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Brush Up Your Shakespeare

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April 28, 2004

Shakespeare's birthday is usually celebrated on April 23rd (although, like the previous episode's honoree Jesus, we're not really sure when he was actually born), along with St. George's Day. Put them together and they're a good enough reason for a show of music inspired by The Bard.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Country Tearjerkers Retail Comedy at Wholesale Prices Stevens and Grdnic All of your favorite heart-warming country tunes, including "Has Anybody Seen My Money?" Kinda gets ya right here!
Brush Up Your Shakespeare Kiss Me, Kate (OC 1949) Harry Clark, Jack Diamond While hanging out backstage in hopes of "leaning on" a cast member with gambling debts, a pair of tough guys express their appreciation for The Bard.
Dear Old Syracuse The Boys From Syracuse (studio cast, 1953) Jack Cassidy From a studio recording of the score produced for Columbia Records by Goddard Lieberson. The original premiered 11/23/1938 and ran only 235 performances. The show was also filmed in 1940 with Allan Jones, Joe ("Wanna buy a duck?") Penner, Eric Blore and Martha Raye, among others. The Boys From Syracuse is based on Comedy of Errors, as was a short-lived 1981 musical Oh, Brother.
Balcony Scene / Tonight Leonard Bernstein's New York (1996) Mandy Patinkin, Dawn Upshaw, Orchestra of St. Luke's / Eric Stern From West Side Story (1957) based, of course, on Romeo and Juliet. Interestingly enough, the show was originally to be titled East Side Story and was to concern a Jewish boy's star-crossed romance with an Italian Catholic girl.
Tonight (Quintet and Chorus) West Side Story (OC 1957) Chita Rivera, Larry Kert, Mickey Calin, Carol Lawrence, Company This occurs just before The Rumble, the violent dance sequence that concludes Act I.
Hold, Lingel, Hold Shakespeare's Musick (1995) Musicians of the Globe / Philip Pickett The song is from Henry IV, Part 2. The composer is the ubiquitous A. Nony Mous.
Elena Kean (OC 1961) Alfred Drake, Company With music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest (Kismet, Song of Norway), Kean is based on a play by Jean-Paul Sartre about the legendary British Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean. Here, Kean muses on his frustrated love for Countess Elena de Koeberg while waiting to star in Romeo and Juliet.
It Was a Lover and His Lass Shakespeare's Musick (1995) Musicians of the Globe / Philip Pickett Let's not forget that the plays had music in them originally. From As You Like It, this setting is by Thomas Morley (1557 or 58 - 1602)
It Was a Lover and His Lass Liebeslieder Polkas (1980) Swarthmore College Chorus; Anne Epperson, David Oei, Prof. Peter Schickele, pianists This setting (for two pianos, five hands) is by the last and least of J.S. Bach's children, P.D.Q. Bach (1807 - 1742?) and was "discovered" by Professor Peter Schickele of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, who should know better.
Disco Record Offer Somewhere Over the Radio Stevens and Grdnic Never thought you could disco to "Bridge Over Troubled Water"? Now you CAN!

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.

 Back to Playlists  |   Previous Show— Jesus Christ! (April 14, 2004)   |   Next Show— New and Improved May 12, 2004) 
 KDHX FM 88.1