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Life Begins At 8.40

Life Begins At 8.40


PS Classics founder Tommy Krasker specializes in reassembling the musical parts of vintage stage musicals to create new studio cast recordings, often of shows that never had recordings before. Krasker worked early on efforts by such masters as George Gershwin, and lately has looked to entertaining if minor shows like the 1926 musical Kitty's Kisses. Life Begins at 8:40 is a cross between the two; it's certainly a lost show, which ran for a healthy 237 performances after opening on August 27, 1934, but produced no cast recordings (composer Harold Arlen did cut a couple of singles of songs from it) and is virtually forgotten. On the other hand, its creative team, in addition to Arlen, included collaborating lyricists Ira Gershwin (killing time while his brother worked on Porgy and Bess) and E.Y. Harburg, and it starred Bert Lahr and Ray Bolger (who five years later reteamed with Arlen and Harburg in the movie musical The Wizard of Oz). And it produced several standards: "Fun to Be Fooled," "You're a Builder-Upper," and "Let's Take a Walk Around the Block." So, why did it disappear? Probably because it was a musical revue, not a book musical, consisting of songs and topical sketches, largely dependent on its broad performances -- including Bolger's rubber-legged dancing and Lahr's hamming -- and timely references that would be unfamiliar to subsequent generations. Indeed, this album helpfully provides a glossary of some of the more obscure names in the lyrics, although one is expected, for example, to know not only who Fiorello La Guardia (at the time, the mayor of New York) is, but also something of his personality, when he turns up, along with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and disgraced former mayor Jimmy Walker (who is in the glossary) in the finale, "Life Begins at City Hall." Krasker's cast, consisting of contemporary Broadway stars such as Rebecca Luker and Faith Prince, walks a fine line of comic overplay, with tongues held firmly in cheeks. Brad Oscar has the unenviable task of trying to compete with -- or at least, convey the sense of -- Lahr in his showcase number, "Things." It's hard to top a classic clown, especially performing only on an audio disc, but Oscar manages a good representation of the style. And that's typical of the actor/singers here, who play this comic period piece straight, without updating it or looking down on it. In so doing, they have helped Krasker "restore" another piece of musical theater history. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: HPB Montrose
  • Seller rating:
  • Label: Image Entertainment (Audio)
  • UPC: 803607109028


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Track listings

  • 1. Life Begins At 8:40: Overture
  • 2. Life Begins At 8:40: Life Begins (At Exactly 8:40 Or Thereabouts)
  • 3. Life Begins At 8:40: Spring Fever
  • 4. Life Begins At 8:40: You're A Builder Upper
  • 5. Life Begins At 8:40: My Paramount Publix Roxy Rose
  • 6. Life Begins At 8:40: Shoein' The Mare
  • 7. Life Begins At 8:40: Quartet Erotica
  • 8. Life Begins At 8:40: Fun To Be Fooled
  • 9. Life Begins At 8:40: Prologue To C'est La Vie
  • 10. Life Begins At 8:40: C'est La Vie
  • 11. Life Begins At 8:40: What Can You Say In A Love Song? (That Hasn't Been Said Before?)
  • 12. Life Begins At 8:40: Let's Take A Walk Around The Block
  • 13. Life Begins At 8:40: Things!
  • 14. Life Begins At 8:40: All The Elks And Masons
  • 15. Life Begins At 8:40: It Was Long Ago
  • 16. Life Begins At 8:40: I'm Not Myself
  • 17. Life Begins At 8:40: I Couldn't Hold My Man
  • 18. Life Begins At 8:40: Life Begins At City Hall
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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