Notes and Editorial Reviews
1. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Overture
2. Plain and Fancy, musical play: You Can't Miss It
3. Plain and Fancy, musical play: It Wonders Me
4. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Plenty of Pennsylvania
5. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Young and Foolish
6. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Why Not Katie
7. Plain and Fancy, musical play: It's A Helluva Way To Run A Love Affair
8. Plain and Fancy, musical play: This Is All Very New To Me
9. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Plain We Live
10. Plain and Fancy, musical play: How Do You Raise A Barn
11. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Follow Your Heart
12. Plain and Fancy, musical play: City
Mouse, Country Mouse
13. Plain and Fancy, musical play: I'll Show Him
14. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Take Your Time And Take Your Pick
15. Plain and Fancy, musical play: Finale
Music composed by Albert Hague. Lyrics written by Arnold B. Horwitt.
Principal cast includes: Barbara Cook (Hilda Miller); Shirl Conway (Ruth Winters); Richard Derr (Dan King); Gloria Marlowe (Kate Yoder); Nancy Andrews (Emma Miller); Douglas Fletcher Rodgers (Ezra Reber); David Daniels (Peter Reber); Stefan Schnabel (Papa Yoder).
Recorded on February 6, 1955. Originally released on Capitol (1955). Includes liner notes and an interview with Barbara Cook by Ken Mandelbaum.
Recording information: Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York, NY (02/06/1955).
Director: Franz Allers.
Musical theater history is replete with memorable masterpieces and noble failures, both of which end up being well-remembered. Less common are modest successes that somehow don't live beyond their moment in time. Such a show was Plain and Fancy. Set in Pennsylvania Amish country, it contrasted a couple of city dwellers with a strict religious community, providing the usual romantic sparks that musical comedies are expected to, the result being that following its opening on January 27, 1955, it ran for a profitable 13 months at the Winter Garden on Broadway. Plain and Fancy rates two footnotes in musical theater history. First, it was the first successful Broadway musical to feature Barbara Cook, and second, the romantic ballad "Young and Foolish" became a semi-standard, recorded by the likes of Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis. The cast album demonstrates that it deserves to be remembered for more than that, however. Cook is only one member of a strong ensemble cast, and though her performances of "This Is All Very New to Me" and "I'll Show Him" have her customary distinction, such colleagues as Gloria Marlowe and Shirl Conway also make a good show for themselves. And there is more to composer Albert Hague and lyricist Arnold B. Horwitt's score than just "Young and Foolish." Both have resumés boasting several other Broadway entries, and they clearly know how to write show music. Hague's melodies are excellent and Horwitt's lyrics are often witty. The score as a whole is quite good, with "Why Not Katie" and "City Mouse, Country Mouse" particular standouts. Plain and Fancy deserves to be rediscovered. ~ William Ruhlmann
Works on This Recording
Plain and Fancy by Albert Hague
David Daniels (Voice),
Nancy Andrews (Voice),
Gloria Marlowe (Voice),
Richard Derr (Voice),
Shirl Conway (Voice),
Barbara Cook (Voice),
Douglas Fletcher Rodgers (Voice),
Stefan Schnabel (Voice)
Period: 20th Century
Date of Recording: 02/06/1955
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