Welcome to another Wildcard Wednesday! In celebration of Cole Porter’s 124th birthday, which was yesterday, today’s post is in honor of Porter’s last musical score: Aladdin. Broadcast in color on CBS’s DuPont Show Of The Month on February 21, 1958, this 90-minute musical version of the classic Arabian folktale starred Cyril Ritchard, Dennis King, Basil Rathbone, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Geoffrey Holder, and Sal Mineo. Here’s a black-and-white copy (from a kinescope) of the FULL never-before-released production.
This adaptation of Aladdin made its way to the London stage the following year (with a few song interpolations, of course). It is the only major theatrical production of the show and a cast album was recorded. (Subscribe and comment below for access to either this album or the 1958 TV soundtrack.) None of the songs enjoyed the popularity of Porter’s earlier classics, but I can truthfully say that I enjoy every single number. We’ll end today’s post with one of my favorites — perhaps the score’s only semi-standard — “Come To The Supermarket (In Old Peking),” recorded by Barbra Streisand in 1963.
Happy Birthday, Cole!
Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post! And tune in tomorrow for more Xena!