It’s Double Take December at Musical Cyberspace! Every musical pretty much has something one likes and something one doesn’t in it. This month I’ll be listing one of each for a range of musicals, a different one each day.
Something I Like: This 1960 Off-Broadway revue really gave Jerry Herman’s career the boost it needed for him to transition from a songwriter to a creator of musical theatre. In this score, you’ll hear the main themes of “It’s Today”, from Mame, in the song, “Show Tune”, as well as snippets of what would become “I Wanna Make the World Laugh” and “Wherever He Ain’t” in Mack and Mabel. Essentially it is a great insight into a Broadway composer finding his own voice in the world of musical theatre.
Something I Don’t Like: The con that balances the pro mentioned above is that the revue does showcase a composer-lyricist in process. The songs don’t grab one as later Herman creations would, nor do they sparkle with originality. Also, we go get to see something that was left behind: a Herman who might have been sharper, more satrirical, more trenchant than he became. I don’t like that largely left those aspects of his artistry behind.
Feel free to share your “double take” on Parade in the comment box!