When I saw A Class Act on Broadway, I couldn’t shake the feeling I had heard this song before. It took me a while to remember Phyllis Newman’s one-woman show The Madwoman of Central Park West. The album suffers from unfortunate abuse of synthesizers, but Phyllis knows how to sell a song.
Also discovered on LivingstonAndEvans.com: “Tel Aviv,” which is presented on the site without any context except for a 1988 copyright date. This recording is Jay Livingston’s demo. I imagine it’s intended for a female singer, although there’s something fun about imagining it’s actually about a straight male Republican who finds his sexuality challenged by a hot Israeli tour guide.
I have found my official song for the summer. I don’t care that it sounds like it was manufactured by a computer programmed to satisfy the “Bar Mitzvah Hit” slot for the year (see also: Black Eyed Peas’ “I Got a Feeling”).
Incidentally, that medley from Of Thee I Sing, as well as this one from Girl Crazy, are from a radio broadcast (which was also released on 78 rpm records) commemorating the one-year anniversary of George Gershwin’s death. YouTube also has medleys from Lady Be Good/Tip Toes, Porgy and Bess (part 1, part 2), Oh Kay, plus more and more!
They’re quite good, and a great overview of George Gershwin’s tremendous body of work.
While obsessing over Oh Captain! last night, I went into a mini frenzy of looking for material from and about it online (as one does) and discovered that the songwriters Livingston & Evans have the most incredible website, with a huge archive of full mp3s of their music - demos, cast recordings, singles, covers…. all there, all free. It’s not complete, but there’s much to enjoy.
This track is a jazz cover of my favorite song from the show, Femininity, by Leonard Feather / Dick Hyman All Stars, with vocals by Marilyn Moore.
Of all the political musicals I’m listening to this weekend, Shenandoah stands out as the one most deserving of a Broadway revival. Roundabout, Lincoln Center, even Encores… what are you all waiting for?
I don’t care for China. Japan’s far too small. I’ve rumbled the Rio Grande. I hate Asia Minor. I can’t bear Bengal. And I shudder to think Of the awful stink On the road to Samarkand. (It’s really hell That dreadful smell On the road to Samarkand.)
I like America, I have played around Every slappy-happy hunting ground But I find America okay. I’ve been about a bit But I must admit That I didn’t know the half of it Till I hit the U.S.A.
No likely lass In Boston, Mass. From passion will recoil. In Dallas, Tex. They talk of sex But only think of oil. New Jersey dames Go up in flames If someone mentions bed. In Chicago, Illinois Any girl who meets a boy Giggles and shoots him dead!
But I like America Its society Offers infinite variety And come what may Give me a holiday In the good old U.S.A.
I’ve loathed every acre From Cannes to Canton, I also deplore Bombay, I’ve jeered at Jamaica And seen through Ceylon, And exploded the myth Of those Flying Fith On the Road to Mandalay. (I’ll never mith Those blasted fith On the road to Mandalay.)
But I like America. I have traveled far From Northumberland to Zanzibar But I find America okay. I’ve roamed the Spanish Main, Eaten sugar-cane, But I never tasted cellophane Till I struck the U.S.A.
All delegates From Southern States Are nervy and distraught. In New Orleans The wrought-iron screens Are dreadfully overwrought. Beneath each tree In Tennessee Erotic books are read. And when alligators thud Through the Mississippi mud Sex rears its ugly head.
But I like America, Its simplicity And its passion for publicity And come what may Give me a holiday In the good old U.S.A. Hey, hey!
Correct. Glee is a TV show. A TV show about kids into musical theatre, which is exactly our audience on Tumblr. TheaterMania has never stated we exclusively only have news items about happenings on stage. Hope this helps. PS, love your blogs!
Yabbut the first two words of your post were “Theater News.” Hence the snarkiness. (Although, let’s be honest. This is the internet, hence the snarkiness.)
When I was in the sixth grade, I couldn’t get enough of Doonesbury the Musical. I played the cast album (on cassette) non-stop, read the script over and over again, even adapted one of the songs for a talent show at summer camp. (I was a strange little gay boy.)
This is a recording of Dean Jones singing “Happily Ever After” during the out of town tryouts for Company in Boston in 1970. I’ve always liked this song, despite its grim outlook, and have been frustrated that there’s never been a full-length recording of it with an orchestra. (The only full-length recording of it I know of is Craig Lucas’s rendition, backed by a piano, on the original cast album of “Marry Me A Little.”)
Jones’s performance is impeccable, which isn’t surprising, given that his own marriage was falling apart at the time and this song probably matched his mindset more accurately than any of the other closing numbers that cycled through Company during its development.
Perhaps even more exciting is hearing, for the first time, Jonathan Tunick’s orchestrations for the song. Those Bacharach-influenced horns! The Vocal Minority! It’s all pretty much brilliant. I wish we had a high-fidelity recording of these charts. Maybe someday we’ll get one.