Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This month, we’re celebrating a notable television musical — one that debuted 60 years ago, on December 18, 1962, when NBC first broadcast an animated special called Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol, UPA’s hour-long adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic using its iconic Mister Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus).
Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol has long been beloved by musical theatre fans because its score was written by Broadway’s own Jule Styne and Bob Merrill (not long before their collaboration on Funny Girl), and it features a handful of delightful songs, including “The Lord’s Bright Blessing,” “Alone In The World,” and my favorite, the haunting “Winter Was Warm,” sung by Jane Kean. Here’s Kean’s extended recording — released digitally only a few years ago.
In honor of this well-liked TV musical, I’m offering — for subscribers who comment below to alert me of their private, non-commercial interest — access to an untracked live audio recording of a 2019 concert performance of Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol for the Actors Fund, starring Gavin Lee and Sierra Boggess. Here’s a taste — the overture (written for this production — it’s different from the original). Enjoy — and Merry Christmas!
Come back next month for another musical rarity! And stay tuned for more Living Single!