Masterworks Broadway Releases Eight Vintage Cast Recordings on CD

News   Masterworks Broadway Releases Eight Vintage Cast Recordings on CD Masterworks Broadway has just released eight long-unavailable cast recordings — using the original masters as sources — on CD.

Titles include DisinHAIRited, Hazel Flagg, Jimmy, The Last Sweet Days of Isaac, Let It Ride!, New Faces of 1952, New Faces of '56 (with six bonus tracks) and The Threepenny Opera (with bonus track).

The CDs, with each album's original cover art and liner notes, are available exclusively through ArkivMusic.com.

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CD details, according to Masterworks Broadway, follow:

DisinHAIRited
A wild compendium of songs that did not appear officially in Hair but were originally written either for the Off-Broadway staging, the Broadway production or (in a few instances) for this 1969 recording itself. The creators of Hair – James Rado and Gerome Ragni (book and lyrics) and Galt MacDermot (music) – are front-and-center in this recording, along with Hair cast members. Hazel Flagg
This 1953 musical version of the screwball comedy film "Nothing Sacred" is best known as the source of the 1954 Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin film "Living It Up" (in which Lewis played the title character, renamed Homer Flagg). The Broadway show was not a success, though it has a charming score by Jule Styne (music) and Bob Hilliard (lyrics) that includes estimable songs such as "How Do You Speak to an Angel?," "I Feel Like I'm Gonna Live Forever" and "Ev'ry Street's a Boulevard (In Old New York)." Two-time Tony winner Helen Gallagher has the title role, and the cast includes John Howard, Jack Whiting and Benay Venuta. Oscar-winning film actor Thomas Mitchell won a Tony for his performance … though he does not sing a note and appears nowhere on the original cast recording!

Jimmy
Jimmy looked for musical-comedy gold in the life of "Gentleman Jimmy" Walker, who was LaGuardia's flamboyant predecessor. Comedian/impressionist Frank Gorshin took the title role in the 1969 show, produced by movie mogul Jack L. Warner; it featured the irrepressible Anita Gillette and cabaret legend Julie Wilson as the women in Walker's life. Jimmy arrived on Broadway just as tradition-bound musicals were temporarily losing their appeal to the audience, and it vanished after 84 performances, leaving only the original cast recording to keep its memory alive. . . .The score is by Bill and Patti Jacob, a rare husband-and-wife songwriting team, and it was their only venture on Broadway.

The Last Sweet Days of Isaac
The Last Sweet Days of Isaac was a tidy little hit that brought success in the spring of 1970 to the songwriting team of Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford. . .. Austin Pendleton and Fredericka Weber had breakout success as the hopeless romantics whose adventures the show chronicles.

Let It Ride!
Let It Ride! was hardly destined for greatness – it closed after a mere 68 performances – but it features a lively score by Oscar-winning songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, performed by a cast led by TV star George Gobel and Broadway veteran Sam Levene.

New Faces of 1952
A legendary revue that was one of the surprise hits of the 1951-52 Broadway season, New Faces of 1952 famously introduced Eartha Kitt to Broadway audiences in the star-making number "Monotonous," and helped launch the careers of Alice Ghostley (unforgettable singing "The Boston Beguine"), Ronny Graham, Paul Lynde, Carol Lawrence and Robert Clary. . . . Sheldon Harnick, who won fame and fortune later writing songs with Jerry Bock, contributed material, much of which retains its comic inspiration.

New Faces of '56
The success of New Faces of 1952 led to a new edition four years later, this time with the year quaintly abbreviated in the title. The 1956 edition failed to catch fire like its predecessor, but it still featured producer Leonard Silliman's infallible knack for discovering talent. Among the unknowns breaking through here was, of all people, a lively young Maggie Smith, years before she became a great lady of the theater, in her Broadway debut. Also in the cast are Virginia Martin, Tiger Haynes, Inga Swenson, Jane Connell and Bill McCutcheon, all headed for big Broadway careers, as well as future Metropolitan Opera baritone (and Broadway star) John Reardon. The LP release of the original cast recording did not include a number of tracks that were recorded at the original session, and this release introduces six of them – "What Does That Dream Mean?," "The Washingtons Are Doin' Okay," "Girls 'n' Girls 'n' Girls," "I Could Love Him," "Rouge" and "She's Got Everything."

The Threepenny Opera
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera became known to American audiences in the Marc Blitzstein adaptation, which introduced the English lyrics of "Mack the Knife." For the New York Shakespeare Festival's acclaimed 1976 Lincoln Center revival, the show was completely reconceived with a new translation and adaptation, and fresh treatment of Weill's extraordinary score by Stanley Silverman. Raul Julia is Macheath (here known as "Mac the Knife"), and the cast also includes Ellen Greene, Elizabeth Wilson, Tony Azito and Caroline Kava. This recording is one of the most effective presentations on the Brecht/Weill score, and this reissue includes a short track ("For That's My Way") that was not included in the LP release and has never before been available.  

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