I'm Still Here: The Essential Elaine Stritch on Disc

By Ben Rimalower
15 Feb 2014

 

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Sail Away – 1962 Original London Cast Recording

Sail Away is an essential Elaine Stritch recording for several reasons. Of course, it's a worthy inclusion simply for preserving a major career achievement of Stritch's and because it was written by Noel Coward, it represents a piece of work by one of the greats. But Sail Away is also special because it's a real leading lady role for Elaine Stritch. As she explained in Elaine Stritch at Liberty, a last-minute script change gave her character "the laughs, the guy and the eleven o'clock number." The number in question, "Why Do The Wrong People Travel?" — with its sardonic flourish and vivid minutia — is classic Coward and also pure Stritch, and I want every single recording of it. Stritch herself prefers the London cast recording of this show (over the Broadway cast, which was also released), where her performance is slightly more relaxed and comfortable vocally. I require both.

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