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Her First Roman [25th Anniversary Cast Recording]

Her First Roman [25th Anniversary Cast Recording]

by Richard KileyRichard Kiley


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Her First Roman, a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra, with book, music, and lyrics by folk-pop songwriter Ervin Drake ("It Was a Very Good Year"), opened on Broadway on October 20, 1968, and closed after only 17 performances. The only previous recording of the score (S.P.M. [Society for the Preservation of Musicals] Records CO-7751) was a ridiculously rare LP that was recorded live during the show's tryout in Boston. This studio cast album, recorded 25 years later and featuring the original stars, Richard Kiley and Leslie Uggams, constitutes both a restoration and a revision of the score. Her First Roman was drastically altered prior to its Broadway opening, with much of Drake's music dropped and three new songs contributed by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. This time, the lost Drake material -- a full six songs -- has been restored, and the Bock-Harnick songs left out. Drake has also rewritten some of the songs. The result is an enjoyable show score, winningly performed by the principals. There may be no lost song standards here, but the story of the Roman emperor and the Egyptian princess is told with humor in catchy tunes. Shows fail for reasons other than their scores; in this case, both the director and choreographer were replaced on the road, and one can speculate that audiences of 1968 may have had trouble with a show about an interracial relationship between a man in his fifties and a 16-year-old girl, or that the echoes of Vietnam in the Roman invasion of Egypt may have been too disturbing. In any case, the show was worth committing to disc in its originally intended form, and it's good that it has been, even a quarter-century after the fact.

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Product Details

Release Date: 08/07/2020
Label: Classics France
UPC: 0769013130622
catalogNumber: 931306
Rank: 164034


  1. Opening/What are we Doing in Egypt?
  2. Song to the Sphinx
  3. Save me from Caesar!
  4. Many Young Men From Now
  5. When my Back is to the Wall
  6. Pleasure Him
  7. Her First Roman
  8. Magic Carpet
  9. Rome
  10. The Dangerous Age
  11. The Things we Think we Are
  12. Her First Roman - reprise
  13. Parable of the Monkey
  14. I Cannot Make him Jealous/I Can't Help Feeling Jealous
  15. The Wrong Man
  16. Let me Lead the Way
  17. In Vino Veritas
  18. I Fell in With Evil Companions
  19. Just for Today
  20. Finale Ultimo
  21. Song to the Sphinx (Demo Recording)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Richard Kiley   Primary Artist,Vocals
Leslie Uggams   Vocals,Track Performer
Ervin Drake   Vocals
Scott Perloff   Percussion
David Ryan   Trombone
Brenda Silas-Moore   Track Performer
David Snyder   Piano,Cello
Bruce Stone   Bass
Roberta Wall   Vocals
Bryan Miller   Vocals
Lori Andrews   Harp
Libbie Jo Snyder   Flute
Nathan Campbell   French Horn
Priscilla Lopez   Vocals
Mark Miller   Vocals
Rod Raines   Vocals

Technical Credits

Michael McDonald   Engineer
Ervin Drake   Lyricist,Liner Notes
Wayne Moore   Producer,Audio Production
Robert McGarity   Executive Producer
Michael McDonald   Engineer

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