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Rodgers and Hart Revisited

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  Higher and Higher, 1940

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 Musical Numbers   

 


Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by Dwight Deere Wiman.
Book by Gladys Hurlbut and Joshua Logan, based on an idea by Irving Pincus.
Directed by Joshua Logan.
Choreoghraphy Robert Alton
Starring: :Jack Haley, Marta Eggert, Shirley Ross, June Allyson, and Vera-Ellen.
It ran for 108 performances.

 Overview   

There were a total of thirteen songs in the finished score, although exactly which Larry wrote and which he did not we can only guess. Most of them were comedy numbers like A Barking Baby Never Bites and I'm Afraid. only one or two were at all memorable, most notably the haunting It Never Entered My Mind. Marta Eggerth's big number was Nothing But You which has a lyric insipid enough to suggest Hart didn't write it; her other number, From Another World isn't much better. Disgustingly Rich was the only one retained when the show was filmed a year or so later.

 Higher and Higher opened  at the Shubert in New York on Thursday, April 4, 1940. Backstage Josh Logan sensed the audience's reaction was less than enthusiastic, although everyone seemed to love the performing seal. After the show, as the audience crowded the center aisle to leave, there was a small but perfect silence. Then into that silence, Logan said, an enthusiastic voice rang out. "Darleeng, zat was zee muss vonderful fuck in zee world!" Many people turned to see who was talking. It was the young French wife of an American lawyer. She was using the French word for "seal" which is "phoque". Her husband tried to keep her quiet, but she protested, "I deed not say zee show was good-I shuzz say zee fuck was good-zee fuck, only zee fuck, and oh, how I loved zat fuck"  By this time the whole aisle was laughing. I stood in my box saying to myself, "At last, a funny scene but it's not onstage" Next morning the notices were as gruesome as I knew they would be. The show ran as long as the advance sale lasted, a few months.  

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