Celebrate Broadway Vol. 7: Kids
- Disc 1
- 3. Getting To Know You (from The King and I – Constance Towers, Children’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus)
- 4. Knock, Knock (from Flora, the Red Menace – Mary Louise Wilson, James Cresson)
- 5. Food, Glorious Food (from Oliver! – Boys’ Chorus)
- 6. Waiting for Life (from Once on This Island – La Chanze, Company)
- 7. Comedy Tonight from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (from Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall – American Theatre Orchestra, Bill Irwin, conductor)
- 8. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over (from Carousel – Katherine Hilgenberg, Susan Watson, Company)
- 9. Hair (from Hair – James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Company)
- 10. Sixteen Tons / Chain Gang (from Forever Plaid – David Engel, Jason Graae, Stan Chandler, Guy Stroman)
- 11. Moonshine Lullaby (from Annie Get Your Gun – Ethel Merman)
- 12. El Sombrero (from Wildcat – Lucille Ball, Al Lanti, Swen Swenson, Company)
- 13. Put On a Happy Face (from Bye Bye Birdie – Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh)
- 14. Broadway Baby from Follies (from Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall – Daisy Eagan)
This volume of Celebrate Broadway is a collection of songs for kids, about kids, and with kids. More than anything else these songs are about fun – so sing and laugh along with them or form your own group and sing the backup parts (especially the grunts on “Sixteen Tons”). Put on the disc with your kids or your parents and enjoy a boisterous collection of show tunes featuring the best of Broadway.
Bye Bye Birdie won the Tony Award® in 1960 fir Best Musical. “Kids,” taken from the soundtrack of the film version, hysterically depicts (thanks to actor Paul Lynde recreating his Broadway triumph) the frustrations that all parents feel when it comes to their beloved offspring. “Noisy! Crazy! Sloppy! Lazy! Loafers!”
Peter Pan is almost every kid’s fantasy – he flies, he sings, he fights pirates, and he’s the most popular guy with all of his friends. This musical version of J.M. Barrie’s timeless story won Tony Awards® for Mary Martin (as Peter) and Cyril Ritchard (as Captain Hook). It’s been seen by millions, thanks to its original telecasts in the ’50s and ’60s (and occasionally in the ’70s and ’80s), and now, thanks to home video, it’s seen in millions of homes regularly in the ’90s and ’00s.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote some of the most memorable and singable songs in history. “Getting To Know You,” sung around campfires and in music classes around the world, is one of the most delightful. First produced on Broadway in 1951, The King and I starred Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner. This recording is from the highly acclaimed and long-running 1977 revival that again starred Brynner, with the part of Anna being played by Constance Towers.
“Knock, Knock” is the first of our silly songs: a hilarious duet and proposal of marriage. Flora, the Red Menace had a brief run in 1965 but introduced Liza Minnelli to Broadway as well as the great songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (all three would continue to collaborate with one another over at least the next thirty years on such projects as Cabaret, Liza with a Z, The Rink, and Chicago.
Kids and mealtime. The joy of a great meal has never been better expressed in song than in “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver! First opening in London in 1961 and then on Broadway in 1963, the musical won three Tony Awards® including Best Score. The film version won six Oscars® in 1968 including Best Picture.
Once on This Island was an intimate musical fairy tale that ran on Broadway for over a year. It told the story of a young girl named Ti Moune who knew in her heart she was born to do wonderful things in her life. With her faith in herself she succeeds.
This version of “Comedy Tonight” is taken from a concert of the songs of Stephen Sondheim. The comic actor Bill Irwin leads the orchestra in this rambunctious, silly Spike Jones-like arrangement featuring high notes and low comedy.
“June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” is another exuberant Rodgers and Hammerstein song from their great show Carousel. First produced in 1945 starring Broadway legend John Raitt (Bonnie’s dad), it was recently revived to great acclaim in both London and New York. This recording is from the revival of the show in 1965 when Raitt recreated his timeless portrayal of Billy Bigelow, the carnival barker.
Once upon a time Hair was a controversial show because it was anti-war and featured hippies and granny glasses and some dirty words. However, that was a quarter of a century ago, and now Hair is becoming a period piece and the title song is just a lot of fun to sing.
Forever Plaid is a tribute to the white-bread and mayonnaise guy groups of the later ’50s and early ’60s. Here, in what they termed their “labor medley” of “Sixteen Tons” and “Chain Gang,” they pay tribute to hard-working physical laborers.
Ethel Merman singing a lullaby? It’s true! There is no one in the world who has a voice to compare with the natural phenomenon of Merman’s legendary belt. The show Annie Get Your Gun about gunslinger Annie Oakley contains tons of great songs (“There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do” among them) and continues to delight audiences of all ages wherever it is performed.
The 1960 musical Wildcat starred Lucille Ball and wasn’t a big hit. However, the score by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh is bouncy and brassy in the best musical comedy tradition. “El Sombrero” is kind of silly and naïve but offers kids a chance to sing and dance along with Lucy and her friends.
In “Put On a Happy Face” from the Bye Bye Birdie soundtrack, Dick Van Dyke cheers up his co-star Janet Leigh with a charming song and dance.
When “Broadway Baby” was first performed in 1971 in the musical Follies, it marked the farewell stage appearance of former Ziegfeld star Ethel Shutta. She was in her seventies at the time and stopped the show nightly with this one-of-a-kind song. In 1976 Britain’s Julia McKenzie won a Tony® nomination in part for her hopeful interpretation of the tune. In 1985 at the historic Follies in Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, the wonderful Elaine Stritch created a sensation with her deadpan version . And then, on June 10, 1992, at Carnegie Hall, 12-year-old Daisy Eagan brought down the house with her own youthful brand of zest and energy. A bona fide Broadway star while she was still a kid, she’s the perfect way to remind us all that there is a place for kids on Broadway whether in the audience or on stage.
– Bill Rosenfield