Original Broadway Cast

Out of This World [Newsound 2000]

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One of Cole Porter's best late-era scores, Out of This World never fared as well as it deserved to; compared to its immediate predecessor, Kiss Me, Kate, it was a mere footnote in the history of Broadway, and never even lingered as long in the consciousness as Silk Stockings, which followed it by five years. Perhaps it was just because the producers, in tinkering with the show ahead of its opening, went and removed what proved to be the biggest hit generated by the score, "From This Moment On" (which resurfaced in the film Kiss Me Kate); or the subject matter, which was a little too outré (a love affair between a god and a mortal). One should give credit to Columbia Records for its willingness to record a cast album for a show that was not an instant hit and, indeed, struggled to reach the rather anemic threshold of 157 performances. What we have here, however, is a very fine record not only of a great show -- with several memorable numbers, including "I Am Loved," "I Sleep Easier Now," and "I Jupiter, I Rex" -- but one that captures the early work of William Redfield and the late-career work of Charlotte Greenwood. The sound is exceptionally good on the Sony Broadway CD transfer in 20-bit digital audio. There's still a little dryness to the acoustic, but nothing so severe as one encounters in the label's reissue of Kiss Me, Kate, and not nearly so compressed; that couple-of-years difference in their origins seems to make all of the difference. The annotation is also extremely thorough, and it's good to have some photographs from the actual production.