On Your Toes – Studio Cast Recording 1952
The story of On Your Toes deals with a young hoofer, the son of vaudevillians, whose mother persuades him to leave the “two-a-day” and take up serious ballet. The young man’s early efforts at the art are laughable, as when he attempts to take part in Balanchine’s version of Scheherazade. Then, a friend of the hoofer presents the troupe with a new work that tells a contemporary story through the medium of ballet, and in this the young man, the leading ballerina, and the troupe score a decided triumph. The plot of this successful ballet, “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” is a satire on gangster stories. A hoofer and his girl are fleeing murderous mobsters and they take refuge in a cafe on Tenth Avenue. The gangsters catch up with the pair and they shoot the girl. The hoofer dances to elude the bullets and keeps on with increasing desperation that rises to a frenzied climax until the arrival of the police puts an end to the bandits’ careers. Like the other Broadway shows on Columbia Masterworks that were produced for records by Goddard Lieberson, this recorded performance of On Your Toes, featuring a young and extremely able cast, has the vivid excitement of an actual theatre performance.
– Taken from the original liner notes for ML 4645)
Frankie Frayne: Portia Nelson Phil Dolan III: Jack Cassidy Phil Dolan II: Robert Eckles Lil Dolan: Zamah Cunningham Peggy Porterfield: Laurel Shelby Sergei Alexandrovitch: Ray Hyson Music by Richard Rodgers; Lyrics by Lorenz Hart Chorus and Orchestra Conducted by Lehman Engel