Welcome to a brand new Musical Theatre Monday! This month, I’ve got an interesting rare audio for subscribers — it’s from the 1972 Off-Broadway Production of One For The Money Etc., a musical revue of highlights from the original One For The Money (1939), along with its spiritual sequels, Two For The Show (1940), and Three To Make Ready (1946). They all featured music by Morgan Lewis, and lyrics and sketches by Nancy Hamilton.
Considered an “uptown” Pins And Needles (1937), 1939’s One For The Money opened 80 years ago this month and featured Hamilton, along with William Archibald, Frances Comstock, Alfred Drake, Brenda Forbes, Nadine Gae, Gene Kelly, Don Loper, Grace McDonald, Robert Smith, and Keenan Wynn. One of my favorite numbers from this score is the simple, romantic “I Only Know,” which has never been recorded and comes from this 1972 audio.
The following year’s Two For The Show had a similar run, but was slightly better reviewed. Archibald, Comstock, Drake, Forbes, Gae, Smith, and Wynn returned and were joined by such wonderful talents as Eve Arden, Betty Hutton, and Richard Haydn. This edition also produced the series’ most enduring number, “How High The Moon,” introduced by Drake and Comstock. As with the below track, this comes from the 1972 audio.
The next in the series, Three To Make Ready, didn’t premiere until after the war. Reviews weren’t as positive as they were for its predecessor, but with a bigger budget and a cast headlined by Ray Bolger, this production was the most commercially successful, running for nine months. Others in the company included Arthur Godfrey, Rose Inghram, Gordon MacRae, Bibi Osterwald, Harold Lang, and Jane Deering, alongside the only performer from all three shows, Brenda Forbes. The highlight was Bolger’s “The Old Soft Shoe,” taken below from the audio.
A fourth show entitled Four To Go never materialized, and this series remained largely forgotten, except for the aforementioned 1972 compilation show, which opened at the Equity Library Theatre in January, and then popped up Off-Broadway in May at the Eastside Playhouse, with a cast that included Georgia Engel, Joy Garrett, Pat Lysinger and Jess Richards. Subscribers who are interested in obtaining a copy of this songs-only audio recording should kindly comment below and alert me of their interest! This is a real rarity, folks!
Come back next month for another Musical Theatre Monday! And stay tuned tomorrow for more sitcom fun!