Yesterday, in a completely different context, I wrote about the 1973 musical, Cyrano, and mentioned how good the score was, despite the show being a huge flop. I thought I'd post a few of the songs here over the next few days.
As I noted, the music was written by Michael J. Lewis, and both the adaptation and lyrics were written by novelist Anthony Burgess, best known for his book, A Clockwork Orange. When the Royal Shakespeare Company came to Los Angeles before the 1984 Olympics, as part of the wonderful Olympic Arts Festival, their production of Cyrano de Bergerac -- the Edmon Rostand play, not the musical -- starred Derek Jacobi and used an adaptation by Burgess. The production was terrific, by the way...)
Though the show was a flop, running only 49 performances, its star Christopher Plummer won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. And Leigh Beery, who played Roxana, was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Almost more surprising is that not only was a cast album released, but a two-disc album. It not only included the score, but about an hour of dialogue, so you get a full sense of the show.
(Given how great Burgess's adaptation of the play is, and how classic the play is, and how top-notch the performance of the two leads were, and how excellent the score is -- and how much admiration the record company had for it by releasing a two-disc set -- I have absolutely no idea why the show was such as massive flop. The only thing I can figure is that at that point in Broadway, audiences just simply did not to see Cyrano de Bergerac. And if audiences don't want to see something, whatever their reason, you can't pay them to go.)
If you missed yesterday's "opener," of the song "Love is Not Love," you can check back and listen to it here. But moving on, we'll start with a number that features both Plummer and Beery, a charming remembrance by the two cousins of their time growing up in "Bergerac."
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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