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December 24, 2000

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We Need A Little Christmas

Our annual Yuletide bash, this time covering over 60 years and a variety of genres.
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
We Need a Little Christmas A Fynsworth Alley Christmas Collection (2000) Paige O’Hara, Courtney Earl, Frankie J. Galasso From Jerry Herman’s hit Mame (1966). O’Hara’s vocal pyrotechnics in this recording are not in the original; she’s just showing off.
Mrs. Santa Claus Mrs. Santa Claus (OS 1996) Angela Lansbury Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (Hello Dolly, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles). This was a made-for-TV musical broadcast as a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation with an all-star cast including Lansbury, Charles Durning, Michael Jeter and Terrence Mann.
Be A Santa A Fynsworth Alley Christmas Collection (2000) Guy Haines, Michelle Nicastro, Nikki Harris (tap dancing) From Subways Are For Sleeping (1962), music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Alodph Green. Although the show itself was not a big hit, it earned a Best Supporting Actor (Musical) Tony nomination for Orson Bean and a Best Supporting Actress (Musical) Tony award for Phyllis Newman. Michael Kidd was also nominated for his choreography.
Christmas Bells Are Ringing Rent (OC 1996) Company In St. Mark’s Place the homeless, sidewalk vendors, junkies, drug dealers and cops comprise a human mosaic on Christmas Eve.
Hard Candy Christmas The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (OC 1978) Miss Mona’s Girls The girls face hard times after the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is shut down by the forces of Christian Decency TM (a.k.a. “The Bad Guys”). Music and lyrics are by Carol Hall.
A New Deal For Christmas Annie (OC 1977) Andrea McArdle, Reid Shelton, Sandy Faison, Raymond Thorne, Ensemble The cheerful finale as FDR joins Annie and the Warbucks household in welcoming the beginning of a new life for Annie and hope for the USA. Huzzah! Annie has music by Charles Strouse (Bye Bye Birdie) and lyrics by Martin Charnin.
A Christmas Carol The Remains of Tom Lehrer (2000) Tom Lehrer An appropriate antidote to our annual excess of holiday commercialism.
Christmas Dragnet (Yulenet) Tip of the Freeburg (1999) Stan Freeburg, Daws Butler, Hy Averback, Orchestra cond. by Walter Schumann A holiday sequel to Freeburg’s highly successful “St. George and the Dragonet”.
The Christmas Wine The Lion in Winter (OS 1968) Voices of the Accedemia Montiverdiana, cond. by Denis Stevens Music by John Barry (best knows for his many James Bond film scores)
Greenwillow Christmas (Carol) Greenwillow (OC 1960) Chorus One of Frank Loesser’s non-hits (it lasted only 95 performances), Greenwillow nevertheless has developed a kind of cult following and has the distinction of being the first and last Broadway show in which Anthony Perkins starred.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Meet Me In St. Louis (OS 1944) Judy Garland By Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine, and still a classic.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside This Christmas (1997) Ann Hampton Callaway, Kenny Rankin What could be more appropriate after our recent weather than this Frank Loesser classic?
‘Zat You, Santa Claus? The Stash Christmas Album (1985) Louis Armstrong and His Commanders Recorded 10/22/1953. This was successfully covered over 20 years later by Buster Pointdexter
Jingle Bells The Stash Christmas Album (1985) Benny Goodman and His Orchestra Recorded 6/6/1945. Personnel include Goodman on clarinet and Gene Krupa on drums.

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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