Oh, Kay! [1994 Studio Cast]

Oh, Kay! [1994 Studio Cast]

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This is the fifth in a series of studio cast recordings of Gershwin musicals sponsored by the Gershwin estate through its Roxbury Recordings label, as issued by Nonesuch. As with such previous efforts, like the 1990 recording of Strike Up the Band, Roxbury president Tommy Krasker has opted to "restore" Oh, Kay! not by trying to

Overview

This is the fifth in a series of studio cast recordings of Gershwin musicals sponsored by the Gershwin estate through its Roxbury Recordings label, as issued by Nonesuch. As with such previous efforts, like the 1990 recording of Strike Up the Band, Roxbury president Tommy Krasker has opted to "restore" Oh, Kay! not by trying to re-create what an original Broadway cast album might have sounded like if one had been made just after the show opened on November 8, 1926, but rather to gather together all of the available materials relating to the show and then assemble a composite version to his own satisfaction. In this case, that means this Oh, Kay! is probably closer to what preview audiences saw in Philadelphia than what the opening night crowd saw in New York. Krasker points out that the show ran long in tryout and that some of the early material was cut and some resequenced; he has restored songs like "The Moon Is on the Sea" and "When Our Ship Comes Sailing In" that were cut out of town and moved the hit ballad "Someone to Watch Over Me" back to the first act. What may matter more to modern listeners is the curious casting for the recording, a mixture of Broadway singers, opera singers, and actors. In 1955, when Goddard Lieberson made the first studio cast recording of Oh, Kay! at Columbia Records, he used the Broadway star Jack Cassidy in the leading male role of Jimmy Winter. Thirty-nine years later, Cassidy's son Patrick Cassidy, also a Broadway performer, is in this one, but in the relatively minor role of Larry Potter, which, however, does allow him to sing one of the better-known songs, the gospel rave-up "Clap Yo' Hands." If only he had been allowed to follow more closely in his father's footsteps. Instead, Jimmy is sung by opera singer Kurt Ollmann, who overdoes the part. His counterpart is another opera singer, Dawn Upshaw, playing the title character. Upshaw makes more of an effort to play the material than Ollmann, but she is still a more interested in her vocal quality than in her characterization. This is especially odd given that the role was written for the pitch-challenged Gertrude Lawrence. Along with the opera singers, however, are actors who can barely carry a tune. The contrast is greatest in "Ain't It Romantic," which Upshaw shares with actor Adam Arkin, who not only can't sing, but also is aggressively playing a gangster character. Maybe the dichotomy is supposed to be funny, but it's really just strange. The recording, thus, is worthwhile more as an academic exercise than for listening pleasure.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/16/1995
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597936124
catalogNumber:
79361

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kevin Cole   Piano,Dancer
Fritz Weaver   Track Performer
Patrick Cassidy   Track Performer
Orchestra of St. Luke's   Performing Ensemble
Dawn Upshaw   Track Performer
Willie Blount   Clarinet
Ronald Carbone   Viola
Philip Chaffin   Tenor (Vocal)
Melanie Feld   Oboe
Chris Gekker   Trumpet
Evelyn Halus   Soprano (Vocal)
John Redsecker   Drums
Marilyn Reynolds   Violin
Scott Thompson   Bass (Vocal),Dancer
Roberta Wall   Soprano (Vocal)
Carl Albach   Trumpet
Christoph Franzgrote   Violin
Maya Gunji   Percussion
Liz Larsen   Track Performer
Myron Lutzke   Cello
Stephen Taylor   Oboe
Mitsuru Tsubota   Violin
Michael Powell   Trombone
Eric Stern   Conductor
Elizabeth Mann   Flute
Christian Nova   Tenor (Vocal)
John Feeney   Bass
Anca Nicolau   Violin
Kurt Ollmann   Track Performer
William Purvis   French Horn
Joseph Thalken   Piano
Robert Westenberg   Track Performer
Susan Shumway   Violin
Steve Steiner   Bass (Vocal)
Robert DuSold   Bass (Vocal)
Adam Arkin   Track Performer
Stacey Logan   Track Performer
Charlie Jones   Tenor (Vocal)
Gerhardt Koch   Clarinet
Susan Lucci   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Stan Freberg   Composer
Leonard Bernstein   Composer
George Gershwin   Composer
Miklós Rózsa   Composer
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky   Composer
Paul Davis   Composer
Trevor Rabin   Composer
Michel Legrand   Composer
Larry Young   Composer
Nick LaRocca   Composer
Johnny Costa   Art Direction
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Harold Rome   Composer
Buck Ram   Composer
John Kander   Composer
Jerry Ross   Composer
Richard Adler   Composer
Richard Barrett   Composer
Barney Bigard   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Howard Dietz   Composer,Lyricist
Ira Gershwin   Librettist,Composer
Robert Hurwitz   Executive Producer
Tommy Krasker   Producer,Liner Notes
Tom Lazarus   Engineer
Mark Mancina   Composer
John McClure   Producer
Paul Ryder   Composer
Shaun Ryder   Composer
Larry Shields   Composer
David Shire   Composer
Gary Whelan   Composer
George Goldner   Composer
Bez   Composer
Evan Ross   Liner Notes
Lee Davis   Liner Notes
Thomas Lazarus   Engineer
John William Costa   Artwork
A. Barrett   Composer
Mark Day   Composer
Richie Barrett   Composer
Janet Gari   Composer

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