By Ken Bloom
For the first time on CD, here's Noel Coward's demo recordings for what eventually became Sail Away. Believe it or not some of these were recorded in India by Coward! There's 26 delicious tracks of the master including two bonus tracks of Coward and director Joe Layton providing vocals. Some of the songs never made it into the finished show and these are their only recordings. This is a terrific album for Coward fans as well as Broadway collectors and aficionados.
Noel Coward Sings Sail Away and Other Coward Rarities is Harbinger's August Album of the Month and available now for only $10!
On July 31st, the Broadway community lost a legend. Hal Prince was a trailblazing producer and director who championed the American musical for more than six decades! Here's what TMTP Founding Director Bill Rudman had to say:
"John Kander loves to tell the story about how he and Fred Ebb were blown away by Hal Prince’s approach to Cabaret. Kander told me (and everyone else over many years) that 'for days we sat around a table with book writer Joe Masteroff and talked…and talked…and talked…and talked…and talked.' That grueling process of making sure all the creators were in alignment about what the piece was trying to achieve was something that never would have occurred to Prince’s mentor, George Abbott. For decades, Abbott was the master of musical theater directors; he gets credit for making them 'rational' instead of woefully illogical. But it was Prince who went deeper — a lot deeper. Jerome Robbins had the same instinct, but not nearly as much skill in collaborating with actors. That commitment to depth was all over the Prince and Sondheim musicals, of course, but also in other works like Kander and Ebb’s Zorba and Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Lloyd Webber’s Evita and Phantom of the Opera. Add to that the layer of stunning social consciousness that distinguished virtually all of Hal Prince's works. Yes, the man is irreplaceable."
Click here to see a complete obituary from the New York Times.