SONGS BY MORTON GOULD
The songs here were written for a produced Broadway show, a bicentennial commission and an unproduced show. All stand on their own as strong school/professional chorus and cabaret choices, especially “Enter Juliet”. Although the quality of some of the recordings aren’t the best, the quality of the songs come through. Take a listen, and then contact us.
Billion Dollar Baby
... lyrics by Comden/Green, choreography by Jerome Robbins (a year after their collaboration with Leonard Bernstein on “On The Town”): opened at the Alvin Theatre on Broadway, December 21, 1945 in the midst of a musicians union strike which prevented the recording of any 78 RPM singles from the show. Those single recordings were the way people promoted and purchased musical songs, so this was a difficult situation for this new show.
Gould described this big, splashy spoof of the 20’s, pre-crash show as a “highly sophisticated and hard-edged show done by a group of people who have managed to stay around”.
The show received mixed reviews, from raves to pans. In retrospect, many believe that the topic was still too raw in a post-war world for audiences to take to. It closed after 220 performances, but many of the songs still resonate on their own.
Kristen Chenoweth and Marc Kudisch starred in a 1998 performance, as part of the York Theatre Company’s “Musicals in Mufti” series. The show was enthusiastically received and a terrific Cd was recorded by the cast.
Something To Do
... lyrics by Carolyn Leigh; Commissioned by the United States Department of Labor to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States of America, the one time performance occurred on Labor Day, 1976 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. With Pearl Bailey as the soloist joined by the Robert DeCormier Chorus, the rousing and touching songs brought the audience to their feet.
... lyrics by Carolyn Leigh; With the Fellini film “Juliet of the Spirits” in mind, Gould and Leigh confronted problems about how to handle the religiosity and personal details of the film. To avoid such problems, the focus was put on a married woman re-thinking her life. With the dawning of the “Gloria Steinem era”, the story was taken away from the original Italy and re-located in New Orleans. This shift opened up a whole new music genre for both composer and lyricist. Once again hitting problems with the playwright, Gould and Leigh were in talks to re-tool the show as a one-woman showcase, but Leigh’s untimely death ended that.
However in 2011, Ben West’s Unsung Musicals re-mounted the show under the title “Nothing is Forever”. All the performances were well attended and the show was received with great enthusiasm. “Nothing is Forever” gives new life to a score that resonates with it’s wit and prescient ideas about the struggles and successes of women finding their way toward personal and professional fulfillment and recognition.