By Ken Bloom
Harbinger Records’ Songwriters Showcase Series continues with a live backers audition of the Broadway musical All American. Written by Broadway greats Charles Strouse and Lee Adams as their next show after the smash hit, Bye Bye Birdie, All American’s score featured the future hit song, “Once Upon a Time.” This is a live recording of an actual backers audition with Strouse and Adams recounting the story and singing all the songs. An added bonus for collectors and musical theater fans are several songs that were subsequently cut from the show.
Ray Bolger was the star of the show and Eileen Herlie was his co-star. And the author of the book was none other than the great Mel Brooks! Yes, the author/director of The Producers and Blazing Saddles wrote this incredibly zany script. And the score is equally hilarious and touching as well. A perfect match of score, libretto and performers.
And here you have the songwriters themselves, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams having a ball singing the songs and telling the story. And you'll have a ball also imagining you're in a swank living room or a theater studio listening to the creators selling the show!
This historic recording is the first in a series of live backers auditions to be released by Harbinger Records.