Bobby Van

On Your Toes [1954 Broadway Revival Cast]

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On Your Toes was a big Broadway hit in 1936, but that was seven years before Oklahoma! established the cast album as a commercial entity in the record business, so no recording was made. In 1952, Columbia Records made a studio cast recording of the Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart score, but this album, drawn from the first Broadway revival in 1954, is more complete. In fact, it's a little more than complete, since the production interpolated a song, "You Took Advantage of Me," from another Rodgers & Hart show, Present Arms. Otherwise, some attempt has been made to stick with the show as originally done. Once again, George Abbott was the stage director, and the dancer Vera Zorina, who appeared in the 1939 film version, is an above-the-title star of the revival, performing George Balanchine's choreography. Of course, Abbott's, Zorina's, and Balanchine's contributions are not to be found on the cast recording, although there is a 13-minute version of Rodgers' ballet, "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." The other above-the-title star is Bobby Van, and he makes the most of the part of Phil Dolan III, who is torn between his vaudeville heritage and his aspirations to the higher arts and who gets to sing "There's a Small Hotel" with his love interest, played by Kay Coulter. Coulter is also heard on the other song from the score that became a standard, "Glad to Be Unhappy." She's good, but the real kudos go to the featured performer, Elaine Stritch, playing the comic second female lead, who not only gets "You Took Advantage of Me" (and uses it to satirize big-voiced pop singers like Frankie Laine), but also a couple of lesser songs, "Too Good for the Average Man" and "The Heart Is Quicker Than the Eye." It is to be regretted that Ray Bolger, who starred in the original production, never got to immortalize his performance on disc, but it's great that the score now has an excellent recording made by a good cast whose members have performed together on-stage.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
On Your Toes, musical
1 4:16 Amazon
2 2:46 Amazon
3 2:38 Amazon
4
feat: Kay Coulter
2:31 Amazon
5 3:42 Amazon
6
feat: Kay Coulter
3:38 Amazon
7 5:34 Amazon
8 3:05 Amazon
9 3:32 Amazon
10 2:38 Amazon
11 4:51 Amazon
12 13:19 Amazon
13 1:26 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick