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

All Are Welcome!

Groucho Marx - The Mikado 1960

On: Thursday, January 3, 2013

Groucho Marx
Julius Henry Marx
New York City, New York, USA
Oct 02 1890 - Aug 19 1977 age 86

The Bell Telephone Hour televised this beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operetta in 1960, starring Robert Rounseville, Barbara Meister, Stanley Holloway, Helen Traubel, Dennis King and Groucho Marx as Ko Ko!

I must admit that I had doubts about Groucho Marx performing the role of The Lord High Executioner in Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular work, but after several listenings, I find his brand of hi-jinx (". . . equal parts Rufus J. Firefly, Quincy Adams Wagstaff, Otis B. Driftwood, and Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding"), quite appropriate for this "simple tale of love and intrigue." Perhaps he drags the tempo a bit in "I've Got a Little List," but everywhere else, he's a delight, especially playing opposite Helen Traubel's Katisha (Margaret Dumont, anyone?). Just give a listen to their "There Is Beauty (in the Bellow of the Blast)."
Martyn Green, one of the better Ko-Ko's of modern times, not only was one of the producers of this 1960 Bell Telephone Hour Production (NBC-TV), but he also took on the formidable task of adapting a two-hour stage production into a 50-minute television special. And he's done quite a fine job of it. Most of the familiar song have been retained, albeit somewhat truncated at times, and he has supplied some rather witty dialogue to keep the plot moving at a lively pace. Donald Voorhees even adapted the instrumentation of his Bell Telephone Orchestra to fit Sir Arthur Sullivan's original orchestrations.
Even though Groucho got top billing, the rest of the cast is as good, and in some cases, even better in their respective roles. Leading off is Robert Rounseville ("Candide," anyone?) as Nanki-Poo, Barbara Meister as Yum-Yum, Stanley Holloway as Pooh-Bah (Lord High Everything Else), Dennis King as The Mikado, the aforementioned Helen Traubel, Melinda Marx (Groucho's daughter) and Sharon Randall as the Peep-Bo Sisters, and the incredible Norman Luboff choir as the Citizens of Japan. "Taped expressly for Columbia Records and produced by their president, Goddard Lieberson," (with pre-digital demonstration-quality sonics, I might add) this is an album to savor, to listen to repeatedly. Every word is intelligible; the style is "right on."
Kudos to DRG for bringing THE MIKADO and other "never before on CD" recordings back from the dead. Highly Recommended. ~Amazon customer

01 Overture
02 If You Want To Know Who We Are
03 A Wand'ring Minstrel, I
04 Behold the Lord High Executioner
05 As Some Day It May Happen
06 Comes a Train Of Little Ladies
07 Three Little Maids
08 Were You Not To Ko-Ko Plighted
09 With Aspect Stern
10 Braid the Raven Hair
11 The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze
12 Here's a How-De-Do!
13 Miya Sama
14 A More Humane Mikado
15 The Criminal Cried
16 The Flowers That Bloom In the Spring]
17 Alone, And Yet Alive
18 Willow, Tit-Willow
19 There Is Beauty
20 For He's Gone And Married Yum-Yum

TV Soundtrack
* * *
Thanks Dr Forrest's Cheeze Factory!

0 comments on "Groucho Marx - The Mikado 1960"

Post a Comment

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