Oscar Hammerstein's Carmen Jones Finds Its Way to CD

News   Oscar Hammerstein's Carmen Jones Finds Its Way to CD Decca Broadway will release the original 1943 cast recording of Carmen Jones this month.

The Feb. 25 release marks the first time the recording will be available on CD. The remastered version of Oscar Hammerstein's musical will include two songs not available on previous Carmen Jones recordings, original essays by lyricist Hammerstein as well as a bonus track that features Kitty Carlisle singing Jones' "Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum." The Carmen Jones cast features Muriel Smith, Luther Saxon, Carlotta Franzell, Glenn Bryant, June Hawkins and  Randall Steplight. Based on Meilhac and Halevy’s adaptation of Prosper Merimee’s Carmen, the musical Carmen Jones opened at the Broadway Theatre Dec. 2, 1943, with music by Georges Bizet and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Staged by Hassard Short with choreography by Eugene Loring, Carmen Jones played 502 performances, closing Feb. 10, 1945. The score includes such tunes as "Carmen Jones Is Goin' to Jail," "Dat Ol' Boy," "Dat's Love," "Dat's Our Man," "De Cards Don't Lie," "Dere's a Cafe On De Corner," "Dis Flower," "Get Your Program for De Big Fight," "Good Luck, Mr. Flyin' Man," "Honey Gal O' Mine," "If You Would Only Come Away," "Lift 'Em Up and Put 'Em Down," "My Joe," "Pancho De Panther from Brazil," "Stan' Up and Fight," "Whizzin' Away Along De Track" and "You Talk Just Like My Maw."

Carmen Jones concerns the story of the passionate but self destructive Carmen, who is smitten with army corporal Joe until she fixes her sights on a prizefighter named Husky Miller. Vanessa Williams recently headlined a concert production of the musical at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.