CD The Boy Friend [Original Broadway Cast] (CD 670651),
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The Boy Friend [Original Broadway Cast]
Original London Cast
1. Boy Friend: Overture, The
2. Boy Friend: Perfect Young Ladies, The
3. Boy Friend: The Boy Friend, The
4. Boy Friend: Won't You Charleston With Me?, The
5. Boy Friend: Fancy Forgetting, The
6. Boy Friend: I Could Be Happy With You, The
7. Boy Friend: Sur la Plage, The
8. Boy Friend: A Room in Bloomsbury, The
9. Boy Friend: It's Nicer in Nice, The
10. Boy Friend: You Don't Want to Play With Me Blues, The
11. Boy Friend: The Riviera, The
12. Boy Friend: It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love, The
13. Boy Friend: Carnival Tango, The
14. Boy Friend: Poor Little Pierrette, The
15. Boy Friend: Finale: The Boy Friend / I Could Be Happy With You, The
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 60056
Composer/Lyricist: Sandy Wilson .
Audio Remasterers: Didier C. Deutsch; Paul Goodman .
Liner Note Author: Bill Rosenfield.
Recording information: RCA Studio 2, New York, NY (10/10/1954).
Unknown Contributor Role: Didier C. Deutsch.
The Boy Friend is billed on the cover of the original Broadway cast album as "a musical comedy of the 1920s," which is not the same thing as being a musical comedy actually written and produced in the '20s; in fact, composer/lyricist/librettist Sandy Wilson's show originated as a pastiche of '20s musicals like No, No, Nanette for the delectation of members of a London theater club in 1953, then was expanded for a West End production and finally imported to Broadway starting on September 30, 1954. Wilson knew his sources well, and the songs heard here have obvious antecedents to the work of Jerome Kern, Rodgers & Hart, Nol Coward, and Irving Berlin. The cast has been replaced entirely from the London version with a combination of British and American performers. There are also other changes from the first cast recording issued in the U.K. by HMV Records. The piano/bass/drums trio that served as accompaniment has been replaced by the 13-piece jazz band Paul McGrane & His Bearcats, and the score has lost one song ("It's Nice in Nice") and gained two ("The 'You-Don't-Want-to-Play-with-Me' Blues" and "Safety in Numbers"), which were actually in the British production but didn't fit onto the 10" LP. (Also due to the time restrictions on the short HMV recording, the versions of the songs that are common to both albums are given more complete performances on the Broadway disc.) But there are really two main differences. First, while the London cast clearly had their tongues in their cheeks, the New York one is playing things a bit straighter. It's not that they are investing the deliberately lightweight, formulaic material with any real conviction, just that they are performing it as if it were a real period show, without emphasizing the three decades that have ensued since the '20s. Second, the ingnue is played by 19-year-old Julie Andrews in her Broadway and American recording debut. Her warm, precisely articulated British voice makes an immediate impression in the title song as well as "I Could Be Happy with You" and the Coward-like "A Room in Bloomsbury," marking the emergence of a major talent in the musical theater. With these advantages, the original Broadway cast recording of The Boy Friend is actually an improvement on the London version. ~ William Ruhlmann
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