Last fall, Lyric Stage — which specializes in doing full-orchestra productions of classic American musicals from the golden era from the 1930s–’50s, staged the rarely-seen The Golden Apple, which closed after a brief run (125 performances) in 1954. When I saw it, I understood why it wasn’t a hit: The style still had a foot on the old operetta format which had lost favor, and its more forward-looking elements were still kind of edgy for 1954. The show, which marked Kaye Ballard’s Broadway debut, did get a cast recording of sorts: A 50-minute LP. That may sound like a lot, but The Golden Apple I saw ran about three hours, almost all of it sung-through. That means barely a third of the music actually was preserved for posterity … until, that is, Lyric’s version.
At four of the performances in Irving last October and November, the entire production was professionally recorded with the North Texas cast of 43 and 38 musicians. The recording will be released May 19 by PS Classics, according to Playbill.com. The album will be executive-produced by the daughter of the composer.
This is another feather in the cap of Steven Jones and his musical director, Jay Dias. Dias in particular has diligently resuscitated many classic scores, including helping oversee a complete re-mastering of Frank Loesser’s famously incomplete notations for The Most Happy Fella, which he did with the consent and assistance of the show’s original star (and Loesser’s widow), Jo Sullivan Loesser. In 2013, he also directed the music to Pleasures and Palaces, a Loesser work that hadn’t been heard in nearly 50 years.
“It’ll be great to have the author’s work on this heard in its entirety,” Dias told me. And a great moment for North Texas theaterfolk, as well.