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June 18, 2000

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The Jay Way

A sampling of recordings from the Jay label, which specializes in theatre music.

PLAYLIST
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Victoria and Albert Waltz Carousel Waltz Orchestra cond. by Grant Hossack Music by Charles Strouse, from I and Albert (1985). With his collaborator Lee Adams, Strouse has written numerous musicals including Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, Golden Boy, and It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman. His 1981 musical adaptation of Flowers for Algernon, Charlie And Algernon, won a 1981 Tony nomination for Best Score, as did Rags in 1987 and Nick And Nora in 1993.
Coney Island Waltz Carousel Waltz National Philharmonic Orchestra cond. by Martin Yates From the Cy Coleman–Dorothy Fields hit Sweet Charity (1966), with a book by Neil Simon and direction and choreography by Bob Fosse. Coleman's shows include Barnum (1980), City of Angels (1989), and Little Me (1962).
Bittersweet Waltz Carousel Waltz Orchestra cond. by Michael Reed From Noel Coward's Bitter Sweet (1929), presented on Broadway by Florenz Ziegfeld. Unlike Coward's characteristically witty and unsentimental plays, Bitter Sweet is a deliberately romantic, turn-of-the-century–style operetta. It ran only 159 performances and is rarely revived.
Something's Coming Sean McDermott: My Broadway Sean McDermott, National Symphony Orchestra cond. by John Owen Edwards From West Side Story, which concludes a run at the Muny tonight. This album features McDermott, a classic Broadway "hunk," in roles he has played on Broadway and on tours.
Alone at the Drive-In Sean McDermott: My Broadway Sean McDermott, National Symphony Orchestra cond. by Martin Yates From Grease, as if you couldn't tell.
Broadway Baby Kim Criswell: Back to Before Kim Criswell, Kevin Farrell (piano) From Sondheim's Follies (1971), an ironic (what else?) look at the contrasts between the glitzy romanticism of Ziegfeld-style revues and the reality of the lives of the performers. An all-star concert version was presented at Avery Fisher Hall in 1985 and recorded by PBS; it still surfaces now and then during pledge drives.
Who Will Love Me As I Am? Kim Criswell: Back to Before Kim Criswell, National Symphony Orchestra cond. by Kevin Farrell Criswell sings both parts—appropriate, since this song is sung by Siamese twins in Side Show (1997), the Harry Krieger–Bill Russell collaboration that lasted only 120 performances (including previews) but earned good critical notices and has developed a cult following since. Krieger's other shows include Dreamgirls (1981) and The Tap Dance Kid (1983). Kim Criswell is an experienced Broadway performer who now lives in London. Her appearances in this country have included Nine, Baby, and Grizabella in Cats (in Los Angeles).
Soliloquy Ron Raines: Broadway Passion Ron Raines, National Symphony Orchestra cond. by John Owen Edwards A show-stopping moment from Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel (1945), as Billy Bigelow contemplates his role as an expectant father. The Characters and Company production of Carousel concludes a two-week run today
Love Changes Everything A Little Bit in Love John Barrowman, National Symphony Orchestra cond. by John Owen Edwards From Andrew Lloyd Webber's under-rated Aspects of Love (1990), based on an autobiographical novel by David Garnett, a nephew of Virginia Woolf and a minor figure in the Bloosmbury literary circle.
Two People in Love A Little Bit in Love Todd Graff, Liz Callaway, Orchestra cond. by Peter Howard From Baby (1983), music by David Shire lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. The team is best known for their revues Starting Here, Starting Now (1977) and Closer Than Ever (1989). Liz Callaway was nominated for a Tony for her role in Baby. She played Ellen in Miss Saigon on Broadway, where she made her debut in Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.
Only Love A Little Bit in Love Salena Jones, band conducted by Paul Sawtell A sort of blusey number from Zorba (1968), music by John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman) and based on the film Zorba the Greek. The show's larger-than-life hero and earthy, ethnic characters make it a kind of Greek Fiddler on the Roof— and, in fact, it had the same producer (Harold Prince), librettist (Joseph Stein), set designer (Boris Aronson), and costume designer (Patricia Zipprodt) as Fiddler, along with two Fiddler alumni (Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova) in lead roles. Unlike Fiddler, it ran only 305 performances.
I Don't Know How to Love Him A Little Bit in Love Issy Van Randwyck, National Symphony Orchestra cond. by Martin Yates From Jesus Christ Superstar, naturally.


Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.


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