Boston, composer/lyricist (and frequent Tommy Tune collaborator) Maury Yeston was called in to write some additional songs. “Love Can’t Happen” probably would have been the big Act One finale if the show had had an intermission. Bu it didn’t, so David Carroll (who played the Baron originally) and Brent Barrett (who replaced him on Broadway and played the part on tour and in London as well as Japan) had to content themselves with just a plain old showstopper.
Six 1989 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, went to Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, an extraordinary evening of musical numbers from Broadway shows choreographed by Jerome Robbins. Two of the show’s young stars were Faith Prince and Jason Alexander. Mr. Alexander won a Tony® for his performance and Ms. Prince was nominated but lost to her co-star Debbie Shapiro. Two years later Ms. Prince won for her portrayal of Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. In the charming “I Still Get Jealous” from High Button Shoes, authors Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn pay tribute to the kind of love and passion that endures the test of time.
Merrily We Roll Along had a brief Broadway run – 16 performances – but due in part to the original cast recording, it has had productions around the world. Stephen Sondheim’s score contains several wonders including the heartbreaking ballad “Not a Day Goes By.” Heartbreaking, because while Frank (Jim Walton) is singing it to the woman he is going to marry, another woman, Mary (Ann Morrison) is singing it to her best friend – an unaware Frank.
Angela Lansbury made theatre history in 1973 when she starred in the long-awaited London production of Gypsy, a triumph she would repeat in New York and throughout the country. The critics fell over themselves with praise for her dazzling portrayal of Mama Rose. In “Small World” Rose uses her charms to seduce a good-natured candy salesman into fulfilling a number of roles in her life.
Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies is one of the most extraordinary musicals ever seen on Broadway. Barbara Cook’s rendition of “In Buddy’s Eyes” was one of the highlights of the historic concert version (starring Lee Remick, Mandy Patinkin, George Hearn, Carol Burnett, and Elaine Stritch) that was performed on September 6 and 7, 1985.
Chess was a hit concept album, a London smash, and unfortunately closed on Broadway after only 68 performances. However, the score for Chess, thanks to both the concept album and the best-selling Broadway cast recording, is one of the most popular of the last decade. The Broadway version starred David Carroll. Judy Kuhn, Philip Casanoff, and Marcia Mitzman (who would later star on Broadway in another rock-oriented musical, The Who’s Tommy). Mr. Carroll and Ms. Kuhn both received Tony® nominations for their performances. “I Know Him So Well” has also been recorded by Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston.
When Hair opened on Broadway there was a lot of controversy over the nudity, the bold anti-war message, Tom O’Horgan’s experimental and environmental staging, and the rock score. What wasn’t controversial was that within the score there were some simply beautiful straightforward (dare I say traditional?) ballads. “Easy To Be Hard” is one of them.
Thanks to the collaboration of Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman, and David Thompson, and the performances of a wonderful cast (not to mention the material they had to work with), the sparkling Kander & Ebb revue And the World Goes ’Round was one of the highlights of the 1991 theatre season. Two of Kander & Ebb’s most beautiful ballads, “I Don’t Remember You” from The Happy Time and “Sometimes a Day Goes By” from Woman of the Year, are beautifully interwoven by arranger David Loud and orchestrator David Krane, to create a meditation on lost love.
Phantom, The American Musical Sensation, was written before “that other one,” but unfortunately as the financing for the Broadway production was falling into place, “that other one” opened and became a worldwide phenomenon. This version might well have slipped into obscurity were it not for the Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Texas, where this version of Phantom starring Richard White and Glory Crampton (she sings “My True Love” here) was originally produced in 1991. Since that time, this version has been produced to wide critical acclaim throughout the world. Although it has never played on Broadway, that is where its heart is. It is perfect proof that you don’t need to be in Times Square to Celebrate Broadway.
– Bill Rosenfield