The other day, I posted the audio of Irene Ryan singing, "No Time at All," from the original cast recording of Pippin. This cast album version is a bit trimmed down because, as I mentioned, the character gets the entire audience singing along, with the help of a huge scroll with the lyrics and a bouncing ball, and that was dropped from the recording. Alas, there's no video footage of her performing the song so that you can see all that, and how the production number and audience participation was supposed to be.
However, we do have a fine video recording of that regardless. Several years later, the show was re-mounted and videotaped for television. It starred Ben Vereen, who re-created his career-making role from Broadway, along with William Katt as Pippin. And as the grandmother was comedy legend Martha Raye.
She does a very nice job with the song. I don't think she gets the mix of unleashed joy and sardonic realism that Irene Ryan brought to the role, but it's still very good. And the clip include a bit of dialogue which sets up the scene. Oddly enough, though, I have a feeling, and though I wouldn't swear to it, I'm pretty sure that a verse and chorus got cut.
The performance was done in Canada. And while they seem to be having a good time, it's hard to tell if -- being Canadians -- their innate politeness prohibits them from being too enthusiastic, or if Martha Raye's performance is thoroughly enjoyable but not rousing -- or if the missing verse keeps the number from being the bring down the rafters showstopper it should be. But the full production is nonetheless terrific, and gets a nice response, and mainly it's great to have the footage here of Martha Raye.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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