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July 26, 2005

Enough with the Stage Leftovers, already. Rehersals are over, the shows are up and running, and it's time to listen to some new stuff, including the original cast recordings of The Light in the Piazza, The Broadway Musicals of 1926 (from the Town Hall Broadway by the Year series) and a recording of Stephen Sondheim singing his own music, along with a two-disc set of previously unreleased soundtrack recordings by Wendy Carlos. Ironically, this show of new releases is also Stage Left's last, at least in this time slot.

PLAYLIST
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Mel Brewer's Insomnia Time, Part 1 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Bill Murray, Christopher Guest Guest Ron Fields discovers the latest music trend.
Sperm Whale Song The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Christopher Guest, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Paul Jacobs It's whaling songs!
Mel Brewer's Insomnia Time, Part 2 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Bill Murray, Christopher Guest Ron leaves a little payola for Mel and departs.
Chase Music Rediscovering Lost Scores Wendy Carlos Carlos was the first composer/musician to make it big with what was then called "electronic" music in 1968 with her Switched-On Bach LP. The album propelled the Moog synthesizer into the public consciousness and won three Grammy Awards for Carlos (who was then male and known as Walter Carlos). Her official bio makes no mention of when the sex-change operations took place and it is, in any case, somewhat irrelevant. These tracks are al from her score for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980). Like the rest of the tracks on this two-disc set, they've never been released before now.
Horror Show Rediscovering Lost Scores Wendy Carlos
Nocturnal Valse Triste Rediscovering Lost Scores Wendy Carlos
The Children of Peru Rediscovering Lost Scores Wendy Carlos These tracks were composed by Carlos and her long-time producer Rachel Elkind for a series of UNICEF documentaries in the 1970s
Tanzanian Scenes Rediscovering Lost Scores Wendy Carlos
Trinitron Rediscovering Lost Scores Wendy Carlos This is from Tron (1982)
Overture The Light in the Piazza (OC 2005) Orchestra conducted by Ted Sperling The Light in the Piazza takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson (Victoria Clark), the wife of a well-heeled American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara (Kelli O'Hara). While sightseeing, Clara-a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman-loses her hat in a sudden gust. As if guided by an unseen hand, the hat lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine, who returns it to Clara. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio.

Margaret, extremely protective of her daughter, attempts to keep Clara and Fabrizio apart. As The Light in the Piazza unfolds, a secret is revealed: in addition to the cultural differences between the young lovers, Clara is not quite all that she appears. Unable to suppress the truth about her daughter, Margaret is forced to reconsider not only Clara's future, but her own hopes as well.
Statues and Stories The Light in the Piazza (OC 2005) Victoria Clark, Kelli O'Hara The overture flows right into this first scene, in which Margaret and Clara arrive in Italy and marvel at the sights.
The Light in the Piazza The Light in the Piazza (OC 2005) Kelli O'Hara Clara lets us know that she's in love in this title song.
Let's Walk The Light in the Piazza (OC 2005) Mark Harelik, Victoria Clark After Clara has had a bit of a nervous breakdown and her disturbed history comes out, Margaret and Fabrizio's father Signor Naccaarelli (Mark Harelick) have a heart-to-heart talk.
Boom Dot Bust Boom Dot Bust The Firesign Theatre From US Whatgate Plus!
Invocation Sondheim Sings Stephen Sondheim This was originally the opening number for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It was cut because the director couldn't hum the tune (!) but bits of the lyric made it into the final opening number, "Comedy Tonight".
Miracle Song Sondheim Sings Stephen Sondheim This and the next two cuts were written from Sondheim's 1964 flop Anyone Can Whistle which deals with (among other things) Mayor Cora Hoover Hooper schemes to revive her town's economy by faking a miracle. This song made the final cut.
The Lame, the Halt and the Blind Sondheim Sings Stephen Sondheim This one didn't. Which is a pity, because it's a clever send-up of religious hucksterism.
Pleasant Little Kingdom Sondheim Sings Stephen Sondheim This was cut from Follies.
Send in the Clowns Sondheim Sings Stephen Sondheim Sondheim made this recording for his Aunt Marienne's birthday in 1980.
Lemon Car Give Us a Break Proctor and Bergman Can you count how many calypso/reggae songs are parodied? I got around 6 but I may have missed one.
Onion Radio News 45 The Onion's Finest News Reporting Doyle Redland The NRA changes its focus from weapons to penmanship.
My Drugs are Red, White and Blue G.O.P. Party Monsters Wayne Lammers and Pete Levin Celebrity junkie Rush Limbaugh tells all!
Mechanical Objects Standup Comic Woody Allen Woody discusses his inability to relate to mechanical objects
The Moose Standup Comic Woody Allen Woody goes hunting, with disastrous results
Private Life Standup Comic Woody Allen From a set at Mr. Kelly's in Chicago in March of 1964, Woody updates us on his surreal private life.
It Pays to Advertise The Broadway Musicals of 1926 Eddie Korbich The comedy number about the advertising business is still surprisingly fresh today. It's from the B.G. DeSylva/Lewis Gender show Queen High.
I Would Like to Fondle You The Broadway Musicals of 1926 Marc Kudisch The word was somewhat less suggestive in 1926 than it is now. This is from Castles in the Air by Raymond Peck and Percy Weinrich.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes The Broadway Musicals of 1926 Sutton Foster, Nancy Anderson, Nancy Opel This one is also from Queen High. The musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (based on the Anita Loos novel and play) wouldn't appear until 1949.
Don't Fall in Love With Me The Broadway Musicals of 1926 Marc Kudisch This song and the next one are from Herman Hupfeld's The Merry World. This is their first recording.
Sort O' Lonesome The Broadway Musicals of 1926 Nancy Anderson Hupfeld is best known now and the composer of "As Time Goes By", but his work was often featured in Broadway revues, from this one in 1926 to Ziegfeld Follies of 1957.
If You Knew Susie The Broadway Musicals Cut-Outs Walker Jones Although Al Jolson introduced this in Big Boy (1925), it was the later Eddie Cantor version that became a hit.
How High the Moon The Broadway Musicals Cut-Outs John Dossett Although this is usually done as an up-tempo number, it was written as a ballad for a scene in blacked-out London during an air raid.
It's Me Again The Broadway Musicals Cut-Outs Darius DeHaas This number and the next one are both from the 1939 Lew Brown/Charles Tobias/ Sam Stept show Yokel Boy. De Haas shows off some impressive scat singing on this one.
Comes Love The Broadway Musicals Cut-Outs Annie Golden Golden vamps her way through this one in fine style.
I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio Monty Python Sings! Eric Idle Somehow this just seemed an appropriate way to end the last Stage Left episode (at least in this time slot). Thanks to any/all who have been listening since last falll; see you on the Funway.


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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