Welcome to the start of a new week on THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Today we’re continuing our 15-week series on forgotten musicals that are ripe for reviving! Each Monday, we’ll be covering a different show from the years in between two landmarks – Show Boat (1927) and Oklahoma! (1943). This period, the years immediately preceding the “Golden Age”, encompasses the entirety of the Great Depression, and represents an oft maligned period of the American musical’s history. Many of the shows from this era are considered unworthy of reviving because, despite electrifying scores by some of the best composers Broadway has ever known, their comparatively trivial books could only be carried by the unique and dynamic stars of the era. But such thinking only deprives theatre goers of the musical thrills that once helped make Broadway the landmark that it is today. The musicals that I’ll be covering over these next 15 weeks deserve re-examination. They deserve to be seen again. These shows are worth it.
So far we have covered Whoopee! (1928), Sweet Adeline (1929), The New Yorkers (1930), The Band Wagon (1931), Face The Music (1932), As Thousands Cheer (1933), and Revenge With Music (1934). Now we’re on to 1935! There are at least two excellent 1935 musicals that warrant special attention. The first is Porgy And Bess, which has never faded from public consciousness, and was even revived on Broadway last year. The second is Cole Porter’s Jubilee, which we covered here during our forgotten Porter blog series back in June. I thought long and hard about presenting a different show today — like At Home Abroad or Jumbo — but none are as “ripe” as Jubilee. So today, I’m piggybacking on our initial Jubilee post by presenting the show again, but with more images and songs!
1935. Jubilee (10/12/35 – 03/07/36)
For information regarding the plot and the score, see my initial post. Also included are Paul Whiteman’s excellent Jubilee medley, Blossom Dearie’s rendition of “Just One Of Those Things,” and Artie Shaw’s world famous “Begin The Beguine.” All that can be found here:
To prove my case for the show’s revivablity, all I must do is supplement the above post with more of the fabulous score — one of the best of the decade!
Up first is the Overture, restored by Larry Moore for the 1986 New Amsterdam Theatre Company production and taken here from the 1999 Lost Musicals! BBC broadcast. (As Jubilee is one of Porter’s best scores, you can imagine how thrilling this Overture must be!)
Here’s Rebecca Luker as the Princess singing “Why Shouldn’t I?” from the 1986 production.
Look! Young Montgomery Clift as Prince Peter (right).
This is the ensemble’s brilliant “Entrance of Eric” from the 1999 recording, followed immediately by Cole Porter’s own demo recording of Eric Dare’s “The Kling-Kling Bird On The Divi-Divi Tree.”
Here again is Cole Porter with his own personal rendition of the romantic “When Love Comes Your Way.”
Another number for the ensemble follows, “What A Nice Municipal Park.” Taken from the BBC recording.
Here is a picture from the above number.
Here’s Mary Boland with Mark Plant as “Mowgli.”
Thomas Hampson recorded the show’s best number, “Begin The Beguine” for his Cole Porter album. Check the June post for Artie Shaw’s mindblowing instrumental rendition.
June Knight and Charles Walters dance the beguine in the original production.
Here’s a picture of June Knight singing the number in the original production.
Carole Shelley sings Eva Standing’s “My Most Intimate Friend” from the 1986 production.
This number, “There’s Nothing Like Swimming” was dropped before the 1935 opening, but was included in both the New Amsterdam and BBC productions. Here it is from the 1999 BBC.
Also from the 1986 production, Alyson Reed and Reed Jones sing the list-y “A Picture Of Me Without You.”
This is a shot from the big Act One Finale.
This is the cast of the BBC production with “Mr. And Mrs. Smith.”
Below are the eight featured principles from the original production.
The expected song hit was “Me And Marie,” sung here by Cole Porter himself.
This is a picture of the original ensemble during the above number.
Here’s a swing version of the divine “Just One Of Those Things.” Check out the June post for Blossom Dearie’s rendition.
And the finale…
What else is there to say? Excellent score, solid book. It should be better known.
Come back next Monday for a 1936 show that’s Ripe For Revival! (I promise it’ll be one we haven’t covered here yet!) And tune in tomorrow for the best Season One episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show!