The Kritzerland label has announced a quartet of new releases, including two cast recordings and one film soundtrack.
The 1968 off-Broadway production of George Haimsohn, Robin Miller, and Jim Wise’s Dames at Sea (a major breakthrough for Bernadette Peters) not only spawned countless productions worldwide, but in 1971, was adapted into a television special. The NBC-TV Bell System Family Theatre broadcast on November 15, co-produced and co-directed by Martin Charnin, boasted an all-star cast including Ann-Margret, Ann Miller, Anne Meara, Fred Gwynne (The Munsters), Harvey Evans (Broadway’s Follies) and Dick Shawn (The Producers) plus a full dancing chorus. Though a commercial soundtrack was never released, a promotional album was; and so Kritzerland is bringing that mono LP to CD for the very first time. It’s been remastered from a mono tape for the best possible sound. Dames at Sea is joined on this release by another new-to-CD treat: a private demo recording of LeRoy Holmes and Carolyn Leigh’s score to I’m a Fan, a 1972 TV movie which starred Dick Van Dyke and Carol Channing. Studio singers are heard on the demo. Limited to 500 copies, Dames at Sea/I’m a Fan will ship by the third week of June, though pre-orders placed directly with Kritzerland typically arrive 3-5 weeks early.
Ben Bagley’s revue The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter opened for a 273-performance run off-Broadway in 1965, with an illustrious cast breathing new life into the songs of the venerable composer. Kaye Ballard and Harold Lang (Pal Joey) joined Carmen Alvarez, William Hickey, and Elmarie Wendel in the production which was preserved as a Columbia Records cast album produced by Thomas Z. Shepard (Company, Merrily We Roll Along). For the album’s first CD reissue on Bagley’s Painted Smiles label, the impresario added a host of bonus tracks which are repeated here, including Tammy Grimes’ “Tale of the Oyster” from the Los Angeles production, in George Bassman’s orchestration. Bobby Short and Dody Goodman are also featured on the bonus tracks. James Nelson has remastered the urbane Cole Porter delight for this release which is limited to 500 copies. It will ship by the first week of June, though pre-orders placed directly with Kritzerland typically arrive 3-5 weeks early.
Kritzerland has also followed its recent release of Julius Monk’s revue Pieces of Eight with another Monk presentation, this time of his 1958 Demi-Dozen. Jane Connell (Mame), Jean Arnold, Ceil Cabot, Jack Fletcher, George Hall, and Gerry Matthews were among the cast of the revue staged as the opening attraction of New York’s Upstairs at the Downstairs. Much of the score was penned by the team of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, the future writers of The Fantasticks, I Do! I Do!, and 110 in the Shade. Also featured is the now-standard “You Fascinate Me So,” penned by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh. This title, too, will ship by the first week of June, though pre-orders placed directly with Kritzerland typically arrive 3-5 weeks early.
For soundtrack fans, the label has the CD premiere of George Duning’s 1980 score to The Man with Bogart’s Face. The film starred Humphrey Bogart look-alike Robert Sacchi alongside such familiar names as Michelle Phillips, Yvonne DeCarlo, Herbert Lom, Franco Nero, George Raft, Victor Buono, and Mike Mazurki. Five-time Academy Award nominee Duning’s melodic score includes dramatic and action cues as well as a funky title song that has the dubious distinction of winning the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song (no accounting for taste, clearly!). This release has been remastered by James Nelson from the composer’s own mono tape. It’s limited to 500 copies and will also ship by the first week of June, if not earlier.
Finally, the U.K.’s Stage Door Records has another title sure to excite cast album collectors. On May 25, the label (in accordance with current U.K. public domain laws) will reissue two albums related to the 1959 Broadway murder mystery musical Redhead. The production, which starred Gwen Verdon and was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, inspired a studio cast album of the Albert Hague/Dorothy Fields score. (RCA Victor proper released the original cast album.) The recording was made in London under the direction of Hill Bowen (leader of many Living Strings recordings for Camden) and featured Rita Williams, Bryan Johnson, Fred Lucas, and The Mike Sammes Singers. This rare LP is being paired on one CD with RCA Victor Mexico’s 1960 Mexican cast recording of the show. Translated as La Pelirroja, it starred Virma Gonzalez, Armando Calvo, and the young Placido Domingo. Three additional bonus tracks round out this CD: pop versions of Redhead songs by Tommy Leonetti, Art Lund, and Toni Arden. This release, part of Stage Door’s Collectors’ Series, is housed in a paper sleeve and is limited to 500 units and is available at Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada!