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Catalog | Cast Recording | Life Begins at 8:40

Life Begins at 8:40 CD Image

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      Includes digital booklet

Album Release Date:
 June 8, 2010

what the critics are saying

“A 1934 affair that could easily have qualified as the musical of the season if it had opened in 2009-2010. Or 2008, 2007, 2006, and several more... Life Begins at 8:40 brims with melody, wit and good-natured fun... As delightfully delicious as one would hope from the Messrs. Arlen, Harburg and Gershwin... The score sounds wonderful... I dare newcomers to listen to these songs twice and not be stuck whistling them for weeks to come.”

“The one incontestable hit of the season.”
–The New York Sun

“A perfect revue.”
–New York Daily Mirror

Life Begins at 8:40
World Premiere Recording

PS Classics continues its forgotten musicals series with a lost show by three giants of the American musical theatre: Harold Arlen, Ira Gershwin and Yip Harburg.

LIFE BEGINS AT 8:40 – featuring Arlen's ebullient melodies, Gershwin and Harburg's smart and playful lyrics, and captivating performances by an all-star cast including Bert Lahr and Ray Bolger – was one of the most lavish revues of the 1930s, and a solid hit of the 1934–5 season, spawning such standards as “You're a Builder-Upper” and “Fun to Be Fooled.” But it wasn't until 75 years later that the score would be heard again, in a concert presented in March 2010 at the Library of Congress, supervised by Betty Auman and Robert Kimball and sponsored by the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts.

That performance – featuring a full 24-piece orchestra conducted by Aaron Gandy and a cast of Broadway and recording veterans including Kate Baldwin, Philip Chaffin, Christopher Fitzgerald, Montego Glover, Rebecca Luker, Brad Oscar, Faith Prince, Graham Rowat and Jessica Stone – has been stunningly preserved in this new studio cast album. Arlen, Gershwin and Harburg's witty and effervescent score (set to the original orchestrations by Hans Spialek, Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker, faithfully restored by Larry Moore) is brought vividly to life in PS Classics' world premiere recording.

track listing
  1. Overture
  2. Life Begins (at Exactly 8:40 or Thereabouts)
  3. Spring Fever
  4. You're a Builder-Upper
  5. My Paramount-Publix-Roxy Rose
  6. Shoein' the Mare
  7. Quartet Erotica
  8. Fun to Be Fooled
  9. Prologue to “C'est la Vie”
  10. C'est la Vie
  11. What Can You Say in a Love Song? (That Hasn't Been Said Before?)
  12. Let's Take a Walk Around the Block
  13. Things!
  14. All the Elks and Masons
  15. It Was Long Ago
  16. I'm Not Myself
  17. I Couldn't Hold My Man
  18. Life Begins at City Hall

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