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The Dress Circle: Ballet on Broadway Part 2

We’re still dancing as fast as we can on this week’s Dress Circle (4/28 7:00 p.m.) as we conclude May 2023 with our second “Ballet on Broadway” program.

Our eight ballets this week once again include numbers from familiar and unfamiliar shows with some of these ballets being extremely unfamiliar as the original cast recordings never featured them because of time.

On the familiar side, we’ll take a look at the most complete recording we have of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Ballet” from the second act of "Carousel,” the “Twins Ballet” from Rodgers and Hart’s “The Boys from Syracuse,” “and the often forgotten “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again Ballet” from Adler and Ross’ “The Pajama Game” featuring Avery Saltzman as Hines. Oh, we’re also revisiting Bernstein, Comden & Green’s “On The Town,” but this time, it’s “The Real Coney Island Ballet” leading into the finale. On this recording, Leonard Bernstein makes a cameo as “the Barker.”

Another somewhat familiar show featuring a ballet that never made into any of the stage recordings is another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “Flower Drum Song.” “The Dream Ballet” incorporates the lovely song “Love, Look Away,” and we had to turn to the film soundtrack for a version of this charming work.

The less-familiar shows include Hugh Martin’s “Make a Wish” and a ballet titled “The Sale,” the ballet from Johann Strauss, Jr.’s “A Night in Venice” in a recording made when it played at the Jones Beach Marine Theatre, and Harry Warren’s failed musicalization (running only 21 performances) of “Lost Horizon” entitled “Shangri-La.” The last is a ballet version of the founding of the mythical land by Fahter Perrault and is narrated here by author/actor Wyatt Cooper, the father of Anderson Cooper.

This week, we’ve selected a few ballets with some dialogue and singing, so we’ve added an extra layer to this music that we really feel needs to be preserved because there are so many musicals that had ballets that were never originally recorded and are probably now lost but are deserving to be heard.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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