The Happy Time

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The Happy Time 1968 is one of those Broadway musical flops that looks like a surefire winner on paper. It was mounted by the legendary producer David Merrick. It was based on Samuel Taylor's successful 1950 Broadway play, which in turn was based on Robert L. Fontaine's novel about a boy coming of age in Canada. The director/choreographer was veteran Gower Champion. The songs were written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, coming off their hit Cabaret. It marked a return to Broadway by Canadian native Robert Goulet, who had made his breakthrough in Camelot seven years earlier and then gone on to a successful nightclub and recording career. The secondary leads were played by ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The Happy Time 1968 is one of those Broadway musical flops that looks like a surefire winner on paper. It was mounted by the legendary producer David Merrick. It was based on Samuel Taylor's successful 1950 Broadway play, which in turn was based on Robert L. Fontaine's novel about a boy coming of age in Canada. The director/choreographer was veteran Gower Champion. The songs were written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, coming off their hit Cabaret. It marked a return to Broadway by Canadian native Robert Goulet, who had made his breakthrough in Camelot seven years earlier and then gone on to a successful nightclub and recording career. The secondary leads were played by veteran David Wayne and up-and-comer Mike Rupert who, as Michael Rupert, would have a long Broadway career. It received ten Tony Award nominations and won three, one for Goulet and two for Champion. And yet, when it closed after 285 sparsely attended performances, having been kept alive by every trick the crafty Merrick could conceive, it became the first Broadway musical to lose a million dollars. How did that happen? A key to the problems, as is often true on Broadway, is the interaction between the talented principals. In Fontaine's novel and Taylor's play, the central character in The Happy Time is young Bibi, played here by Rupert. But the musical turned the story into a star vehicle for Goulet, who played the newly created character of Jacques, Bibi's older brother, a successful photographer for whom the story is taking place in his memory. Making the main character a photographer gave Champion a staging concept that included projections and films; indeed, his credit reads, "directed, filmed, and choreographed by Gower Champion." This tended to transform an intimate story about an adolescent boy into a spectacle with a larger-than-life star, and N. Richard Nash's much-criticized "book" i.e., script apparently never quite adapted to the changes. Kander and Ebb, meanwhile, seem to have been simply the wrong choice for the music. Their talents, as displayed in Cabaret, were expressed in edgy, somewhat satirical material, while The Happy Time was all warm-hearted nostalgia, and as heard on the cast album, the best they could do was a toothless batch of musical greeting cards. Goulet, Rupert, and Wayne, to their credit, make the best of this stuff, Goulet declaiming heroically and getting to show off a French-Canadian accent at times, the precocious Rupert nearly stealing "Please Stay" from him, and Wayne getting an excellent showcase in the show's best song, "The Life of the Party." This is not, however, among the most memorable work for any of them, and the album will be of interest chiefly if not exclusively to musical theater buffs and Goulet fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/10/1992
  • Label: Rca Victor Broadway
  • UPC: 090266101627
  • Catalog Number: 61016

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Happy Time - Robert Goulet (4:20)
  2. 2 He's Back (2:28)
  3. 3 Catch My Garter - Susan Sigrist (1:47)
  4. 4 Tomorrow Morning - David Wayne (2:50)
  5. 5 Please Stay - Robert Goulet (4:03)
  6. 6 I Don't Remember You/St. Pierre - Robert Goulet (3:21)
  7. 7 Without Me (3:39)
  8. 8 (Walking) Among My Yesterdays - Robert Goulet (2:59)
  9. 9 The Life of the Party - David Wayne (3:19)
  10. 10 Seeing Things - Julie Gregg (4:21)
  11. 11 A Certain Girl - David Wayne (3:04)
  12. 12 Finale - Robert Goulet (2:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Goulet Track Performer
Jeff Hamilton Choir, Chorus
Marc Anthony Choir, Chorus
Kevin Hamilton Choir, Chorus
Mark Lonergan Choir, Chorus
Gary Hamilton Choir, Chorus
Eric Hamilton Choir, Chorus
Julie Gregg Track Performer
Alan Blight Choir, Chorus
Teddy Williams Choir, Chorus
Paul Dwyer Choir, Chorus
David Wayne Track Performer
Marc Winters Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Jay Newland Remastering
Ernie Oelrich Engineer
Andy Wiswell Producer
George R. Marek Producer
Bill Rosenfield Liner Notes, Remastering
Arnold Shaw Liner Notes
Oscar Kosarin Vocal Arrangements, Musical Director
Don Walker Orchestration
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