This double disc presents the first cast recordings of two George Gershwin musicals from 1925, their music restored from the trove of scores found in a warehouse in 1982. Tell Me More!, which opened on April 13, 1925, was a failure and did not produce any hit songs, though Billie Holiday later recorded the title song and "Kickin' the Clouds Away" was revived in the anthology show My One and Only in 1983. Tip-Toes, which opened December 28, 1925, was a moderate success that threw off three hits: "Looking for a Boy," "That Certain Feeling," and "Sweet and Low-Down." Neither show lives up to better-known Gershwin musicals of the same period, such as Lady, Be Good! and Oh, Kay!. But much of the music is delightful, and the lyrics (those for Tell Me More! were co-written by Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva, the others were by Gershwin alone) are often very witty. The difference between these scores and the more successful ones is that there are no big standards like "Fascinating Rhythm" or "Someone to Watch Over Me." But there are several songs that work in the context of the frivolous stories, especially "Mr. and Mrs. Sipkin" and "In Sardinia" from Tell Me More!. That show is presented here in a studio cast recording made in 1995 that features Christine Ebersole and Patrick Cassidy among its three romantic couples, though David Garrison makes the strongest impression. Tip-Toes was actually produced in a concert version at Carnegie Hall for a week in the spring of 1998, and this recording, made that December, features the concert cast, among them Emily Loesser. The obscurity of the material probably caused the delay in release and the combination of both recordings onto a single album. But this is a welcome addition to George Gershwin's recorded legacy.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Tell Me More, musical|