Applause [Original Broadway Cast]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Applause was the biggest hit to emerge from the 1969-70 Broadway musical season. An adaptation of the classic 1950 film All About Eve, it told the story of aging Broadway star, Margo Channing, and her scheming protégée Eve Harrington. In the movie, Margo had been played by 42-year-old Bette Davis, and Eve by Anne Baxter. Onstage, it was 45-year-old Lauren Bacall, making her musical theater debut, and Penny Fuller. The book was by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (for once not writing lyrics), while the score was by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, whose only previous hit was Bye Bye Birdie (though Golden Boy had a respectable run). The show was a triumph for Bacall, who won...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Applause was the biggest hit to emerge from the 1969-70 Broadway musical season. An adaptation of the classic 1950 film All About Eve, it told the story of aging Broadway star, Margo Channing, and her scheming protégée Eve Harrington. In the movie, Margo had been played by 42-year-old Bette Davis, and Eve by Anne Baxter. Onstage, it was 45-year-old Lauren Bacall, making her musical theater debut, and Penny Fuller. The book was by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (for once not writing lyrics), while the score was by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, whose only previous hit was Bye Bye Birdie (though Golden Boy had a respectable run). The show was a triumph for Bacall, who won the Tony for best actress, and it also created a star in Bonnie Franklin, who sang the title song (which became a minor standard) and went on to the 1975 TV series One Day at a Time. Solidly written and directed, Applause won the Tony for best musical and ran just short of 900 performances. (It didn't hurt that the producers had the clever idea of replacing Bacall with Anne Baxter, now old enough to play Margo instead of Eve.) As the cast album reveals, however, the weak spot in the show was the score, which is traditional-sounding and pedestrian. Not known as a singer, Bacall hasn't much range, but the songs have been tailored for her limitations, so that's not a problem. The problem is a lack of originality. You only have to compare it to Stephen Sondheim's score for Company, which opened less than a month later, to hear the death throes of an old Broadway and the sparkling birth of a new one. This may help explain why there were no major revivals of Applause after the initial production (though there was a 1971 national tour, a 1972 London production, and a 1973 TV broadcast, all featuring Bacall) and why the original Broadway cast album, the only recording of the score, went out of print by the dawn of the CD era. It took until after the show's 30th anniversary for the Universal Music Group, inheritor of the old ABC Records catalog, to get around to reissuing it on CD for the first time on its Decca Broadway label on October 17, 2000. The reissue featured four valuable bonus tracks, all demonstration recordings by composer Charles Strouse made prior to the production. Strouse sang and played the title song along with three songs ultimately cut from the show that suggested the part of Howard Benedict, a combination of the film characters Max Fabian (Margo's producer) and Addison De Witt (the sinister critic played by George Sanders), may have been bigger in the early stages of the writing. "The Loneliest Man in Town" seemed to be a solo song for this character, and "God Bless" was a bitchy duet for him and Margo. "Smashing N.Y. Times," meanwhile, revealed the impact of reviews on the lives of the characters. All the cut songs were good enough to have been in the show, and they provided a fascinating glimpse into the creative process.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2000
  • Label: Decca U.S.
  • UPC: 601215940428
  • Catalog Number: 159404
  • Sales rank: 6,202

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Overture
  2. 2 Backstage Babble @@Frist Nighters
  3. 3 Think How it's Gonna Be - Len Cariou
  4. 4 But Alive - Lauren Bacall
  5. 5 The Best Night of my Life - Penny Fuller
  6. 6 Who's That Girl? - Penny Fuller
  7. 7 Applause - Bonnie Franklin
  8. 8 Hurry Back - Lauren Bacall
  9. 9 Fasten Your Seat Belts - Robert Mandan
  10. 10 Welcome to the Theatre - Lauren Bacall
  11. 11 Good Friends - Brandon Maggart
  12. 12 She's No Longer a Gypsy - Bonnie Franklin
  13. 13 One of a Kind - Lauren Bacall
  14. 14 One Hallowe'en - Penny Fuller
  15. 15 Something Greater - Lauren Bacall
  16. 16 Finale - Company
  17. 17 Applause (demo) - Charles Strouse
  18. 18 The Loneliest Man in Town (demo) - Charles Strouse
  19. 19 Smashing N.Y. Times (demo) - Charles Strouse
  20. 20 God Bless (demo) - Charles Strouse
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ann Williams Vocals
Len Cariou Vocals
Don Pippin Conductor, Performing Ensemble
Charles Strouse Piano, Vocals
Lauren Bacall Vocals
The Gypsies Track Performer
Lee Roy Reams Vocals
Bonnie Franklin Vocals
Penny Fuller Vocals
Brandon Maggart Vocals
Robert Mandan Vocals
Mel Marvin Tap Dance
Donald Pippn & Orchestra Conductor
Donald Pippin Conductor
Ronnie Franklin Vocals
Technical Credits
Lenny Williams Contributor
Ann Williams Story
Len Cariou Contributor, Story
Don Pippin Vocal Arrangements, Musical Director
Lee Adams Producer
Robert Arnold Producer, Engineer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Betty Comden Liner Notes, Book
Adolph Green Liner Notes, Book
Philip J. Lang Orchestration
Charles Strouse Producer
Lauren Bacall Contributor
Max O. Preeo Liner Notes
Penny Bennett Art Direction
LuAnn Graffeo Reissue Design
Lu Ann Graffen Reissue Design
Lee Roy Reams Story
Charles J. Roberts Executive Producer
Henry Epstein Cover Design
Brian Drutman Reissue Producer
Ray Aghayan Costume Design
Ron Field Director, Choreographer
Bonnie Franklin Story
Penny Fuller Contributor, Story
Brandon Maggart Contributor, Story
Robert Mandan Contributor, Story
Mel Marvin Arranger
Mary Orr Story
Daniel Pezza Cover Design
Clyde Smith Cover Art
Robert Randolph Scenery
Lee Adams Producer
Chris Roberts Executive Producer
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