Welcome to this month’s Musical Theatre Monday! As summer sails away for so many of us out there, I thought the perfect way to perk up our spirits was with the jaunty collaboration of Noël Coward and Elaine Stritch: Sail Away (1961). Fans of this fun, melodious musical — one of my favorite cotton candy Coward scores — have two whole albums with Stritch to enjoy, the Original Broadway Cast, and the following year’s London Cast. (I slightly prefer the London version — both the orchestrations and the leading lady seem to be having more fun.)
Much has been written about the changes made during the show’s tryout and of its history in general. But I want to share something less known here: a live audio of the November 1999 concert production, which boasted Stritch recreating her role alongside a cast that included — among others — Jerry Lanning, James Patterson, Andrea Burns, and Marian Seldes.
For subscribers who comment below to alert me of their interest, I will send you access to this tracked audio, which includes the heretofore unrecorded Overture (excerpted above), and of course, the one-of-a-kind Stritch, whose big 11 o’clock spot you may remember from her one-woman show. Here it is — “Why Do The Wrong People Travel?” — from this audio.
Come back next month for a new Musical Theatre rarity! And stay tuned for more Queens!