Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Little Bit of Broadway


Inspired by last night's Juneau Symphony pops concert, we are listening to the 1960 Lerner and Lowe musical Camelot.

The first musical to follow the duo incredible My Fair Lady, it opened to mixed reviews, but that was to be expected. After all, how could anyone follow the practically perfect My Fair Lady with another pracically perfect musical? But Camelot is a very fine show -- with lots of memorable music. Naomi Siegel,in her New York Times review of the 2003 review, says "Camelot has it all – a beautiful English princess swept off her feet by a shy, but passionate bachelor king; an ardent French knight, torn between devotion to his liege and an uncontrollable hunger, reciprocated, to be sure, for the king's tempestuous wife.... Camelot features a score rich in English country-tune charm..."

We are listening to the original cast recording this afternoon, with
King Arthur - Richard Burton
Queen Guenevere - Julie Andrews
Sir Lancelot - Robert Goulet
Merlyn - David Hurst
Pellinore - Robert Coote
Mordred - Roddy McDowall
Sir Dinadan - John Cullum
Morgan Le Fey - M'el Dowd
Lady Catherine - Virginia Allen
Nimue - Marjorie Smith
Sir Lionel - Bruce Yarnell
Sir Sagramore - James Gannon
Tom of Warwick - Robin Stewart

Act I
"Overture" and "The March [Parade]"
"I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight" (Arthur)
"The Simple Joys of Maidenhood" (Guenevere)
"Camelot" (Arthur)
"Camelot" (reprise) (Arthur and Guenevere)
"Follow Me" (Nimue)
"C'est Moi" (Lancelot)
"The Lusty Month of May" (Guenevere and Company)
"Then You May Take Me To the Fair" (Guenevere, Sir Lionel, Sir Sagramore, and Sir Dinadan)
"How To Handle a Woman" (Arthur)
"The Jousts" (Arthur, Guenevere and Ensemble
"Before I Gaze at You Again" (Guenevere)
Act II
"If Ever I Would Leave You" (Lancelot)
"The Seven Deadly Virtues" (Mordred)
"What Do the Simple Folk Do?" (Arthur and Guenevere)
"Fie on Goodness!" (Mordred and The Knights)
"I Loved You Once In Silence" (Guenevere)
"Guenevere" (Company)
"Camelot" (reprise) (King Arthur)

Find out more about Camelot!

To Finish up the time....
Irving Berlin was the most American of composers, perhaps because he was an immigrant.Last night's medley just didn't touch on anywhere near enough of his musical gift to the American Songbook. Here are some of my favorites -- recorded by the original artists (and on vinyl), so it may sound a bit "noisy".

O how I hate to get up in the morning -- Irving Berlin -- from Yip, Yip, Yaphank (recorded 1942)
Mandy - Van and Schenck -- from Ziegfeld Follies of 1919(recorded 1919)
A Pretty Girl is like a melody -- John Steele from Ziegfeld Follies of 1919( (recorded 1919)
Rock a bye Baby -- Grace Moore --from the Music Box Revue(recorded 1925)
Shaking the Blues Away -- Etta James -- from Ziegfeld Follies of 1927(recorded 1927)

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