1950 Radio Cast

Lady in the Dark [1950 Radio Cast]

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The 1941 Broadway musical Lady in the Dark just predated the era of the original Broadway cast album, though both Gertrude Lawrence, its star, and Danny Kaye, who achieved stardom appearing in it, made recordings of its songs. A seriously intended "musical play" (as it was billed) about a New York magazine editor who is romantically indecisive and seeks help on the psychiatrist's couch, the show had a strong libretto written by playwright Moss Hart, who also directed, with songs by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin. In 1950, it was adapted into a radio play with Lawrence and MacDonald Carey of the original cast, and it is this performance that is heard on the album. Although there are several musical numbers, the radio version is more play than musical. It is dominated by dialogue as Lawrence, portraying Liza Elliott, explains her problems to Dr. Brooks, (Hume Cronyn), then encounters other characters in her office. Russell Paxton, the character played by Kaye, is in some of the latter scenes, but the number that attracted attention to Kaye, the tongue-twisting "Tschaikowsky," is missing. Still present is Lawrence's show-stopping song "The Saga of Jenny," however, along with a handful of other tunes, though most of them are only brief excerpts. The sound quality dips noticeably when the musical portions come in, as if those sections had been mastered from a different, far inferior source. Lawrence gives a powerful performance that convinces the listener of Liza Elliott's dilemma, but this is not the album to buy if the listener is looking for a good recording of the musical score of Lady in the Dark.

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