Posted by Robert Bettens
Added on Monday, November 05, 2018
Seventy-five years after it took Broadway by storm, the full score to Cole Porter's Something for the Boys is finally preserved on disc, complete with its original orchestrations for 26 musicians – plus a marching band! The show was the fifth and final star vehicle Porter wrote for Ethel Merman, and the composer's fourth consecutive wartime hit, but what sets Something for the Boys apart from those shows was that Porter infused it with his love of swing; he celebrated the big-band sound that was at its peak of popularity, creating a rollicking score that's unique in his canon. The original production was hailed by The New York Times as 'the big, fast, glittering musical comedy for which Broadway has been waiting for a long, long time.' Life proclaimed it 'joyous entertainment spiced with rowdy good humor, the sort of smash-hit musical comedy that seems to turn on the lights along New York's theater district.' It clocked 422 performances, a sizable hit for its day, then – as befell so many shows of its era – the performance materials were discarded and ultimately lost. But in 1987, Porter historian Robert Kimball and PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker located the orchestrations at the now-defunct Chappell warehouse in Manhattan, allowing one of Porter's few missing musicals to finally be restored. The new recording features a cast of Broadway and recording veterans, including Danny Burstein (Fiddler on the Roof, Moulin Rouge), Elizabeth Stanley (On the Town), Andréa Burns (In the Heights), Edward Hibbert (The Drowsy Chaperone), Sara Jean Ford (Phantom of the Opera) and PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin, performing to the original charts under the direction of Constantine Kitsopoulos and Greg Jarrett. PS Classics' latest entry in their forgotten musicals series is their most ambitious recording yet, a celebration of Cole Porter and of the big-band sound, and the joyous synergy that resulted when the two joined forces.