Various Artists

Parade: A Musical Revue [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

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The 1960 off-Broadway musical revue Parade (not to be confused with the 1935 Broadway musical revue or the 1998 Broadway book musical of the same name) is notable as the first significant work by Jerry Herman, who went on to such Broadway musicals as Hello, Dolly! and Mame later in the decade. The 26 year old was all over this effort: He not only wrote the songs, but also the sketches (not featured on the recording), and he also played piano and directed the show. It was a typical small-scale topical revue, with a cast of six, among them future character actors Dody Goodman and Charles Nelson Reilly, plus five musicians. Its topicality was expressed in such perishable numbers as "Just Plain Folks," in which Goodman and Reilly portrayed New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and his wife, explaining why Rockefeller had decided not to run for president in the 1960 election, and "Jolly Theatrical Season," which facetiously praised the fun aspects of what sounded like an overly serious bunch of New York plays. As those examples also suggest, the topics were not only timely, but local. Goodman sent up the efforts of Greenwich Village preservationists in "Save the Village," while Reilly bemoaned the difficulties of an effete East Side Manhattanite who falls in love with a girl from the West Side of the island. Herman's affection for the musical theater, and particularly for old-fashioned musical theater, which would become increasingly apparent in the future, were touched on in "Show Tune" and "Two a Day." There were also several romantic ballads -- "Your Hand in Mine," "The Next Time I Love," "Another Candle" -- that might have had a chance to live beyond the show if it had been more successful. The album remains a gem of Herman juvenilia.

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