Friday, August 28, 2015
A Connecticut Yankee
Mark Twain's story was a cynical take down of modern greed. The musical settles for a love triangle. Legends say that Rodgers tried to save his partnership with the alcoholic Larry Hart by pitching a revisal for their Pal Joey star Vivienne Segal. Sadly Hart passed shortly after opening. His last song was a showstopping "To Keep My Love Alive."
The show is not favored for revival due to a dull book that the New York Times called "feeble" in 1943 and "quaint" in 2001. The songs "Thou Swell" and "My Heart Stood Still" were hits and "To Keep My Love Alive" has been recorded by the likes of Mary Testa, Ella Fitzgerald and Elaine Stritch.
The Bing Crosby film in 1949 used the same source story but a different (and in my opinion inferior) score.