Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gershwin, Mcgovern, Giford|
Of Thee I Sing/Let 'em Eat Cake (1987 Studio Recording)
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Of Thee I Sing/Let 'Em Eat Cake was one of the leading recordings during the Gershwin CD revival of the late 1980s. Led by Gershwin expert Michael Tilson Thomas using some newly discovered materials, it resuscitated two n... more »
Of Thee I Sing/Let 'Em Eat Cake was one of the leading recordings during the Gershwin CD revival of the late 1980s. Led by Gershwin expert Michael Tilson Thomas using some newly discovered materials, it resuscitated two nearly forgotten satires from the 1930s sung by casts who were better able to capture the spirit of the music than the opera stars who were in vogue at the time. Larry Kert (the original Tony in West Side Story) played goofy U.S. presidential candidate John P. Wintergreen, who decides to run his campaign on a theme of love. He promises to marry the winner of a beauty contest, only to reject her (played by Paige O'Hara) for secretary Mary Turner (played by cabaret singer Maureen McGovern), in great part because Mary can make corn muffins. Jack Gilford is his hapless vice president candidate Throttlebottom. The story is silly fun (who can forget the Supreme Court's question of "Which is more important, corn muffins or justice?") and the great songs include "Who Cares," "Love Is Sweeping the Country," and the title tune. The second disc features the follow-up musical, Let 'Em Eat Cake with the same principal characters plus a fiery revolutionary played by David Garrison. It's not as fun as Of Thee I Sing nor is its score as memorable ("More" is the only standard that emerged). But the two-disc set is an impressive achievement, and paved the way for the even more comprehensive and scholarly series of Nonesuch Gershwin recordings a few years later. --David Horiuchi
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MOVIE MAVEN | New York, NY USA | 10/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OF THEE I SING was the first musical comedy to win the Pulitzer Prize. It is easy to see why it won when you listen to this incredibly fine concert version from 1987, fifty years after the show was originally produced on Broadway. It is also interesting that in the Gershwins' satire there are targets which still crop up today: the Supreme Court meddling where it does not belong; voters depending on a spinmeister to choose them a candidate; ("He's the one the people choose/loves the Irish and the Jews"); The President's sex life getting more publicity than what he actually does for his country, etc. In case this all sounds heavy going, there is song after song by the incomparable George and Ira Gershwin including "Love Is Sweeping The Country," "Who Cares?" and the jubilant title love song.There is plenty of comedy too in Vice President Throttlebottom played by wonderful Jack Gilford and President Wintergreen's intended, Diana Devereaux, played and sung terrifically by Paige O'Hara. The President chooses to marry all-American Mary Turner instead of the sexy, French Devereaux because of the way Mary makes corn muffins which causes a rift in American/Franco relations. Wintergreen and his Mary are sung beautifully by Larry Kert and Maureen McGovern.The second CD holds OF THEE I SING's sequel LET 'EM EAT CAKE which is more bitter, more cynical and contains fewer Gershwin hit songs; only "Mine" has become a standard. But every moment on both CD's is not only listenable, but a musical gem. In these performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music the orchestra (led by Michael Tilson Thomas) and the chorus do great work.Feeling patriotic lately? You could do alot worse than buying these delightful CD's. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
Great shows !
Ericbutruille | LYON, France | 03/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Honestly, I absolutely cannot understand why these 2 masterpieces by the Gershwins are not part of standars musical repertoire, given the great qualities of the music and the immortal lucidity of the satire of the american political intitutions.
Waiting for the next great revival of these shows, Sony should AT LEAST reissue these recordings, which, in spite of the absence of spoken dialogues, are markstones of American musical theater."