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November 5, 2000

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Politics and Poker

It's a gamble either way, right? In addition to songs about the electoral process, we talk with St. Louis playwright Jerry Rabushka about his new show The Soviet Tango.
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Politics and Poker Fiorello! (OC 1959) Howard Da Silva, Company Music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick (The Rothschilds, Fiddler on the Roof) and a book by George Abbott and Jerome Weidman based on episodes from the life of former New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Tom Bosley played the title role.
The Country's in the Very Best of Hands Li'l Abner ( OC 1956) Peter Palmer, Stubby Kaye, Company Li'l Abner and Marryin' Sam let the folks back in Dogpatch know how things work up in D.C. Li'l Abner has music by Gene DePaul, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and a book my Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, based on the satirical comic strip by the late Al Capp. The show takes pot shots at right-wing politics, militarism and conformity, which is ironic given that, towards the end of his life, Capp would adopt the very views satirized here.
Love in the Gardens of Morocco The Soviet Tango (OC 2000) Jerrold Rabushka One of the many dance pieces associated with the heroine of this new musical.
The Washington Square Dance Call Me Madam (Decca OC 1950) Ethel Merman, Company "Democrats dance to the left, Republicans dance to the right." Regarding this recording: RCA made the original cast recording but without Merman, who was under contract to Decca. This is from the Decca recording of selections from the show with Merman
Mistress of the Senator Way Back to Paradise (1998) Audra McDonald Music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party), from Hello Again (1994), a musical loosely based on Schnitzler's La Ronde.
Live from the Senate Bar (If You Can Call that Living) Dear Friends (1972) The Firesign Theatre Don't lose your Senatorial Privileges!
Poop's Principles Dear Friends (1972) The Firesign Theatre Phil Proctor delivers an address for the National Surrealist Light People's Party.
The Ask Not Waltz Hollywood Hi-Fi (1996) Voice of J.F.K. and unidentified chorus From 1963, a bizarre number in which the recorded voice of Kennedy is dubbed over a Mitch Miller-type chorus.
Ask Not (JFK): Anthem Songs of Humor and Satire (1994) Gregg Smith Singers From the Presidential Suite by Jack Gottlieb. Each movement is based on a catch phrase associated with a different president.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Jones Cab Calloway - The Best of the Big Bands (1990) Cab Calloway
George Bush Now Thank God I'm a Contra Boy (1987) The Capitol Steps Like father...?.
Cool, Considerate Men 1776 (Revival cast 1997) Michael Cumpsty, Chorus We've always had a right wing that wanted to erase recent history. Here's the first bunch from the Continental Congress of 1776.

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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