Okay, okay, so Vincent Price isn't who leaps to mind when you think of musical comedy. Surprisingly, though not a singer, he does a very nice job on the album. It's sort of talk-singing, but really with more emphasis on the singing end. His voice is a rich baritone. Unfortunately, from what little I've read about the show, he wasn't totally comfortable on stage, so the performance from the album isn't indicative of the theatrical experience. What also hurt the show, which got reasonably respectable reviews, though not great, is that it opened during a newspaper strike, so the reviews didn't appear until much later. Also, there were problems with the book. (The great screenwriter Nunnally Johnson -- who wrote such films as The Grapes of Wrath, Three Faces of Eve, The Dirty Dozen and The World of Henry Orient -- took his name off, and there was no credited writer.) And finally, it's a charming, old-fashioned musical, which opened in 1968, a few months before Hair, and society and soon Broadway had begun shifting to rock music. Ultimately, it ran for 31 performances.
I actually got to see a production of Darling a Day a few years ago, when a small theater in the Chicago suburbs did it with a revised book and some song revisions that Harburg himself had done. It was great fun, though the book was still flawed, mostly in the third act, trying to properly work out the complications.
But the score is wonderful. Terrific music by Jule Styne, and really clever lyrics by the always-clever Yip Harburg. One of the wittiest is "Panache," in which the art dealer is trying to explain to a wealthy patron why paintings can become valuable, having nothing to do with quality, but how famous the artist is. He sings --
As for art,
Though the aim and the game of it
Is the fame of the name
On the frame of it,
But panache up the price
And acclaim of it.
Not the hoi polloi,
There are some great ballads, and a show-stopping production number, but I thought it would be particularly fun to hear Vincent Price sing. This then is his number early in the show when he is trying to decide whether to switch places with his butler, "To Get Out of This World Alive."