A few new arrivals in the music collection; something old, something new, something revived……
A musical based on the children’s books of Dr Seuss and featuring about a zillion characters was always likely to meet with a rocky reception from the Broadway intelligentsia, which is exactly what happened to Seussical the Musical when it first appeared in 2000. Since that time however it has achieved a fair degree of success, not surprsisingly popular with amateur theatre groups and school performers.
This little known work won its young composer an award at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival, and was subsequently given an off-Broadway run at the New York Summer Play Festival. Focusing on the mixed emotions of a group of students returning from a holiday overseas, it demonstrates a more intimate form of musical theatre. Nary a feather boa or high kicking chorus line to be seen!
Ah, they don’t write them like this anymore! Songs like “Stout hearted men”, “Softly as in a morning sunrise” and “Lover come back to me” all helped make this a Broadway success when it first debuted there in 1928, and it’s been a favourite ever since. Sigmund Romberg’s other great hits include The Desert Song and The Student Prince, tailor-made for the likes of Mario Lanza and Nelson Eddy.
This recording comes from the 1979 Broadway revival of Oklahoma, and in a fairly busy landscape of recordings it remains a very fine version. We also have a DVD of the 1998 production staged at the Royal National Theatre in London which helped catapult an already ascending Hugh Jackman into the celebrity firmament.