Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spawn of "'23 Revue"

Is it going to be the never ending project?  I know, I understand, I accept, and I fully don't expect it to be produced.  Ever.  Still, now that I've been away from it for a couple of months, this is the report from the latest meeting of "the production staff."

I've become dissatisfied with the order of a couple of the songs, with a couple of the songs themselves, and in the age of one of the songs.  "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" was published in 1928, thus still potentially having a copyright in effect and therefore needing a royalty for use.  Plus it pretty much flies in the face of the 1923 cut-off, which is the "'23" in the title.  This bothers me because I apparently read the copyright date as 1923 when I chose it, and it has a really nice early jazz small combo accompaniment, though I say it who shouldn't.  I also gave it a couple of down-right excellent piano riffs.  And it's the slow middle section of the Song and Dance sequence in Act 1.  Perhaps the middle section doesn't have to be that slow, though.  It needs to be danced/sung by a woman and nothing presents itself as a possibility so far.

I think I need to change my Fanny Brice song.  Act 2 closes with a 15 minute tribute to show music.  I lead up to that with an Al Jolson solo ("Swanee"), Fanny Brice ("Palesteena"), and Julian Eltinge, the world's greatest female impressionist ("Ragtime College Girl").  "Palesteena" is a fun song, but I'm not Jewish and, while it was funny in the Ziegfeld Follies, it may not be quite as fun today.  Plus, I've already done "Rose of Washington Square" earlier in Act 2, just as a solo between the Prohibition and the Blues sets, so that's just a matter of deleting "Palesteena" and inserting "Rose."  "Palesteena," however, doesn't really fit where "Rose" was, so I need to find a "new" song.  I started working on "I'm Just Wild About Harry" last night and it would work very well in that spot.

Also as a song in that single song section is "The Sheik of Araby."  No problem.  It represents a very popular style of the early 1920s, but it needs something.  I think I could open it up and make a duet out of it by adding "The Vamp," one of the most popular songs about that character and the dance.  I have one vamp number in the Song and Dance section in Act 1, but it was so popular that a second song could easily pair with "Sheik."  There's also the possibility of putting "The Vamp" and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" together.  I think, though, that the Vamp/Sheik combo will win.

My piano duet arrangement of "Bohemia Rag" is presently right after Song and Dance.  I think I did a good job with it.  It was put there to give singers, dancers, and pit a break and to show off the two pianists.  However, I suspect the idea of a stage pianist and pit pianist no longer works.  I've been thinking of putting "For Me and My Gal," "Ain't We Got Fun," and "Love Nest" together.  It would make some sense...marriage, hard times, better times...and I have "Gal" done, so it would just be a matter of orchestrating the other two. Strictly sung, by the way.  We've just come out of Song and Dance and are about to get into "Avalon," a female dance number.

And while the rag I have for the Bows and Exit Music is a good one, I think maybe I should use music that's already in the revue.  That tends to be the way things are done.

So there we are.  Notes for a non-existent show.  Back to my "knitting."

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