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Archy and Mehitabel / Carnival of the Animals Soundtrack


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Audio CD, Soundtrack, June 29, 2004
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 7 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Archy and Mehitabel / Carnival of the Animals + Archy and Mehitabel + The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel (Penguin Classics)
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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Archy And Mehitabel27:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Echoes Of Archy17:49Album Only
listen  3. The Carnival Of The Animals26:42$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Carol Channing, Eddie Bracken, David Wayne, Noel Coward
  • Composer: Saint-Saens
  • Audio CD (June 29, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Drg
  • ASIN: B0002739QI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,013 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. T Waldmann on July 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
My younger sister and I used to know every word of ARCHY & MEHITABEL by heart! We'd go around the house singing "Cheerio, my deerio, prance and pirouette. Cheerio, my deerio, there's life in me yet!" And "Her left ear is ragged; there are lumps on her hide, and she limps on her hind leg on the starboard side." Yes, it's the story of Archy the Cockroach and his attempts to reform Mehitabel the Cat ". . . with a soul too gay and a conscience too frail." Archy writes of her exploits by jumping head first from the carriage onto the typewriter keys below.
Based on the stories and vignettes of Don Marquis, ARCHY has music by George Kleinsinger and words by Joe Darion, who some years later would write the lyrics for MAN OF LA MANCHA. David Wayne narrates the story and Eddie Bracken and Carol Channing appear in the title roles. AND THEY ARE WONDERFUL!!
Especially Carol Channing. It's hard to imagine anyone else playing Mehitabel. (We have no recording of Eartha Kitt's SHINBONE ALLEY performance.) Just listen to Miss Chandler deliver the following lines, after Mehitabel returns from her fling with Bill, the Tom Cat. "Oh, Archy. What have I done to deserve all these brats? Not that I don't love the cursed things, but why does life have to be one darn litter after another? After all, Archy. I'm an artist. This constant parade of kittens interferes with my career. It's not that I'm shy on mother love, Archy. My heart would bleed if anything happened to them and I found it out. But is isn't fair! The eternal struggle between life and art is wearing me out!"
Wonderful piece of theatre. Rush out and buy it. Good mono sound and DRG's usual expert remastering with original liner notes.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on July 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Too many years ago, I lent a certain LP to a young student I was tutoring; but they moved and it disappeared into history. Since then, I have been eagerly awaiting its reappearance on a CD and that day has finally come. I speak of the cult off-Broadway show named "archy and mehitabel: a back alley opera" based on the vers libre writings of Don Marquis with words by Joe Darion.

You see, archy, a cockroach, is the reincarnation of a poet and is now in love with the free-wheeling alley cat mehitabel. And the reason for these lower-case letters is that archy was able to jump from key to key on a newspaperman's typewriter at night, but he could not control the shift key. Cute.

Well, this 25-minute show was composed by George Kleinsinger and starred David Wayne as the newsman-narrator, Eddie Bracken and Carol Channing as the title characters, and Percival Dove (I am not sure that name is for real!) as the basso tomcat who seduces (without much trouble) mehitabel. The jazzy music is never less than enjoyable and archy's lament towards the end is quite beautiful.

Bracken's pipsqueaky voice is just right for the roach and Channing's voice is from another planet for starters. I cannot picture any other singer in that role. And yes, this was the basis of "Shinbone Alley" with Eartha Kitt that came along in 1957 and closed quickly. There is a cartoon version of this show on video tape, if you are interested.

So you can hear this all for yourself on a DRG CD (19064) and a lot more to boot. The original LP's second side, "echoes of archy," is included, giving us Wayne's reading of several of Marquis' archy poems.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
ARCHY AND MEHITABEL is the delighful George Kleinsinger-Joe Darion `back-alley opera' based on the stories of Don Marquis. The story concerns a cockroach called archy who writes about his experiences and friends in the big city, on a typewriter in a deserted newspaper office at nighttime. He can't work the shift key so all of his writing is in lower-case, hence the title "archy and mehitabel". archy writes about many things but most of all his friend mehitabel the cat, whom he wishes would stop her heedless homeless lifestyle and get a job as a house-cat.

The 26-minute recording has always been an endless delight, with Eddie Bracken and Carol Channing (in her beatnik phase) perfect for the roles of archy and mehitabel. David Wayne serves as narrator. The musical was later expanded into a full evening of musical theatre - SHINBONE ALLEY - which again starred Eddie Bracken with Eartha Kitt as mehitabel (a double-disc live recording of the show is available on Legend-6009/6010 and is highly-recommended). This CD is filled out by ECHOES OF ARCHY, a sequel again narrated by David Wayne; with the legendary Noel Coward-Andre Kostelanetz recording of CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS thrown in for good measure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like "yaakov98," I knew every word of this record as a child. My sister now has the actual LP and plays it for her son, who can also sing the entire thing.

But although kids love it, it is not at all a record for children. As a kid I recognized archy's hopeless crush on mehitabel, but completely missed why he was upset when she returned from her romantic fling with a litter of kittens...an unwed mother, and clearly not for the first time. "archy and mehitabel" veers from bouncy to melancholy, but "echoes of archy" is downright gloomy (though very enjoyable anyway).

The music owes a lot to "West Side Story" in its jazzy orchestration, but has its own distinct voice -- listen how the cheery waltzy songs like "Cheerio my deario" have moments of minor chording that are ominous in tone.

Highlights for me are: the chorus of alley cats crooning a cockeyed lullaby to the kittens ("Hushabye...go to sleep in the ash can") with mehitabel's counterpoint on the difficulty of her work/life balance. Also, the story of Horace, the theater cat of the "Old School" -- hysterical.

By the way, although the "echoes of archy" segment is entirely done by David Wayne, it's not just spoken word. There are a lot of great songs too.
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Archy and Mehitabel / Carnival of the Animals
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