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The Apple Tree (1966 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, November 24, 1992
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Product Details

  • Performer: Barbara Harris, Larry Blyden, Alan Alda
  • Conductor: Mike Nichols
  • Composer: Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick
  • Audio CD (November 24, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0000027WD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,960 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bock & Harnick will certainly be remembered for their landmark musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," but this lesser known three-act musical (actually three individual musicals with connecting themes)deserves to be in the library of any true Broadway maven. In its original Broadway production, "The Apple Tree" became more a showcase for the phenomonally talented Barbara Harris than a memorable musical. Harris won the Tony for this performance, and it's evident on the recording why. Harris, Alan Alda and Larry Blyden play the leads in each of the three musicals, "The Diary of Adam and Eve," "The Lady or the Tiger" and "Passionella," but Harris is the one who gets to shine brightest. The three stories share common bonds, but they work individually as separate musicals. Highlights to the recording include Harris' heartfelt "What Makes Me Love Him?" where an adult Eve reflects on her life with Adam; "I've Got What You Want" where her sultry Princess attains the knowledge she's not supposed to have; and the gutsy, hilarious "Gorgeous" where the dirty chimneysweep, Ella, is magically transformed into the glamorous movie star, Passionella. This is pure entertainment, and doesn't pretend to be anything else, though it's done with such heart and soul. Alda and Blyden deliver fine performances as well, but it's Barbara Harris that will leave you wondering, "When will this amazing talent return to Broadway?"
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the greatest of all musical comedy singers, Barbara Harris never appeared in a show that was an unqualified hit, but her great turns in two flawed but much-loved mid-60s shows, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER and THE APPLE TREE, have made her a great cult figure for Broadway fans. THE APPLE TREE, for which she won the Tony, is really rememberted best today as a vehicle for her amazing voice, charm, and versatility, and the cast recording of the original Broadway cast her beautiful open voice shines through to its best advantage. The show features three short stories all centering upon the Eve and temptation theme, and all set to music by Bock and Harnick, the team behind SHE LOVES ME and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The last of the stories, "Passionella" by Jules Feiffer, was said to have been the funniest (and Harris's strange adenoidal intonations in the title role are pretty funny) but certainly did not have the most memorable songs, nor did the middle story, an adaptation of Frank Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" The best songs by far are from the first of the trio, a version of Mark Twain's "The Diary of Adam and Eve," and the beautiful combination of the shimmering orchestrations and Barbara Harris's soaring voice on "Here in Eden" is a revelation. The act's other highlight, "What Makes Me Love Him?" should have survived as a standard: again, it brings out the best in Harris's lovely mellow voice.
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Format: Audio CD
I was lucky enough to have seen this show on Broadway and thought the show & music was hilarious and touching. The album is worth owning because these are great show tunes that you will listen to over and over. The music seems as fresh as ever. Why haven't they done a revival? Buy this album!
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Format: Audio CD
Here's one musical I wish someone would revive. This 1966 Mike Nichols show had Barbara Harris and Alan Alda and was made up of three one-act musicals. I saw a bad road tour of it and also an amateur production, and, despite the lack of competent performers, I enjoyed the show. The songs, by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler On The Roof) are excellent. This album and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever are the best examples of why Barbara Harris was such a dynamic musical theatre star. Of the three acts (The Diary of Adam and Eve, by Mark Twain; The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank Stockton; Passionella, by Jules Feiffer), Passionella is my personal favorite, but, in fairness, each is unique and enjoyable. Listen to Harris sing "Gorgeous" and "Oh, To Be A Movie Star", then belt out "I've Got What You Want" and you'll become a fan of this extraordinary talent. There are a few performers who could probably pull off doing 3 different mini-musicals and who have the range to make it work. It would take a Faith Prince or a Catherine Zeta-Jones to do it, but it would be fun to see this one brought back. Meanwhile, the album should be in every musical theatre fan's collection.
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Format: Audio CD
The Apple Tree was a unique faliure in musical theater. With an all star team behind the original production the show fell victim to it's own ambition. Bock and Harnick make a noble and well worthwhile attempt to musicalize the one-act genre, but in many respects the concept just doesn't work in the context of a stage show. By cutting each of the three stories presented here down to a running time of a little over 2 hours one feels they aren't getting the full story most of the time. This is certainly the case for the latter two tales "the Lady or the Tiger" and "passionella" in which the dizzying pace leaves out much of what made the source material so fantastic. The Lady... fares better than Passionella by setting it in a very fleeting moral opera (remember those fairy tales on Rocky and Bullwinkle, it's a little like that) but Passionella, which could make for an evening of laughs, seems a little slight at it's 40 min running time. The longest and the most fleshed out of the three, The Diary of adam and Eve, works best giving a delightful little story with surprising depth and emotion. That all being said this recording is a goldmine of rarely heard songs. Barbara Harris won the tony for her role as the 3 lead heroines and it's little surprise. The fact that she appeared so fleetingly on the musical stage is a travesty after hearing her sheer talent and range on this album. The supporting players are all in fine form and compliment Harris well, and the songs are amoung Bock and Harnick's best and most musically complex. For these reasons the Cast recording is a must for anyone interested in superior musical theater.
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illya darling
I agree. I've been waiting a long time for this to appear on CD. Has anyone heard of any plans? It's a fairly obscure musical, but less obscure than some others that have appeared...
Jan 5, 2007 by T. Gray |  See all 12 posts
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