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  The Boys from Syracuse, Original London Cast - 1963
 Subjective Rating:   



Denis Quilley, Maggie Fitzgibbon, Paula Hendrix, Pat Turner, Sonny Farrar, Adam Deane, John Adams, Edward Atienza, Ronnie Corbett, Lynn Kennington, Bob Monkhouse
  1. Overture

  2. I Had Twins - John Adams, John Moore & Company

  3. Dear Old Syracuse - Bob Monkhouse, Ronnie Corbett

  4. What Can You Do With A Man? - Maggie Fitzgibbon, Sonny Farrar

  5. Falling In Love With Love - Lynn Kennington

  6. The Shortest Day Of The Year - Denis Quilley

  7. This Can't Be Love - Bob Monkhouse, Paula Hendrix

  8. Ladies Of The Evening - John Adams & Company

  9. He And She - Maggie Fitzgibbon, Ronnie Corbett

  10. You Have Cast Your Shadow On The Sea  - Bob Monkhouse, Paula Hendrix

  11. Come With Me - John Adams, Adam Deane, Denis Quilley

  12. Sings For Your Supper - Lynn Kennington, Paula Hendrix, Maggie Fitzgibbon

  13. Oh, Diogenes - Pat Turner & Ensemble

  14. Final - Company

Label: Decca, #882188
Previously: TER #1078/CAP-1933 [LP]/DEC SKL-4564/STET DS-15016


With a new revival of the show in previews at the Roundabout and the country celebrating Richard Rodgers’ centenary, Decca Broadway’s timing couldn’t be better for the release of the re-mastered 1963 London cast recording of Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys From Syracuse, available on CD for the first time.

Boys boasts one of Rodgers and Hart’s most sparkling scores, including songs like "This Can’t Be Love," "Falling In Love With Love," "Sing For Your Supper," "The Shortest Day Of The Year" and "You Have Cast Your Shadow On The Sea". Based on the successful Off-Broadway run of Boys in 1963 starring Stuart Damon and Karen Morrow (among others) and again staged by Christopher Hewett, the London cast was led by a cast of British pros. Throughout the recording, the sound and performances are top-notch and thoroughly enjoyable.

Of course, there are slight differences between the songs on this CD and the excellent, 1963 off-Broadway recording (released on CD in 1993 by Broadway Angel) as well as the indispensable, 1997 City Center Encores! recording (released on CD in 1997 by DRG) but lovers of the show as well as Rodgers and Hart will undoubtedly already own those CDs. This new London disc is delightful and, quite frankly, can anyone have too much Rodgers and Hart?

A special bonus which makes the new disc required is the inclusion of Song Hits From The Boys From Syracuse recorded by Rudy Vallée and Frances Langford in 1938, which has been newly re-mastered from the original acetates and is presented here for the first time in over 60 years. On it are six of the songs from the show in what Decca called a "souvenir album" when cast recordings were virtually unheard of. Buy it and enjoy!


While not as edgy as Pal Joey or as studded with consistently great songs as Babes In Arms, The Boys From Syracuse is one of the best, funniest Rodgers and Hart concoctions. Freely--very freely--adapted from Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors, the show sees the creative team letting loose with mistaken identities, lost twins, and the eternal war of the sexes, injecting the daffy plot with classics such as "This Can't Be Love," "Falling In Love With Love," and "The Shortest Day Of The Year." The London cast of this long-out-of-print recording is game, even if it's not quite as good as the one in the 1997 Encores! production. In "Sing for Your Supper," for instance, Lynn Kennington, Paula Hendrix, and Maggie Fitzgibbon don't even get close to the divine harmonies of Rebecca Luker, Debbie Gravitte, and Sarah Uriarte Berry. What makes the CD really interesting is the bonus material tagged at the end, which consists of Boys' six best-known songs interpreted by Rudy Vallée and Frances Langford. Recorded six weeks after the show opened in 1938, they were introduced at the time as a "souvenir album" from the show, predating what we now know as cast recordings.

Elisabeth Vincentelli - Amazon.com

It took London 25 years to get its first production of Rodgers and Hart's The Boys From Syracuse, a musical version of Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors, itself adapted from Plautus. The original Broadway version opened on November 23, 1938, and ran for more than six months (which was good in those days). The West End version followed on November 7, 1963, and ran less than half as long. But it did produce a cast album, which the original had not. (Of course, there were no cast albums in those days.) British comedian Bob Monkhouse starred as Antipholus of Syracuse, one of two separated twins who also have twin servants, leading to all sorts of shenanigans. That allowed Monkhouse to sing "This Can't Be Love" with Paula Hendrix, one of the show's better remembered songs. The other standard was "Falling In Love With Love," here handled by Lynn Kennington as Adriana, wife of the other Antipholus, who mistakes one for the other. But the standout performer is loud-mouthed Australian Maggie Fitzgibbon, an actress with a bellowing voice just right for the comic numbers "What Can You Do With A Man?" and "He And She." The British accents that intrude here and there (it's "This cahhn't be love" and "You have cahhst your shadow on the sea" in this version) aren't really a problem since the whole thing is supposedly set in ancient Greece anyway, and the cast has a good sense of Rodgers and Hart's comic froth, making this an excellent rendition of a score that holds up well. [The 2002 reissue, anticipating a Broadway revival, adds the six songs from a 1939 Rudy Vallée/Frances Langford album originally released to exploit the original production. They handle the material well, and it's good to have these performances back in print.]

William Ruhlmann - http://www.allmusic.com/

Shows & Film:
The Boys From Syracuse - Original Broadway Production
The Boys From Syracuse - Film
The Boys From Syracuse - Revival - 1991 (UK)
The Boys From Syracuse - Revival - 2002

Studio Cast - 1939
Off-Broadway Revival - 1963
Studio Cast - 1997

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