Dismissable Show, But Lyrics Not to be Missed
Kenneth Jones | New York City | 05/29/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This silly, frivolous show will never rank as more than mediocre, but don't miss some choice lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, one of only a few women to write Broadway musicals ("Wildcat" and "Little Me" were her other contributions, and she memorably wrote pop songs "Witchcraft," "The Best is Yet to Come" and "You Fascinate Me So" with Cy Coleman). She is frisky, smart and alert in "How Now" and recalls Lorenz Hart and Yip Harburg with her wordplay and her penchant for bending the language. When city women yearn for brutish men of yore instead of stock brokers in "They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore," they sing: "Where's my Henry? Where's Atilla? Where's that trusty ol' lusty gorilla? Where's that lovely Greek god among civilized men who'd come on now and then like Godzilla?" If Broadway lyricists interest you, this is a tiny treasure."
How now great score
RareRare | 10/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't believe the nay-sayers about this score. Indeed the script and idea were poor but this is the only existing Broadway score by the talented Elmer Bernstein and one of the few sets of lyrics by Carolyn Leigh. "How Now Dow Jones" falls somewhere between "How to Succeed" and "Promises, Promises." Neither of these shows have an outstanding score, but then how do you write musical comedy for the office set? And Carolyn Leigh was a superb lyricist. She worked with Cy Coleman on "Little Me" and should have worked with him on "Sweet Charity," because the latter show's score is another dreg up of hip 1960's New York and Broadway. What Elmer Bernstein brought to "How Now Dow Jones" was savvy and class. Here are some of the best songs for theatre written in that period. "Walk Away" is a luscious ballad and "He's Here" is a great comedy song. For a show stopper there's "Step To the Rear" and the chorale-like "Richer is Better." In fact, there are lots of fugal choral composition, two good duets for the leads "Live a Little" and "Touch and Go." They both are cock-eyed love duets of the late 60's. The theatre was about to experience a great upheaval with rock and the experimentation of Sondheim and Prince, and Bernstein and Leigh were really reaching for something new, something rather neo-classical on the Broadway stage."