SEBASTIAN THE CRAB & THE SHERMAN BROTHERS @ 28 August 2008 12:59 PM
While watching the extras for the new direct to DVD Little Mermaid: Ariel Goes to College (just kidding, couldn't resist) Ariel's Beginning, seeing the great Sam Wright on the extras reminded me that he long before he voiced Sebastian for various Mermaid projects, he also was featured in a Broadway show that should be remembered and perhaps revived called Over Here!
A starring vehicle for the remaining Andrews Sisters, Patty and Maxene, the 1974 show was the first Broadway venture for Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. They really wrote an outstanding score that suggested the musical styles of the 1940s but stood on their own as great songs with that distinctive, somewhat more sophisticated, Sherman touch. If you love "Zuckerman's Famous Pig," you'd love, "Hey, Yvette." If you love "Boogie Woogie Bakery Man," you'd love "The Big Beat" and "Charlie's Place."
And here's the kicker -- John Travolta sings a great song, "Dream Drummin.' Other before-they-were-famous cast members include Treat Williams, Marilu Henner and Ann Reinking, who performed "Charlie's Place" on The Merv Griffin Show once.
Over Here! even won a Tony for Janie Sell, who played a singer who tried to join the sister act but -- get this -- her knowledge of the second verse of "The Star Spangled Banner" exposed her as an overly-trained German spy, since few Americans really know the second verse!
I never saw the show, but I know the album well. In fact, the CD contains alternate version of "Where Did the Good Times Go?" and an extended version of "The Big Beat," so the vinyl album (which was released in the then-revolutionary Quadrophonic Sound) is a little different than the Sony CD reissue or the iTunes download.
Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel) and Sam Wright
Oh, and to get back to Sam Wright, his big song in Over Here! is called, "Don't Shoot the Hooey to Me, Louie."
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