Tony Award Winners: 1955 Damn Yankees

11 Mar

 This is the second Jerry Ross show in a row to win the Tony,  it’s famous because it has Gwen Verdon and Fosse involved in it, and I don’t find it that engaging as a soundtrack.  I feel like I’m spitting in church as I say this, because Fosse is such a respected name in dance, but I have a secret for you about Fosse:  he had a talent for making mediocre musicals interesting with really good dancing.  

It’s not like there’s nothing here–“Whatever Lola Wants” is a classic, though Verdon’s accent I find grating.   We’ve also got “Heart” which sounds like Jimmy Durante song.   The songs I prefer are “A Little Brains, A Little Talent” and “Two Lost Souls.”   The rest seem to suffer from music writer fatigue (and who can blame them, 2 huge plays in two years is just short of insane.)

I’m sure it made quite a great show, but compare this soundtrack to The Pajama Game it just pales.  Most of the songs sound like throwaways, and Gwen’s much more of a dancer than a singer.   It would have been interesting to see what Ross would have made next, unfortunately he died a year after this show came out.   

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