Record Company: Cat No:MDK47253.
The Noel Coward at Las Vegas and In New York albums
combined minus the New York medley.
- NOEL COWARD, Composer, Lyricist,
Performer. Arrangements & Piano accompaniment by Peter Matz
Orchestra directed by Peter Matz (New York)
*Cart Hayes and His Orchestra (Las Vegas)
- Author, composer, dandy and
consummate entertainer, Sir Noel Coward was to the sleek and
shining art-deco age of chrome-plated modernism and frosted glass
what Oscar Wilde had been to the late nineteenth century With
his slicked-back hair, his crooked smile, his well-cut clothes
and breezy manner, Coward represented the elegance, the wit,
the selfmocking urbanity of London's West End during the years
between the two World Warswhen people troubled by political and
economic woes sought escapism behind a glittering facade of tuneful
- Blessed with a superb command
of language, rhythm and rhyme, not to mention an ear for catchy
melody, Coward was one of the last of a long and illustrious
British line of genteel entertainers, figures like George Grossmith
(creator of the role of the Lord Chancellor in Gilbert and Sullivan's
Iolanthe) and the tragic Harry Fragson (shot by his own father
at the peak of his career), stars of stage, music hall and private
gatherings, whose comedy and songs were as tasteful as their
characteristic evening attire.
- But beneath the chaff and laughter
of Coward's offerings there always glints a cutting edge of truth.
Indeed so timeless are the messages in Coward's songs that they
have successfully avoided becoming mere period pieces. For example,
the jazzy irony of "Half Caste Wornan" only emphasizes
the age-old problem of interracial prejudice, whether addressing
the dying days of Britain's Indian Raj or the troubled decades
after Viet Nam. The celebrated monologue 1 Went to a Marvelous
Party" (sung by Beatrice Lillie in Coward's Set to Music
in 1939) shoots direct barbs at the frantic, addleheaded search
for amusement that still characterizes life among the jet-setting
descendants of the "Train bleu" crowd. In "Why
Must the Show Go On?" Coward turns his rapier toward his
own profession, satirizing the theater's worn tradition of performing
no matter how troubled one may be in real life or, for that matter,
how bad the resultant performance. And Coward's message in "What's
Going to Happen to the TotsT' still hits the target as our culture
becomes increasingly youth-oriented.
- The show numbers in this retrospective
taped live at Las Vegas and New York in 1955 and 1956 are vintage
Coward, both for the content and as performances leavened with
the freshness of his inimitable delivery. His gifts were unique,
and it's a pleasure to enjoy them always.
- Part 1:
- Medley: I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN*
DANCE, LITTLE LADY'
POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL*
SOMEDAY I'LL FIND YOU'
I'LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART
PLAY, ORCHESTRA, PLAY'
LOCH LOMOND (Traditional)*
A BARON THE PICCOLA MARINA*
NINA (includes "Begin the Beguine")*
MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN
ALICE IS AT IT AGAIN*
- Part 2:
- A ROOM WITH A VIEW*
LET'S DO IT* Cole Porter; Nod Coward
I LIKE AMERICA
I WENT TO A MARVELLOUS PARTY
TIME AND AGAIN
WHY MUST THE SHOW GO ON?
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE TOTS?
WAIT A BIT, JOE
TWENTIETH CENTURY BLUES
THE PARTY'S OVER NOW