Do Re Mi – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1960
ACT 1 The time: Now. The place: New York City. You are at The Casablanca, where lowlifes lead their highlife. It is a noisy, smoky, overcrowded opening night. Kay Cram sits alone at the worst table in the room. Why alone? She tells you, “Waiting, Waiting.” Her husband arrives. Meet Hubie Cram (in the person of Phil Silvers) who lives at the top of his unfulfilled hopes, behind his determined grin, just around the corner from his one big break. Tonight there is this jukebox deal he has run into. If only he had . . . Kay points out a sharp young tycoon at ringside, John Henry Wheeler (to be sung by John Reardon) – “Number One Man in the entire jukebox and record game.” Hubie fumes as he asks himself, “If he, why not me?” The Swingers, who record for Wheeler, are the star attraction here. They come on strong with a salute to jukeboxes called “All You Need Is a Quarter.” During their turn, Hubie is moved about, pushed around, and almost trampled underfoot. Finally, in defiance, he carries his table to a ringside position. He feels like a V.I.P. for one heady moment, before he is picked up and thrown out. At home, undressing, Hubie and Kay discuss their situation. Kay makes a startling and daring suggestion (“Take a Job”). A spark flies out of the fire of Hubie’s imagination. Those great old slot machine hoodlums he used to work for in the old days! Who better to run jukeboxes? Fatso O’Rear and Skin Demopoulos and Brains Berman (George Mathews and George Givot and David Burns, respectively). Where are they now? Find out. Hubie is off. Again. He lures the three out of tired and wrinkled retirement by selling them his plan (“It’s Legitimate”). John Henry Wheeler, told of this development, is untroubled. He doubts that these would-be competitors possess the necessary know-how for success (“I Know About Love”). Hubie and his partners launch their enterprise – disastrously. Their first move, an attempt to place a jukebox in the Zen Pancake Parlor in Greenwich Village, meets resistance and falls apart. They know only one way: the old tough way; and it fails. They are ready to retreat for good from this odd, new world, but Hubie, with inspiration born of desperation, thinks of that girl in the pancake parlor – that waitress! Wasn’t she singing? Yes! Get her. Records! With a singer of their own. Wait! Hubie rushes back there and learns that her name is Tilda Mullen (Nancy Dussault). He presses her into singing a song she knows from down home in Ash Hill, Virginia (“Cry Like the Wind”). He hypnotizes her with his soaring enthusiasm and carries her off with a song of “Ambition.” His hunch pays off as Tilda bursts into stardom. Hubie and Kay and the partners are riding high until John Henry Wheeler walks into a recording studio by mistake. He and Tilda look at each other and “Fireworks.” Ten nights later, when she opens at The Imperial Room – singing “What’s New at the Zoo?” with the Animal Girls – John Henry Wheeler is there again. No mistake this time. After the show he dances with her and declares himself (“Asking for You”). To Tilda, it is love – but to her owners it is a muscle-in. They are about to deal with Wheeler in their habitual, primitive way, when Hubie gets another of his flashes. He takes charge, and while pretending to discuss The Late, Late Show with Wheeler across the room, gives his partners the impression that he is bearing down hard. The moment is saved, but only for a moment. Because Wheeler and Tilda dance again, and kiss, and a free-for-all erupts. In the hullabaloo, Hubie is, of course, thrown out. ACT II The following 4:15 A.M. Hubie is awake. Things look bleaker than the dawn. His scheme, his angle, his life. Kay wakes and consoles him with “Adventure.” She volunteers to break up the Wheeler-Tilda thing. How? By telling Tilda about Wheeler’s famous, rare collection of available women. The idea backfires and Wheeler wins Tilda back with “Make Someone Happy.” Wedding bells. The hoods break loose and give Wheeler their answer in the form of a violent jukebox war, complete with hired thugs. It destroys many things, including Hubie and Kay’s marriage. Before a Senate investigating committee in Washington the partners, running true to form, finger Hubie as the guilty power behind the jukebox trouble. Hubie is excited and delighted to be in the spotlight at last. He mistakes notoriety for fame, and fame for importance. He becomes for a brief, wild whirl what he thinks he has always wanted to be: a V.I.P. But the bubble bursts – as bubbles always do – and Hubie is forced to face himself in the cracked, stained mirror of truth (“All of My Life!”). Fame deserts him, along with his hope. Now Kay returns (was she ever really gone?). Their together-again embrace becomes their first dance in years, and Hubie knows that this – the here and now, his wife and his life – is that one big break he has been looking for (“Finale”).
The Casa Girls: Marilyn Allwyn, Diane Ball, Sandra Devlin, Regina Groves, Nancy Van Rijn, Carol Stevens, Dean Taliaferro The Dance Team: Patti Karr, Ray Kirchner Kay Cram: Nancy Walker Hubert Cram: Phil Silvers A Waiter: Frank Derbas John Henry Wheeler: John Reardon The Swingers: Betty Kent, Donna Sanders, Suzanne Shaw The Headwaiter: Marc Jordan Fatso O’Rear: George Mathews Skin Demopoulos: George Givot Brains Berman: David Burns Thelma Berman: Marilyn Child The Interviewer: David Gold The Photographer: Stuart Hodes Wheeler’s Secretaries: Carol Stevens, Dean Taliaferro James Russell Lowell IV: Chad Block The Sumo Student: Ray Kirchner Tilda Mullen: Nancy Dussault Wolfie: Al Nesor Marsha: Carolyn Ragaini Lou: Steve Roland Gretchen: Betty Kent The Recording Engineer: Albert Linville The Maitre D’: Bob McClure The Animal Girls: Marilyn Allwyn, Diane Ball, Sandra Devlin, Regina Groves, Patti Karr, Nancy Van Rijn, Carol Stevens, Dean Taliaferro Moe Shtarker: Al Lewis The Commentators: Bob McClure, Allan Stevenson Senator Rogers: Albert Linville Senator Redfield: Edward Grace The Chief Counsel: Steve Roland Fatso’s Lawyer: Marc Jordan Brian’s Lawyer: Pat Tolson The Public: Marilyn Allwyn, Doris Avila, Diane Ball, Frank Derbas, Sandra Devlin, David Gold, Edward Grace, Regina Groves, Stuart Hodes, Curtis Hood, Daniel Jasinski, Marc Jordan, Patti Karr, Betty Kent, Ray Kirchner, Barbara Lang, Josephine Lang, Bob McClure, Ken Malone, Jim Marley, James Moore, Dawn Nickerson, Ed Pfeiffer, Carolyn Ragaini, Steve Roland, Donna Sanders, Suzanne Shaw, Carol Stevens, Liza Stuart, Dean Taliaferro, Pat Tolson, Nancy Van Rijn, Richard Young Orchestra conducted by Lehman Engel