Original London Cast

Wedding in Paris / Can-Can (Original London Casts)

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Wedding in Paris / Can-Can (Original London Casts) Review

by William Ruhlmann

At first glance, the musicals Wedding in Paris and Can-Can seem to share one characteristic that makes them an appropriate pairing on a single CD: Paris. Actually, however, while Can-Can, with a score by Cole Porter, is set in Paris, Wedding in Paris, which features songs by composer Hans May and lyricist Sonny Miller, takes place on a liner crossing the Atlantic to France. The more important factor that the two shows have in common is that both were produced in London in 1954, Can-Can following a successful Broadway opening, while Wedding in Paris originated in the West End. The date is especially important because, 50 years later, the original London cast recordings for the two shows fell out of copyright in Europe, and Sepia Records stepped in quickly to assemble this unlicensed reissue. As Rexton S. Bunnett acknowledges in his liner notes, only half of the score of Wedding in Paris was recorded, eight tracks with a running time of less than 27 minutes. The British Can-Can had all of its principal songs put on disc, but in abbreviated form; its 13 tracks here clock in at just over 29 minutes. (The CD is filled out to 78 minutes by including medleys of the music from Wedding in Paris and a few stray singles by performers from the casts.) There are also certain musical similarities that make the two sets of recordings a good match. May, an expatriate Viennese living in London, is, not surprisingly, more interested in writing waltz music than Porter, but Miller gives him some witty lyrics in songs such as "A Man Is a Man" and "Strike Another Match" that offer some competition to Porter's characteristically clever sense of wordplay. For his part, Porter turns in some memorable melodies in Can-Can, notably "C'est Magnifique," "It's All Right with Me," and "I Love Paris." And he benefits from the casting of Irene Hilda in the main role of Pistache, who makes a better impression than Lilo did on the original Broadway cast album. Evelyn Laye also impresses in Wedding in Paris, even though she is hamstrung by the elimination of several of her key songs from the recording. This is material that has been out of print for a long time, and Sepia has done an excellent job of putting together a package that shows it off to advantage.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Wedding in Paris, musical play
1 Susan Swinford 04:24 Amazon
2 Anton Walbrook 02:46 Amazon
3 Original London Cast feat: Susan Swinford / Jeff Warren 03:24 Amazon
4 Original London Cast feat: Susan Swinford / Jeff Warren 03:01 Amazon
5 Evelyn Laye 03:21 Amazon
6 Jeff Warren 03:09 Amazon
7 Anton Walbrook 03:07 Amazon
8 Evelyn Laye 03:14 Amazon
9 Original London Cast 03:45 Amazon
10 Original London Cast 03:33 Amazon
Can-Can, musical
11 Original London Cast 02:47 Amazon
12 Irene Hilda 02:01 Amazon
13 Original London Cast feat: Irene Hilda / Edmund Hockridge 02:52 Amazon
14 Original London Cast feat: George Gee / Alfred Marks 03:08 Amazon
15 Irene Hilda 01:41 Amazon
16 Edmund Hockridge 02:12 Amazon
17 Original London Cast feat: Eve Ashley / Vincent Charles / Alan Gabriel / Gloria George / Gillian Lynne / Alfred Marks / Warren Mitchell / Joy Turpin 02:57 Amazon
18 Original London Cast 00:39 Amazon
19 Irene Hilda 02:28 Amazon
20 Original London Cast feat: Vincent Charles / Alan Gabriel / Alfred Marks / Warren Mitchell / Aleta Morrison 01:55 Amazon
21 Edmund Hockridge 01:58 Amazon
22 Irene Hilda 02:16 Amazon
23 Irene Hilda 02:12 Amazon
24 Original London Cast feat: Vienna Bohemian Orchestra / Anton Walbrook 02:25 Amazon
Dear Miss Phoebe, film score
25 Edmund Hockridge 03:32 Amazon
Carousel, musical
26 Edmund Hockridge 03:07 Amazon
27 Edmund Hockridge 03:02 Amazon
Bang You're Dead, film score
28 Edmund Hockridge 02:46 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick