There are NO LINKS to MP3 files on this blog.
This blog is for information only!

All Are Welcome!

Shelley Berman - Shelley Berman - A Family Affair, Original Cast 1962

On: Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shelley Berman
Sheldon Berman
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Feb 03 1925 - 

Don't let the 3-star rating discourage you from buying this album. If you're a serious student of the American Musical Theatre and/or a collector of Broadway musicals, this is a must, in spite of my low rating.
Gerry Siegal and Sally Nathan, a young suburban Chicago couple, decide to get married... thereby setting off a marital World Ward III! Between Sally's Uncle/Mother/Father Alfie Nathan and Gerry's extensive extended family, the couple's wedding arrangements could prove more difficult than anything their marriage might ever present. It's the biggest family feud since the Montagues and Capulets, as caterers, dressmakers, rabbis, florists, photographers and a domineering wedding planner are put through the proverbial wringer in the looniest wedding this side of `Father of the Bride!'
An early work by John Kander and William Goldman, 'A Family Affair' is a neurotic, tuneful, wickedly funny and universally appealing picture of what really goes into the smiling wedding portrait in the family album."
With music by John Kander, book by James Goldman, lyrics by William Goldman, a stellar cast (stand-up comedian Shelley Berman, Academy Award winner Eileen Heckart, Larry Kert, Rita Gardner, Broadway veterans Morris Carnovsky and Bibi Osterwald), and direction by Harold Prince, why did it last for only 65 performances?
Well, for one thing, the music isn't very original, and definitely not the caliber of Kander's later shows with Fred Ebb, especially their score for KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. It seems that, this being Kander's first show, he is relying too much on formula: the lover's optimistic duet ("Anything for You"), contrapuntal ensemble piece ("My Son the Lawyer"), a march ("Right Girls"), a fight song ("Football Game"), prerequisite waltz ("Now Morris"), the look-back-and-reflect-on-my-wasted-life soliloquy ("Summer Is Over"). Other songs are derivative. Compare "Harmony" with "Quarrel-tet" from WHOOP-UP (1958), and Alfie's show-stopping, "Bolero"-inspired "Revenge" would not have been out of place in JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS. Was it necessary to include the embarrassing telephone schtick, al la "Inside Shelley Berman," near the end of "Revenge"? What motivates Gerry's suddenly cruel, ultra-macho (though well-sung) "What I Say Goes"?
HOWEVER, the incredible cast triumphs over less-than-stellar material. Shelley Berman is a surprisingly good singer; Morris Carnovsky is brilliant in his final Broadway show, a career that began in 1922; Rita Gardner is wonderful, even if she isn't given as much to sing as in THE FANTASTICKS or CELBRATION; Larry Kert is in better voice even than in WEST SIDE STORY; and I can never get enough of Eileen Heckart. Having her "Tillie Siegal" preserved on CD is reason enough for this reissue. Thank you, DRG.
The show boasts many "firsts" in the history of Broadway. It was the first musical score for John Kander, Harold Prince's first directorial effort, Eileen Heckart's first musical role, Linda Lavin's Broadway debut, James Goldman's first musical book, brother William Goldman's only set of Broadway lyrics, and the first original cast album to be recorded on 35mm magnetic film.
Through this method of recording a signal to noise ration and reduction of hiss has been achieved that was never before possible. Practically all flutter has been eliminated resulting in the most lifelike tone quality ever achieved. This is, in fact, the most perfect method of reproducing actual music and vocal sound possible.
All in all, I urge you to add A FAMILY AFFAIR, with all its faults, to your collection. After listening to it, I dare you to avoid humming "I'm Worse Than Anybody," the show's final song. Do you know of any other song lyric that includes "schlemiel"? Amazon customer

01 Overture 2:16
02 Anything For You 2:44
03 Beautiful 1:23
04 My Son The Lawyer 2:20
05 Every Girl Wants To Get Married 2:40
06 Right Girls 3:14
07 Kalua Bay 2:19
08 There's A Room In My House 2:48
09 Football Game 2:08
10 Harmony 3:20
11 Now Morris 2:37
12 Wonderful Party 2:28
13 Revenge 4:29
14 Summer Is Over 2:26
15 What I Say Goes 1:30
16 I'm Worse Than Anybody 3:43

* * *
Thanks daddio52!

0 comments on "Shelley Berman - Shelley Berman - A Family Affair, Original Cast 1962"

Post a Comment

.........Click "Older Posts" link, above, to see, umm, Older Posts. Yeah.