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CD89919 Blitzstein's Reuben Reuben (Eddie Albert, Evelyn Lear)

CD89919 Blitzstein's Reuben Reuben (Eddie Albert, Evelyn Lear)
Item# CD89919

Product Description

CD89919 Blitzstein's Reuben Reuben (Eddie Albert, Evelyn Lear)

Here is a re-upload of Marc Blitzstein's REUBEN REUBEN, his opera/musical that closed in Boston in 1955 rather than coming to Broadway as planned. This seems to have been recorded off of the stage monitor/squawk box.

Under the circumstances, the sound is quite good, but there are dropouts, some severe distortion in loud passages, and perhaps some pitch fluctuation. Still, once you get past the first minute or two, most of the time the sound is quite listenable and most of the words come through very clearly. This recording is not complete, missing a bit in each act. I'm told there is a complete recording out there (not sure if it's of the same performance), but I've not been able to obtain a copy.

The production opened at the Shubert Theatre in Boston on October 10, 1955, and it closed there on October 22, 1955, having received extremely negative reviews and audience reaction that was sometimes downright hostile. My guess is that this is from late in the run,. For one thing, a friend who's seen the score says that by the time of this recording, cuts had already been made (and the account of the Boston run in a book about William and Jean Eckart, the production's set designers, confirms that cuts were made during the run). Also, some of the dialogue heard here is recitative in the score and may have been sung in early performances. (As you can hear, some of the dialogue rhymes, which suggests that Blitzstein never rewrote it, but just cut the music and told the performers to speak it instead of singing it.)

Interestingly, this audience at least occasionally seems quite enthusiastic.

As you can see in the cast list below, the cast included several opera singers: Evelyn Lear (in the leading female role), George Gaynes (aka George Jongeyans), and in several small roles, Thomas Stewart (here known as Tom Stewart).

To help out with understanding the plot, here's a brief synopsis taken from Ken Mandelbaum's book "Not Since Carrie": " 'Reuben' took place from 9:30 p.m. to dawn on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and its hero (Eddie Albert) was a victim of aphonia, unable to speak unless approached with warmth and love. The son of a circus performer known as the Human Dart who, as the show begins, has recently jumped to his death because of world tension, Reuben is encouraged to do likewise by a shady barkeeper who has taken out an insurance policy on Reuben's life. With the help of a girl (Evelyn Lear) he meets, Reuben learns to communicate and ultimately realizes that he is free to avoid his father's fate."

REUBEN REUBEN Presented by Cheryl Crawford Directed by Robert Lewis Choreography by Hanya Holm Musical direction by Samuel Krachmalnick Orchestrations by Marc Blitzstein Orchestration assistants: Hershy Kay and Bill Stegmeyer Choral direction by Abba Bogin (Note: According to Steven Suskin's book THE SOUND OF BROADWAY MUSIC, the orchestrations were actually largely the work of Hershy Kay.)

The action takes place during one night at the present time on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Fez — Will Lee Blazer — Timmy Everett Reuben — Eddie Albert Jane — Anita Darian Mr. J. Doakes — Emile Renan Mrs. J. Doakes — Karen Anders Ignatz — G. Wood Doc — Al Checco Mr. Chipper — Charles Welch Bart — George Gaynes Countess — Kaye Ballard Harry — Tony Gardell Kid — Edmund Gaynes Nina — Evelyn Lear Cop Kerry — Dean Dittman Attilio — Enzo Stuarti Zia Teresa — Nina Varela Two Zie — Doris Davis, Josephine Lang Amalfi Quartet — Andrew George, Alan Smith, Tom Stewart, Marvin Zeller Gisella — Sondra Lee Signore Ugo — Alan Smith Beppo — Joe Rocco Jake — Crandall Diehl Dee Dee — Sonia Savig Shoo Shoo — Sara Dillon Pot Pot — Karen Anders Smith — Elwood Smith Mr. Smythe — Emile Renan Mrs. Montague — Nina Varela Cigarette Girl — Billie Allen Arnold — Skeet Guenther Maitre d'Hotel — Tom Stewart Doorman — John Ray Cook — Marvin Zeller Attendant — Alan Smith Matron — Evelyn Page Firemen — Andrew George, Skeet Guenther, Joe Rosen, Enzo Stuarti Ury — Crandall Diehl Zoe — Billie Allen Xavier — Tom Stewart Yolanda — Josephine Lang Henry Lippincott — Allen Case

Singing Ensemble: Betsy Bridge, Al Checco, Anita Darian, Doris Davis, Sara Dillon, Dean Dittman, Edmund Gaynes, Josephine Lang, William Pierson, Alan Smith, Elwood Smith, Tom Stewart, Enzo Stuarti, Nina Varela, Charles Welch, G. Wood, Marvin Zeller.

Uploaded at 192. Inside the main folder, there are separate folders with each disc.

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USA Telephone (404) 200-4776 We sell only opera recordings. The recordings are sent to you in paper sleeves with no tray card or inserts, just the raw discs with printed labels. These recordings are of nonprofessional quality that are in the public domain. The quality of these old opera recordings is not very good and they are meant for collectors and educational purposes only. Most of them are 30 or 40 years old, so they might be blurry, colors faded, and not sound very good, but they might not be available elsewhere. Please note that most of our recordings do not have tracks, they have 1 long track per disc.