Monday, November 08, 2004

How Lost Can Lost Get?

I also mentioned in an earlier post that Kay Thompson was the vocal coach for "Hooray For What!", and Greg gave me some more fascinating tidbits about the history of the show and how 42nd St. Moon is dealing with it today:

"Do you remember Kay Thompson from the movie "Funny Face"? She's the one who sings "Think Pink" and does the "beatnik" version of "Clap Your Hands" with Fred Astaire. She also wrote all the "Eloise" books.

She was originally hired as the leading lady of "Hooray For What!", playing the spy, Stephanie Stephanovich (the role Meg
Mackay is playing in our production). However, while the show was out of town, Ms. Thompson was fired from her role and replaced by Vivian Vance (it was Vance's first big role on Broadway) - but Thompson stayed with the show as the vocal arranger/choral director! I have no idea how she must have felt about that. Well actually, yes, I do have an idea!

Thompson actual vocal arrangements are lost, but the script had the LYRICS to two arrangements, "Down with Love" and "Moanin' in the Morning", so Dave Dobrusky, who's doing the music restoration, and Brandon Adams (our musical director) were able to fashion arrangements that at least partially follow Thompson's original plan.

Thanks to Dave and Brandon, the show is going to be one of the most interesting - and complex - vocally that we've had in a long time. There are several "big numbers" that involve group singing for which Dave and Brandon have fashioned 1930s-era swing arrangements with multi-part tight harmony.

Three of "Hooray For What!"'s songs had gone missing after the original production, and were discovered in the Shubert
Archive - literally just before we started rehearsals - so we are able to present the entire original score.

As a change from "Can-Can", which focused so heavily on dancing, we're focusing on the singing in "Hooray", and I think people will really be delighted when they hear how great it sounds.

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