Saturday, October 5, 2013

MT Soundtracker: Day 5

Bells Are Ringing (1956)

Original Broadway Cast Recording

Music: Jule Styne
Lyrics: Betty Comden and Adolph Green 

Ella works for her cousin, Susan, who runs 'Susanswerphone'. Ella is responsible for taking messages for other people over the phone at the time when voice mail had not yet been invented. She gets increasingly involved in the lives of the people she takes messages from and ends up falling in love with one of these men she has never met. 

The reason I came across this musical was my singing teacher suggesting I should learn A Perfect Relationship as it might be a good rep song for me. Even though it never made my rep folder, I quite liked the song. After listening to the whole recording, it is still the best song in my opinion even though I also liked Just in Time. Overall I don't quite know what to think of the score. I think this might be one of those you would need to see on stage in order to understand it fully; the soundtrack just did not come across as very accessible to me. The overture is the longest track in the show lasting for closer to six than five minutes. Mu-Cha-Cha is a very random-sounding track out of context. It almost made me laugh for that reason. Appropriately to the era, the singing follows the legit code of conduct with a jazzy feel. There is also a remarkable amount of speech-singing going on. 

Productions Incidentally, yesterday's post having been about the Charlie Chaplin musical, Chaplin's son, Sydney Chaplin starred in the original production of Bells Are Ringing. Another interesting fact: Bob Fosse is credited as one of the choreographers for Bells Are Ringing (Jerome Robbins, the director, being the other). Even though the musical did well on Broadway reaching almost 1000 performances (achievement even more remarkable at that time than it would be today), it seems to be unknown to most. There have not been many professional revivals. The most notable of those is the 2001 Broadway revival. 

No comments:

Post a Comment