Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sammy Fain, E.Y. Harburg, Barbara Cook|
Flahooley (1951 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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WORTHY REISSUE OF CAST ALBUM WITH A WEIRD HISTORY . . .
J. T Waldmann | Carmel, IN, home to the fabulous new Regional Perf | 07/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's pointless comparing FLAHOOLEY with lyricist E.Y. (Yip) Harburg's masterpieces, FINIAN'S RAINBOW and THE WIZARD OF OZ. Although sometimes clever, the lyrics are just not up to the level of those shows. And, although Sammy Fain has written plenty of fine tunes ("You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me," "That Old Feeling," the score for CALAMITY JANE), the ones in this show are no match for OZ's Harold Arlen or FINIAN'S Burton Lane. Judging from a synopsis of the plot with its emphasis on social and political satire and supernatural magic, Harburg was trying to come up with another FINIAN, but just didn't pull it off.
However, that doesn't mean FLAHOOLEY is not a worthy show. It would be interesting to see how it would play to modern audiences, although the idea of a U.S. corporation making a deal with Arabians might be a bit touchy. And puppets played a major role in the action, long before AVENUE Q.
The show contains some lovely songs for the always-wonderful Barbara Cook in her Broadway debut, three numbers featuring the phenomenal voice of Yma Sumac, and some lively ensemble pieces. So, musically it's got quite a few things going for it. If you haven't listened to it yet, after reading the following commentary from musicalheaven.com you'll see what a daring show this was for 1951. And if you've already heard this original cast recording but were not aware of the show's history, listen again with new ears.
"For almost 25 years, the original Broadway cast recording of Flahooley, released by Capitol Records shortly after the show opened in 1951, was among the most difficult to find of all show LP's. The album disappeared quickly, and collectors shops that held on to copies charged exorbitant prices for the privilege of actually owning one of the rarest of all Broadway records. A Fantasy with underlying contemporary social and politcal satire; the targets are big business and conformity, and the show's "genie hunts" and "doll burnings" were aimed directly at the witch hunts of McCarthyism.
"With divided reviews and the release of the classic musicals The King and I, South Pacific and Kiss Me Kate which were all playing on the same block, it was annouced that the show was closing for the summer but would re-open in the fall. Flahooley never reopend having lost $160,000.
"In August and September of 1952 a revised version under a new name called Jollyanna and was presented in San Francisco and Los Angeles Civic Light Operas. New material was created by William Friml and Burton Lane and most of the political spoofing and social significance were jettisoned."
Enjoy! (Thank you, DRG.)
A resounding success for a resounding flop
Ghettoelf | New Haven, CT | 07/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Flahooley, if you've read some of the other reviews, has got to be the most (in)famous flop, next to "Carrie". I bought this album because I am an avid collector of showtunes, but I was quite pleased with the recording. The sound quality is quite good, as the manufacturer opted (thankfully) to update the sound to stereo format. Barbara Cook sounds wonderful on this recording, but the award goes to Yma Sumac for having the most memorable songs. Sure she has no actual purpose in the show's plot, but the album is worth every cent just to hear her sing two notes in different octaves at the same time. A truly memorable performance from an otherwise generic 1950's show.Old-time Broadway fun at it's best and floppiest."
Barbara Cook in her Broadway debut!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 06/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FLAHOOLEY remains notable for being the Broadway debut of Barbara Cook in the ingenue role of Sandy, though the musical was a showcase for the amazing four-octave voice of Yma Sumac, truly one of the most fascinating singers ever. The actual cast album of 40-performance flop FLAHOOLEY has long been a collector's item. It received a brief CD edition in the early 90s which was quickly deleted and was only issued a scant few times on LP. The score by Sammy Fain and E.Y. Harburg contains several gems including "Najla's Lament", "Najla's Song of Joy" and "Birds/Enchantment" as prime showcases for the voice of Yma Sumac.Barbara Cook impresses with her charming duets with Jerome Courtland, "He's Only Wonderful" and "The World is Your Balloon"."