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May 26, 2004

Another edition of our recurring feature focusing on musical theatre on local stages. This time you get tracks from Gypsy (at Stages through the end of June), Jesus Christ Superstar (at the Fox through June 6th), and Carmen Jones, Oscar Hammerstein II's 1944 revision of Carmen. Opera Theatre is doing the original through June 26th. But wait, there's more: new re-releases of soundtrack recordings from Dances With Wolves (1990) and The Chase (1966).

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Horror Scopes The Dead Alewives web site (now deceased) The Dead Alewives Now, a horoscope that just might save your life. The Dead Alewives are a Wisconsin-based comedy group that may or may not be - well - dead. Their web site no longer exists. Anyone who has any information them is invited to drop me a line.
I Don't Know How to Love Him Jesus Christ Superstar (1969) Yvonne Elliman In this performance from the original concept album, Mary Magdalene wrestles with her confused feelings about Jesus. Elliman also played the role on Broadway in 1971.and again in the 1973 film. A national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar plays the Fox through June 6th. Read my review!
If Mama Was Married Sondheim: A Musical Tribute (1973) Alice Playten and Virginia Sandifur The song is from Gypsy (1959), which opens a one-month run at Stages on May 28th. Mama Rose's daughters fantasize about what life would be like if she would finally marry her long-suffering lover Herbie. This recording is from a special all-star Sondheim tribute concert from March 11, 1973 that was also a benefit for The National Hemophilia Foundation.
L'Amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) Maria Callas Sings Great Arias From French Opera (1961) Maria Callas, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Franaise conducted by Georges Prêtre Like many of the famous numbers in Carmen, this uses a Spanish dance form for the emlody. Carmen warns the drooling male population of Seville: "Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime; mais si je t’aime, prends garde à toi" ("If you do not love me, I love you; but if I love you, beware"). Don Jose doesn't listen and winds up a thief and a murderer. The Opera Theatre of St. Louis production of Carmen runs through June 26th. Read my review!
Dat's Love Carmen Jones (OC 1944) Muriel Smith Oscar Hammerstein II's 1944 musical Carmen Jones transplants Bizet's Carmen from Spain in the 1870s to America in 1944. The action takes place in and around a parachute factory in the south and all the characters are African Americans. Bizet's music is basically unchanged but Hammerstein gave it new lyrics and the characters new names. "Dat's Love" is set to the tune of the famous "Habanera" from Act I of the original and has a similar warning ("If I love you, dat's de end of you").
Spotting the Herd Dances With Wolves (OS 1990) Orchestra conducted by John Barry Kevin Costner starred and made his directing debut in this unusual Western about an idealistic Civil War soldier who makes friends with and eventually joins a Sioux tribe. The score is by film veteran John Barry (best known for his many James Bond soundtracks) and contains his characteristic harmonic and orchestral trademarks.
The Buffalo Hunt (film version) Dances With Wolves (OS 1990) Orchestra conducted by John Barry Like the previous cut, this one was previously un-released. This re-release of the complete score includes tracks deleted from the original as well as expanded versions of some cues.
Main Title (Alternate Version) The Chase (OS 1966) Orchestra conducted by John Barry This adaptation of a Horton Foote novel starred Robert Redford as an escaped prisoner pursued by the local Sheriff (Marlon Brando). Director Arthur Penn, screenwriter Lillian Hellman and producer Sam Spiegel were in a constant state of conflict and the resulting film is not generally considered a success. This re-release of John Barry's score includes tracks not in the original, like this one.
The Chase The Chase (OS 1966) Orchestra conducted by John Barry Although the film was set in Texas, the score was recorded in London (Barry's home turf).
Gloria Peterbilt Somewhere Over the Radio Stevens and Grdnic If your jeans were this tight, you'd sound like her, too.

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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