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Half a Sixpence (1965 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording


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Audio CD, Cast Recording, June 6, 2000
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$11.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: RCA Victor Broadway
  • ASIN: B00004TDXR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,180 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Introduction
2. Overture - Orchestra
3. All In The Cause Of Economy
4. Half A Sixpence
5. Money To Burn - Original Broadway Cast
6. A Proper Gentleman
7. She's Too Far Above Me
8. If The Rain's Got To Fall
9. Long Ago
10. Flash, Bang, Wallop!
11. I Know What I Am - Polly James
12. The Party's On The House
13. Finale - Original Broadway Cast

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Expressly created for Brit pop star Tommy Steele and based on H.G. Wells's novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul, Half a Sixpence is pure English corn syrup, circa 1965. Steele plays Arthur Kipps, an orphan who climbs the social ladder before losing it all and realizing that you just can't buy happiness (the stuff musical theater is made of, to be sure). David Heneker (who had also worked on Irma La Douce and Charlie Girl) wrote both music and lyrics, but what really sold the show (and it did well indeed) was Steele's outsize presence. Indeed, he appeared in every song except for the overture and a solo by Polly James. Half a Sixpence gained its footnote in Broadway history by being the last West End show to transfer successfully to New York before the late-'70s and early-'80s Lloyd Webber musicals. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
55%
4 star
36%
3 star
9%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 11 customer reviews
And the songs themselves are really good.
Robert Menthe
It's a shame the original score was shortened for Broadway, and that the CD can't show you the fabulous Onna White dances, but this CD release is a treasure.
Gabriel Oak
By the way, the London cast recording of HALF A SIXPENCE and the soundtrack from the SIXPENCE movie are vastly inferior to the Broadway cast album.
Priam Farll

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on June 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It is a pity that the London version of <Half a Sixpence> was truncated to make room for lots of dances in the Broadway run. While it might be true that the dances were one of the reasons for the great success of the American version, the 11 songs that were left make us wish to hear more. You see, as it appears on the RCA Victor re-release of the Broadway cast recording (09026-63691-2), this musical is one of the most joyous romps I have ever enjoyed on a recording or a stage!
Tommy Steele has retained most of his songs in this version, and that gives him almost as much to do as Merman had in "Annie Get Your Gun." And he carries it off with apparent ease. The fact that it is based on the charming H.G. Wells novel "Kipps" and/or the equally charming film version means nothing to us since the CD has only the songs; but knowing the plot does help us place each number in a dramatic context. The booklet is most helpful in letting us follow the story line. Grab this one and lobby for a recording of the complete London version, perhaps even with the dialogue!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JUST ME on June 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Painfully long out-of-print, Half A Sixpence is that rare thing today, a musical with a show-stopping original score that has great songs you can remember, providing one with that seldom-seen joy of leaving the theater humming. The score sounds much like the classic scores of Jerry Herman, with touching ballads, comedy songs, rousing showstoppers, and a very memorable star turn by British Tommy Steele, who gained well-deserved American fame with this show. It's not hard to see why after listening to him belt it out like there's no tomorrow. Here's a very British show with the best of Broadway sensibilities that shows you how well the Brits did it before the invasion of the "RockOperettas" of the 1980's changed the sound of musical plays! Half A Sixpence is a must-have on anyone's musical theater cast album list. It's a FLASH-BANG-WALLOP!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Benedetto on February 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"Half a Sixpence" would probably have had only mild success in New York, if even that, were it not for the choreography of Onna White. The show had been tepidly received in London, but when White took over for Broadway, it became a dazzling dance extravaganza.
Sadly, though, this came at the expense of the score. Several excellent songs ("The Oak and the Ash", "I'm Not Talking to You", "I Only Want a Little House") were cut between London and Broadway to make room for additional dancing, and they're not heard on this album. As a result, the OBCR can come off as repetitious and dull.
It isn't, really, when taken as the sum of its parts. What's left of the score is often thrilling ("Money to Burn", "Flash! Bang! Wallop!") or lovely ("Long Ago", "I Know What I Am") -- but there isn't enough of it, and it's not as varied as it was in London. The dance music was left off the album (as was one song for the chorus), and it clocks in at about ten minutes shorter than most cast recordings of the period.
As the longer and more definitively cast London version is currently unavailable, though, fans of musical theatre should not hesitate to grab this album. David Heneker (who died several days ago, as I write this) was a great talent, and this preserves some of his best work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Oak on August 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I saw this show three times on Broadway because it was so entertaning. Because this show was associated with its star, Tommy Steele, it has rarely been revived. But its score holds up well, and every song is a delight. If The Rain's Got to Fall, Long Ago, and the title tune are my favorites. It's a shame the original score was shortened for Broadway, and that the CD can't show you the fabulous Onna White dances, but this CD release is a treasure. Maybe it will encourage someone to remaster the original London cast recording. And also inspire some regional theaters to stage it again. For those who like the score, check out Peg, also by Heneker.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Priam Farll on December 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Nearly 40 years ago, Tommy Steele opened on Broadway in HALF A SIXPENCE, with the flash-bang-wallop that Hugh Jackman brought to THE BOY FROM OZ in 2003. SIXPENCE came near the end of a Broadway season (1964-65) that began with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. At Tony Awards time, FIDDLER deservedly got everything. However, HALF A SIXPENCE remains a joyous gem. Sadly much of the dance music was not recorded, not to mention Steele's teaching the audience to sing the title song, that was a nightly part of his Broadway curtain call. That said, SIXPENCE on CD is delightful as ever. Find a 21st century Tommy Steele (acts, sings, dances, plays the banjo) and it could be very successfully revived. By the way, the London cast recording of HALF A SIXPENCE and the soundtrack from the SIXPENCE movie are vastly inferior to the Broadway cast album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I would love to have the motion picture movie soundtrack - HALF A SIXPENCE - avaiable on CD. The recording (which was available on LP) has fantastic richly recorded Stereo sound, with wonderful film orchestrations by Irwin Kostal (of the SOUND OF MUSIC) As a musical fan of this show I hope that this motion picture soundtrack gets a CD release. My second wish is the hope that the movie would get another chance on home video this time in a WIDESCREEN MODE, and with stereo sound. This is after all a song and DANCE show that needs a full screen to allow the viewer the finest viewing experience.
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Who Else Recorded "She's Too Far Above Me"?
Glen Yarbrough - and he really turns it into a love song.
Aug 2, 2008 by Ronald K. Burke MD |  See all 2 posts
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