Dear World (and Dame Angela Lansbury)

Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This month, we’re honoring Dame Angela Lansbury, who celebrated her 94th birthday last week. In honor of this great leading lady of both stage and screen, I have — for subscribers who comment below to alert me of their interest — several audios from her second Tony-winning musical performance, in Dear World (1969), which opened 50 years ago this past February and marked Lansbury’s second collaboration with composer Jerry Herman (following 1966’s Mame).

I’m sure a good many of you treasure the cast album, but here’s the rare chance to hear the near-complete show, from a live audience recording taken sometime around the February 1969 opening. Here’s a sample — “I Don’t Want To Know.”

I also have something rarer — a mostly songs-only audio from the Broadway previews, presumably during January 1969. You’ll hear cut numbers and a totally different program order, including a pre-finale placement of “Kiss Her Now.”

And, last but not least, I’ve also got an audio from the show’s out-of-town Boston tryout in late 1968 with Lansbury’s standby, M’el Dowd, singing the title role. It’s got EVEN MORE cut songs, like “A Sensible Woman.” (Because this is Lansbury’s tribute post, I won’t post a sample of Dowd, so instead — from this Boston audio — here’s the rousing Overture.)



Come back next month for a new Musical Theatre Monday! And stay tuned tomorrow for more That ’70s Show!

32 thoughts on “Dear World (and Dame Angela Lansbury)

  1. A very sad failure, given its potential. It was the first show I saw on Broadway, and it was a crash course in both the extraordinary talents of Angela Lansbury and in how far off talented writers can go without the right producer and/or director at the helm.

    Thanks for giving it due attention.

    • Hi, Joseph! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      My pleasure — let me know if you’d like access to these audios.

  2. I love this album and would be delighted to hear the recordings you are offering. Many thanks in advance.

  3. I assisted musical director Don Pippin on a reading of “Dear World” at the Roundabout – with Chita Rivera, Madeline Kahn, Audra McDonald, Alfred Molina, Michael C. Hall, Debra Monk, and more. What a cast! What a score! Would love to hear all of these recordings.

  4. Happy Birthday, Dear Angela! I found a treasure on YouTube on her birthday myself, a video of Angela performing “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at the 1967 Academy Awards. Priceless! Please send the Dear World recordings, can’t wait to hear them! If only it had been filmed. Thank you, Jackson!

  5. I’d love to hear those recordings. I’ve only heard selections before, but those that’d I heard such as I Don’t Want To Know sounded amazing.

  6. Hi Jackson
    Great score by Jerry Herman but one of his few failures would love to hear those rarities. Thanks so much.
    Bob Murphy

  7. What a lovely way to celebrate her birthday! It’s a beautiful show, and it often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
    I believe I have a copy of all these audios, but they are all kind of jumbled. Could I have a copy of them too?
    On a side note, do you have the Don Pippin footage he shot of the show too? I only have a short portion of it, but I’d be happy to share.

  8. Currently working on an academic project—a theoretical design for “Dear World”—and would love to listen to these recordings as I try to unravel the development of this beautiful and confused piece. Many thanks in advance!

  9. I would love to hear these audios. I had them once on a hard drive but they got lost somewhere along the way. Many many thanks, and happy 95th to Angie!

  10. This is arguably the most adventurous and unusual score that Jerry Herman wrote.
    I would love to hear cut songs like Sensible Woman, Through the Bottom of the Glass and Just a Little Bit More.

  11. Oh yes, i’d love to hear her in this, in my opinion one of Hermans best musicals. She’s simply magnificent.

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