Sony’s Masterworks Broadway division is once again opening the vaults to rescue more vintage recordings from obscurity. Over the next three months, the label will release in its made-on-demand CD-R and digital programs three Broadway related recordings: the 1969 London Cast of Off-Broadway’s Dames at Sea (making its CD premiere), 1952’s Broadway revue Two’s Company starring Bette Davis (making its U.S. CD debut) and the original recording of Sir John Gielgud’s 1958 Broadway solo Shakespeare recital, Ages of Man (making its CD premiere). You can find more details from Sony’s press release below and we’ve also got the full track listings for you after the press release!
Masterworks Broadway continues to make good on its promise to make available its extensive catalog of cast recordings with the release of three classic albums from the archives previously unavailable on CD – Dames at Sea – The Original London Cast Recording (April 14), Two’s Company (May 4), and Ages of Man (June 16). Upon release, each title will be accompanied by new album pages and photos on MasterworksBroadway.com.
A surprise hit Off-Broadway in 1968, Dames at Sea had its London debut little more than a year later. The Original London Cast Recording features an all-English cast in a lively but distinctive interpretation of the show, under original director/choreographer Neil Kenyon, with orchestral arrangements that differ from those created expressly for the Off-Broadway cast recording – perhaps closer to what was actually heard in the theater. In the role that made Bernadette Peters famous, nineteen-year-old Sheila White brings a fresh, pixie-ish quality to the optimistic showgirl Ruby. (White played Brigitta in The Sound of Music in London and, in 1969, had just appeared as Nancy Sykes’s best friend in the Oscar-winning film Oliver!). Dames at Sea has had an enduring popularity in England, and this production was the beginning of that. The Original London Cast Recording of Dames at Sea, available for the first time on CD, will be released exclusively for purchase via MasterworksBroadway.com on April 14 in a limited quantity of Manufacture-On-Demand CDs as well as digital download. The CD will be available through Arkiv Music on May 4, plus streaming and downloads via digital service providers the same day.
Bette Davis was making a triumphant return to Broadway in the 1952 revue Two’s Company … until the show began its previews, when she promptly collapsed onstage on opening night. Davis was perhaps in over her head (song, dance and comedy were not her strong points) in this otherwise charming revue, with a score largely by Vernon Duke (music) and Sammy Cahn and Ogden Nash (lyrics). Two’s Company was one of the last of the sophisticated, satirical revues, a kind of show that television killed off, and its reputation has been held hostage to Davis’s troubled involvement. But Sheldon Harnick, Horton Foote and Peter DeVries were among those contributing material to the show, and the choreographer was no less than Jerome Robbins. Hiram Sherman won a Tony for his expert comedy work in this fascinating relic of Broadway’s past. Two’s Company will be released exclusively for purchase via MasterworksBroadway.com on May 4 in a limited quantity of Manufacture-On-Demand CDs as well as digital download. The CD will be available through Arkiv Music on June 9, plus streaming and downloads via digital service providers the same day.
A legendary actor with what might have been the most expressive, musical voice in the modern English theater – “a silver trumpet muffled in silk,” in the words of Sir Alec Guinness – Sir John Gielgud had enduring success with his one-man Shakespearean evening Ages of Man. This tour de force, in which he toured for twenty years, would win him Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards. Gielgud selected excerpts from Shakespeare’s texts that dramatized the complete arc of human experience, from life to death – an unforgettable poetic journey. This recording was made after the show’s triumphant, Tony-winning Broadway debut in 1959, when Gielgud was in his artistic prime. Ages of Man, available for the first time on CD, will be released exclusively for purchase via MasterworksBroadway.com on June 16 in a limited quantity of Manufacture-On-Demand CDs as well as digital download. The CD will be available through Arkiv Music on July 13, plus streaming and downloads via digital service providers the same day.
Additionally, two Off-Broadway cast recordings receive their first official digital release on July 13: Howard Crabtree’s Whoop-Dee-Doo!, the 1993 all-male sendup of the Ziegfeld Follies and Promenade, the 1969 show with music by Al Carmines and lyrics by Maria Irene Fornes. Both titles will be available for streaming and downloads through all major digital service providers, and will be accompanied by new album pages and photos on MasterworksBroadway.com.
Original London Cast Recording, Dames at Sea (CBS 70063, 1969 – reissued Masterworks Broadway, 2015) (Arkiv Music)
- Wall Street
- It’s You
- Broadway Baby
- That Mister Man of Mine
- Choo-Choo Honeymoon
- The Sailor of My Dreams
- Singapore Sue
- Good Times are Here to Stay
- Dames at Sea
- The Beguine
- Raining In My Heart
- There’s Something About You
- The Echo Waltz
- Star Tar
- Let’s Have a Simple Wedding
Original Broadway Cast Recording, Two’s Company (RCA Victor LOC-1009, 1953 – reissued Masterworks Broadway, 2015)
- Theatre is a Lady
- Turn Me Loose on Broadway
- It Just Occurred to Me
- A Man’s Home
- Roll Along, Sadie
- Out of the Clear Blue Sky
- Haunted Hot Spot
- Purple Rose
- Just Like a Man
Sir John Gielgud, Ages of Man (Columbia Masterworks OL-5390, 1959 – reissued Masterworks Broadway, 2015)
- As You Like It: Act II, Scene 7
- The Merchant of Venice: Act V, Scene 1
- The Tempest: Act III, Scene 2
- Romeo and Juliet: Act I, Scene 4
- Sonnets 18, 116, 130
- Measure for Measure: Act II, Scene 2
- Henry IV, Part I: Act 1, Scene 3
- Richard II: Act III, Scene 3; Act IV, Scene 1
- Sonnets 138, 73
- Henry IV, Part II: Act III, Scene 1
- Richard III: Act 1, Scene 4
- Measure for Measure: Act III, Scene 2
- Julius Caesar: Act II, Scene 2
- Hamlet: Act II, Scene 2; Act III, Scene 1; Act V, Scene 2
- King Lear: Act V, Scene 3
- The Tempest: Act IV, Scene 1; Act V, Scene 1; Epilogue