(1963) Tovarich

Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'

... read moreThe 1963 Broadway musical Tovarich, concerning the adventures of a married couple who were former members of the Russian royalty in Paris in the 1930s, was based on Jacques Deval's successful play of the same name. Its chief asset was obvious: It represented the musical comedy debut of British film...

43′:47″ 16 Songs

1
Overture
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
3:07
2
I Go To Bed
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:58
3
The Only One
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
1:31
4
Nitchevo
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
5:08
5
Stuck With Each Other
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:11
6
Say You'll Stay
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
1:59
7
You Love Me
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
1:56
8
A Small Cartel
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
4:08
9
Wilkes-Barre, Pa
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:22
10
No! No! No!
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:47
11
That Face
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
1:43
12
Uh-Oh!
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:33
13
I Know The Feeling
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
3:15
14
It Used To Be
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:55
15
All For You
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:35
16
Make A Friend
Original Broadway Cast Of 'Tovarich'
2:39
Released 01 January 1963, ℗ 1963 Capitol Records, LLC

Review

The 1963 Broadway musical Tovarich, concerning the adventures of a married couple who were former members of the Russian royalty in Paris in the 1930s, was based on Jacques Deval's successful play of the same name. Its chief asset was obvious: It represented the musical comedy debut of British film star and stage actress Vivien Leigh, still best known as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Leigh's co-star was another piece of stunt casting, French film actor Jean Pierre Aumont, who unsurprisingly made his way through the proceedings with a French rather than a Russian accent. (Not that this was necessarily inauthentic; the Russian aristocracy tended to speak French instead of Russian.) The show was bedeviled by a newspaper strike that prevented the generally favorable critical notices from reaching the public when it opened on March 18, 1963, but because of Leigh (who won a Tony Award in its only nomination), it managed to run six months and generate a Top 100 cast album that spent nearly three months in the charts. On disc, what one notices more than the star, who has two solos ("The Only One" and "I Know the Feeling") and three duets ("You Love Me," "Wilkes-Barre, PA," and "All for You"), is the score itself, written by pop composer Lee Pockriss (whose hits included "Catch a Falling Star" and "The Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini") and lyricist Anne Croswell, a relatively inexperienced duo. The influence of Lerner & Loewe is apparent, not to mention Stephen Sondheim on the attempted witticisms in "It Used to Be." The result often sounds second-hand, just as Aumont often seems to be channeling Maurice Chevalier. Leigh (who sings adequately with a Russian accent) is fine, but not enough to carry the show, at least on record. ~ William Ruhlmann