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The old and new musicals mentioned here seemed to have been forgotten by the record labels. Many of these were released in the golden days of the vinyl albums, while others were never recorded. This is just a small list of scores I wish one day would be released on CD.

Last update: July 4, 2013


CARNIVAL IN FLANDERS - It only lasted 6 performances on Broadway in 1953. Nevertheless its leading lady, Dolores Gray, won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical. The show was based on a classic French film comedy called LA KERMESS HEROIQUE and had a score by James Van Heusen and Johnny Burke. One of the songs, "That Rainy Day", became a classic and, among other recordings, I recommend the one by Judy Kaye in her album DIVA BY DIVA. Two further songs, "That Man is Doing His Worst to Make Good" and "A Moment of Your Love" (that was cut prior to Broadway), can be heard on Varese Sarabande's UNSUNG MUSICAL II. If these songs are something to go by, I believe the rest of the score must be worthy of discovery. So what about a studio cast with, for example, Judy Kaye in Gray's role? Or maybe Christine Baranski and Brent Barrett (in John Raitt's role)?


ENTER THE GUARDSMAN - This musical version of Ferenc Molnar's comedy ''The Guardsman, that tells the story of a newlywed actor who disguises himself as a guardsman in order to test his wife’s love, has a book by Scott Wentworth, with music by Craig Bohmler; and lyrics by Marion Adler. The first time I heard about it was when I bought the CD “Musical Winners”, that includes highlights of the musicals shown at “Musical of the Year 1996” festival, where this show won Best New Musical. I guess that’s the only CD where you can find some songs of that interesting score, but I’ve been hoping that one of these days someone will release the complete score. On that CD Clive Carter, Joanna Riding, Denis Quilley and Claire Moore deliver the songs with talent and I’m sure they would sound great on the entire score.
The show was later produced at London’s Donmar Warehouse, with Alexander Hanson, Janie Dee, Nicky Henson and Angela Richards in the leading roles. The show was also shown Off-Broadway with Robert Cuccioli, Marla Schaffel, Mark Jacoby and Derin Altay. I guess any of these casts could also be use for a studio cast recording.

THE GOOD OLD BAD OLD DAYS! - Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley it the big time with STOP THE WORLD - I WANT TO GET OFF and, in a smaller scale, THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT - THE SMELL OF THE CROWD. Both shows had songs that became famous and in 1972 the team reunited for one last musical. The result was a 10 month run in London and a couple of appealing numbers: "I Do Not Love You", "It's a Musical World", "The People Tree", "The Good Things in Life" and the title song. Once again Anthony Newley played the leading role, with Julia Sutton and Terry Mitchell giving a hand. When will hear it on CD?

GOTHAM - I don't know who the hell are Douglas Bernstein and Denis Markel, the team responsible for the score of this show. To tell the truth I only heard his names when I bought Varese Sarabande's BROADWAY BOUND, but one thing I know, this guys know how to write Broadway tunes. The title song of this musical is the kind of tune I really love and so I'm very curious about the rest of the score. Until now the show was only produced out of town, so for it to get a cast recording is going to be difficult. But maybe some nice record producer is willing to do a studio recording. As for the cast, he can use Harry Groener and Liz Larsen, since both did such a wonderful job singing "Gotham" on BROADWAY'S BOUND.


HIS MONKEY WIFE - Sandy Wilson was the composer of the delightful THE BOY FRIEND and is mainly known for that score and for VALMOUTH. He wrote other shows, but with the exception of DIVORCE ME, DARLING (a sequel to THE BOY FRIEND) and CALL IT LOVE, none of those as been released on CD yet. Taking the mentioned titles as examples of his talent, I'm sure that there must be some good tunes in his other scores. HIS MONKEY WIFE opened in 1971and with a title like this I'm really curious about it.

NEVER GONNA DANCE - If, like me, you had the pleasure of seeing the 2003 musical NEVER GONNA DANCE you know it deserves to be released on CD. All the fabulous songs were written by the great Jerome Kern and the orchestrations by Harold Wheeler give them a new life. It’s always a pleasure to hear famous tunes like “Dearly Beloved”, “I Won’t Dance”, “A Fine Romance” and “Pick Yourself Up” and to discover lesser know ones like “Shimmy With Me”, “The Most Exciting Night”, “I Got Love” and “Remind Me”. I think the original cast members would love to record it, so let’s hope someone will invite Noah Racey, Nancy Lemenager, Karen Ziemba, Peter Gerety, Eugene Fleming, Deidre Goodwin and David Pittu for a future cast recording.

OVER & OVER - Any score by John Kander and Fred Ebb is a must for all musical fans, so, please, will someone give us a studio cast recording of OVER & OVER (formerly know as THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH)? The show had its premiere in 1999 at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, where it didn't got good reviews, so it never reached Broadway. But their STEEL PIER also got poor reviews and even so the score is simply great, so I hardly can wait to hear this new one. I believe some members of the original cast (David Garrison, Linda Edmond, Sheri Scott, Megan Lawrence, Mario Cantone and Jim Newman) will be available for the recording. Until we have the complete score we can enjoy the song "The Skin of Our Teeth" in Brent Barrett's THE KANDER & EBB ALBUM.

KICKS: THE SHOWGIRL MUSICAL - Thanks to Debbie Gravitte's album PART OF YOUR WORLD, two songs from this show were recorded. One was "You Are the Only One" and the other the terrific "I Want to Be a Rockette". More recently Karen Ziemba sang and danced it in MY FAVORITE BROADWAY: THE LEADING LADIES, the famous Rockettes made her company and also sang another tune from that show, "Kicks". With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tom Eyen, this show never went beyond its workshops, but with such a fabulous song like "I Want to Be a Rockette" I think it can become a winner. A studio cast of the score will surely help the show to get a Broadway production and I'm sure Gravitte or Ziemba would love to do it.


PAPER MOON - A musical adaptation of the Ryan and Tatum O'Neal movie seemed a sure bet for Broadway, unfortunately it closed out of town. Once again composer Larry Grossman (MINNIE'S BOYS, A DOLL'S LIFE, GRIND) wrote music for a flop and I'm sure that, as it was the case with his other shows, he had write good tunes for it. The lyrics were by Ellen Fitzhugh, with additional ones by Carol Hall. In her album NOWADAYS, Marcia Lewis give us the amusing "I Do What I Can" and it's without doubt a good song. For a future studio recording I suggest original cast members Christine Ebersole and Gregory Harrison.


THE RED SHOES - This 1993 musical was the last one composed by Jule Styne and just for that it should be preserved on CD. I know it failed on Broadway and that there were only nine songs (with lyrics by Paul Stryker aka Bob Merrill). One of those, "When It Happens to You", can be heard on Varese Sarabande's UNSUNG MUSICALS II and it's a very beautiful ballad, so what about the rest of the score? As for possible cast members, there's Hugh Panaro, who created one of the roles on Broadway.

SMILE - It opened on Broadway in 1986 and closed after 48 performances. The music was by Marvin Hamlisch (A CHORUS LINE) and the lyrics by Howard Ashman (LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID) and it seems they both came up with a good score. Thanks to Bruce Kimmel's UNSUNG MUSICAL series, a few songs were recorded:"In Our Hands", "Disneyland", "Maria's Song" and the riveting title number. As for the complete score maybe one day it will see the light of day. Actors like Jodi Benson, Maureen McGovern, Grover Dale, Trini Alvarado and Jane Krakowski were connected with the show and maybe they'll be available for a studio cast. I believe it could be a great tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch.

THE VISIT - In October 2001, at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, a new show by John Kander & Fred Ebb had its world premiere. There were rumors that later it would open on Broadway but that didn’t happen and so no cast recording of that score was made. It’s true, this isn’t one of the Kander & Ebb’s best works; in fact it’s kind of a disappointment. But even so, a poor Kander & Ebb score is better than most of the new scores that are released on CD. I believe a studio cast recording of this show would be a sure bet, specially if it’s done with the original cast members Chita Rivera and John McMartin, and if they can add Angela Lansbury to sing a couple of bonus track, even better. Among the numbers there are a few songs that are really good: “Love and Love Again”, “You Know Me”, “You, You, You” and “Yellow Shoes”. Now that, unfortunately, Fred Ebb is no longer with us, it seems fair that his work can be heard on CD.

A WONDERFUL LIFE - This musical version of one of the most beloved films of all time, Frank Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, had its premiere in 1991 and since then have been produced every Christmas by theatres around the USA. Until now it never played on Broadway and maybe that's the reason why it was never recorded. The music was by Joe Raposo with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and for what I heard it sounds great. Thanks to Bruce Kimmel we can enjoy three of its songs. One, "Christmas Gifts", is sang by Jason Graae on Varese Sarabande's A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS. The other two can be heard on UNSUNG MUSICALS III, the first is the delightful title song, once again by Graae and Glory Crampton, and the other an exhilarating charleston called "In a State" performed by Brent Barrett. A complete recording of this score would be a perfect Christmas gift. All the mentioned actors would be great in it, but here's my dream cast: Will Chase (as George Bailey), Karen Ziemba (as Mary Bailey), Jonathan Freeman (as Clarence, the angel) John Davidson (as Uncle Billy) and Emily Skinner (as Violet).

ZIEGFELD - When it opened at the London Palladium in 1988, it was hailed as the most expensive British musical ever made. With a cast of 60, 450 costumes, 27 sets and classic songs, it was a musical extravanza that told the story of the legendary Florenz Ziegfeld and at the same time paid hommage to his famous Follies. Len Cariou headed the cast as Ziegfeld, with Louise Gold and Fabienne Guyon as two of the women in his life. Unfortunately it was a box office disaster and closed after a 5 months run. The score includes "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody", "Shine on Harvest Moon", "My Man" and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, among other Follies standards. It seems that Dress Circle had a CD release of it, but it's out of stock and so we have to wait for a wider release.

Bibliography: NOT SINCE CARRIE by Ken Mandelbaum, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE MUSICAL THEATRE by Kurt Gänzl, THE VIRGIN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF STAGE & FILM MUSICAL by Colin Larkin

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