If Love Were All [Original Cast Recording]

If Love Were All [Original Cast Recording]

     
 
Noël Coward's musicals are not frequently revived, but his songs have been used in musical revues and anthologies, and If Love Were All, which ran off-Broadway in 1999, Coward's centennial year, had a particularly strong lineage, having been assembled by Coward associate Sheridan Morley. Morley focused on Coward's relationship

Overview

Noël Coward's musicals are not frequently revived, but his songs have been used in musical revues and anthologies, and If Love Were All, which ran off-Broadway in 1999, Coward's centennial year, had a particularly strong lineage, having been assembled by Coward associate Sheridan Morley. Morley focused on Coward's relationship to actress/singer Gertrude Lawrence, onstage in vehicles he wrote with her in mind and offstage in a lifelong platonic friendship. Coward was a prolific memoirist, so there was no lack of first-person material. Shoehorning songs written for other purposes into the story line was more of a challenge, and here Morley was not as successful. In the two-character show, Harry Groener, playing Coward, frequently outlined some aspect of his or Lawrence's life, then led into a song he or Twiggy sang alone or together. (Groener and Twiggy, who have each starred on Broadway in shows of George Gershwin music, have a demonstrated affinity for show tunes.) Morley chose Coward's best-known songs -- "Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs. Worthington," "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," "Mad About the Boy," etc. -- and, of course, they worked, whether or not they really fit. It's too bad, though, that Groener, not Twiggy, sang "Poor Little Rich Girl," which Lawrence actually scored a hit record with after she sang it in the Charlot Revue of 1926. What really matter, though, are the performances, and as heard on the cast album, Groener and Twiggy, fronting a four-piece band, effectively render the Coward material. The show makes clear that Coward and Lawrence didn't work together that much or even see that much of each other in an acquaintance lasting 40 years, but Coward's remarks are equally clear about his affection for her, and their mutual esteem makes the show and its cast album something more than another excellent recording of Coward's best songs.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/05/1999
Label:
Varese Sarabande
UPC:
0030206608328
catalogNumber:
6083

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