"I was one of the people lucky enough to see this show on Broadway and loved it. The music on the CD is wonderful. I was not impressed with the liner notes because they tell of Alan Jay Lerner's problems producing the show instead of giving the listener an idea of the plot. William Daniel is interested in climbing in the corporate world so he sends his fiancee, Daisy, to a Psychiatrist to help her stop smoking. The Psychiatrist is John Cullum. While he is hynotizing her to stop smoking, she goes into a past life where she was Melinda, a refined but put upon young woman. During the past sequences, the music is beautiful. I was especially impressed with Clifford David who sings on a bare stage. I expected him to have a big career. The news gets out so a millionaire comes to the Doctor to find out how he can leave his money to himself when he is born again. William Daniel is trying to explain to Daisy that though they are in their 20's, life will be sweet after he retires. John Collum is in love with Melinda which upsets Daisy, but he finally decides they are are the same woman and wants her. In the Finale they get together. I hope this brief summary helps someone who is listening to the gorgeous Burton Lane music and clever Alan Jay Lerner lyrics enjoy the CD more."
A beautiful recording of a sadly-underrated score
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 12/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great recording of a sadly under-rated score, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER is one of those cult musicals that needs to be rediscovered.Opening at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on October 17, 1965, it ran for a moderate 280 performances. The main reason why the show never worked properly was the weakness of the book; which was magnified a hundred times by the greatness of the score and the powerhouse performances given by stars Barbara Harris and John Cullum.The story concerns dizzy Daisy Gamble who is put under hypnosis by Dr Mark Bruckner; who uncovers her past life as an 18th century woman called Melinda Welles. Mark finds himself falling in love with the elusive Melinda, while Daisy finds herself increasingly attracted to Mark.Barbara Harris shines in her Tony-nominated performance (she lost to Angela Lansbury for MAME). She gives delightful and spirited readings of the songs "Hurry It's Lovely Up Here", "On the SS Bernard Cohn", "Tosy and Cosh" and her crowning moment in "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?"; it is reason enough to love the Broadway musicals.A fantastic, endlessly-enjoyable recording."
Terrific cast, fine score, lousy book
Janet Collins | 03/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That pretty well sums up the take of most Broadway historians regarding ON A CLEAR DAY. And it remains fairly spot-on: if you listen to this, you might wonder why such terrific songs (especially that amazing title number--one of the most original and beautiful ever written) and such gifted leads did not produce a Broadway smash hit, but if you read the liner notes explaining the plot you'll know why in a second. There's no second act to speak of, and the book showcases Lerner's misogyny in full force (the plot hinges on the psychiatrist hero having to decide whether or not the heroine is as interesting as his idealized dream girl from the past).Still, that being said, the score is terrific. "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here" and "On the S. S. Bernard Cohn" are two of the most charming character songs Lerner or Lane ever wrote, and Barbara Harris absolutely shines in both of them. She only did one Broadway show after this one, and theatregoers are still mourning what a loss that has been--she's sweet and warm and singular, but never overdoes her kooky charm. Get this recording just to hear her and Cullum."
Delightful score, enlivened by some first rate performances
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 03/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After Fritz Loewe retired, Alan Jay Lerner tried to team with composer Richard Rodgers (who had recently lost Oscar Hammerstein to cancer.) It was a match seemingly made in heaven that quickly deteriorated, it is claimed, due to Lerner's erratic work habits. Lerner took the idea next to Burton Lane, a gifted and very under rated composer. Together they created an enjoyable score that never quite fit with Lerner's awkward book. Still, it's the score that is heard on the CD and for the most part, it is a total delight. This original cast recording (starring the wonderful Barbara Harris and in his first starring role the equally wonderful John Cullum) comes with a good set of notes by Ken Madelbaum and a detailed synopsis to take you through the story song by song."