Albums

Girl Crazy – Studio Cast Album 1952

Girl Crazy – Studio Cast Album 1952

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Synopsis

Banished to Custerville, Arizona, a quiet little town that has seen too few women for fifty years, New York socialite Danny Churchill, who has traveled all the way west in a taxicab, brings on a whole contingent of Broadway chorus girls and turns the humdrum farm where he is staying into a bustling dude ranch and gambling emporium. In the process, he falls for the local postmistress, Molly Gray, who at first dismisses his advances but eventually succumbs to his charming, sophisticated ways. The lively secondary characters include Gieber Goldfarb, the taxi driver who, once in Arizona, decides to settle down and run for the office of sheriff, unaware of the fact that the position, the most unstable in town, needs to be filled every other week. Tess Harding, a former girlfriend of Danny, arrives on the scene to try and reclaim her beau; Slick Fothergill, a notorious gambler, shows up with Kate, his wife, who soon becomes the leading entertainer at Danny’s place; Sam Mason, once a rival of Danny for Tess’s hand, joins the crowd. In the original 1930 cast were Ginger Rogers as Molly, Allen Kearns as Danny, Willie Howard as Goldfarb, and Ethel Merman making her Broadway debut as Kate and electrifying audiences with her brash stage presence and clarion-clear vocals. In their first duet together, Danny and Molly share “Could You Use Me?” a song in which Danny tries to woo Molly, who shows no interest in him, at least at this point. However, after he describes to her the life he envisions for the two of them in New York, she warms up to the idea and readily reveals she is no longer insensitive (“Embraceable You”). At the dude ranch, Kate entertains gamblers and guests, with her raunchy description of the love affair between “Sam and Delilah,” in which George and Ira Gershwin poked fun at the syrupy “Frankie and Johnny” ballads of yore. When she catches Slick in an apparent dalliance with two girls, Kate is wrathful, but after Slick assures her that no one can compete for her place in his heart, she seems more than eager to forgive and forget (“I Got Rhythm”). Meanwhile, the budding relationship between Danny and Molly has soured: intent on avenging himself, Sam, Danny’s unlucky rival for Tess’s favors, now actively courts Molly, and after he wins $6,000 at the card table, he proposes to take her to San Luz, another sleepy little town across the Mexican border. When she accepts, Danny believes his chances with her have faded and he gallantly sets her free, much to her dismay and chagrin (“But Not for Me”). In San Luz, Kate catches Slick with yet another señorita (“Treat Me Rough”), and she mournfully bemoans her husband’s infidelities (“Boy! What Love Has Done to Me”). But all’s well that eventually ends well: Kate and Slick make up, as do Danny and Molly, just in time for a rousing “Finale.”

Credits

Mary Martin Louise Carlyle Eddie Chappell Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Lehman Engel