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3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Rca Victor
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Rca Victor LOC-1027: New Girl In Town by Original Cast

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gwen Verdon Sings Eugene O'Neill June 16, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Odd how many musicals have been crafted from glum American dramatist Eugene O'Neill--think this, from Anna Christie, or other efforts from Ah Wilderness! or Desire Under The Elms. What keeps this one afloat is the puckish presence of quintessential Broadway hoofer-dancer, Gwen Verdon, perhaps better known as the original Roxie Hart in the original musical Chicago, but here starring as Anna Christie come home to her father and becoming pals with wry and raffish Thelma Ritter; the two of them are what make this 1957 effort bounce to life, Ritter particularly fun with the song "Flings," and another sung with Cameron Prudhomme, "Yer My Friend." While not the caliber of Gypsy or other 50's New York hits, New Girl ran for 431 performances, and has more than a single hot song to make it memorable, including the cynical reminisence "On The Farm," and the hummable "It's Good To Be Alive." Deserving of a better rap than it has, the Bob Merrill music should have a wider audience than most of the tuneless stuff that passes through our ears at Tony time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For those who admire Bob Merrill's extraordinary talent [sometime music and lyrics, sometime, lyrics only: [Carnival, Take Me Along, 2 songs inserted into Hello, Dolly, Funny Girl, etc.] this album is waiting.
While not extraordinary at all, this is a prime example of true middle line musicals that made the 50s, the Golden Age. It wasn't just the runaway hits that gave the period that name! Orchestration-wise, one can 'hear' the beginnings of the choreographic genius of Bob Fosse. One only wishes that the music from the 'Brothel Ballet' was included.
All performances are 1st rate...but what else would you expect from a team like this?!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love this CD, full of great memories and music! July 19, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I grew up listening to my parents play this record over & over after seeing the broadway play and never knew how much I loved it until I heard it again over 40 years later. It has the best upbeat tunes that make you want to join in and a few slower songs and even one song (Anna Lilla) that moves me to tears. I even love the parts when Gwen Verdon is talking to "Dutchie" during the songs. This music reminds me of Rogers and Hammerstein in it's fun,lively beat and hysterical lyrics. If you love those kind of musicals, say like Oklahoma or Carousal, you will love this. It's an older one without all the high tech engineering, but I love the vintage sound and innocence. Simply a lot of fun and will keep you humming. I loved it as a kid and I love it more now that I understand what the lyrics mean. Timeless!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gwen Verdon "sings" Eugene O'Neill... May 3, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It seems that red-headed singing and dancing sweetheart Gwen Verdon could do no wrong when it came to starring in Broadway musicals. Earning Tony Awards for her sizzling performance in 1953's CAN-CAN, and as devil's assistant Lola in 1955's DAMN YANKEES; she netted her third award in 1957, playing Anna Christie in the musical version of Eugene O'Neill's celebrated play, re-titled NEW GIRL IN TOWN.

NEW GIRL IN TOWN is the tale of Anna Christie, a girl with a cloudy past who returns to her hometown in order to help her ailing father, Chris, in his ferryboat business. Anna falls in love with the ship's stoker Mat, although their relationship is to be tested by the revelation of Anna's previous life... "Anna Christie" was famously adapted for the screen as Greta Garbo's very first 'Talkie' vehicle, simultaneously filmed in English and German-language versions. Marie Dressler co-starred as Marthy.

For the musical version of "Anna Christie", pop writer Bob Merrill (FUNNY GIRL, CARNIVAL!) turned in his very first musical theatre score. Tunes like "Roll Yer Socks Up", "It's Good to Be Alive", and "On the Farm" conjure up the world of Anna and her father perfectly. There's a gorgeous love duet for Anna and Mat (George Wallace) entitled "Did You Close Your Eyes?". "Flings" is a charming number for Anna and Marthy (Thelma Ritter, who tied with Ms Verdon to win a Tony Award for her crowd-pleasing performance). Sadly, time restrictions prevented the recording of the climactic "Cat House Ballet" sequence. NEW GIRL IN TOWN opened at the 46th Street Theatre on 14th May 1957, and ran for 431 performances.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Eileen Barton's 1950 recording of "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" was songwriter Bob Merrill's very first pop hit, and he went on to create such pop classics as Rosemary Clooney's "Mambo Italiano," Guy Mitchell's "(There's a Pawnshop on a Corner in) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania" and Patti Page's mega-hit "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" However, Merrill's major claim to fame (infamy?) was writing ". . . one of the most recognizable, most parodied, and (for non-Streisand fans) most irritating lyrics of all time: People/People who need people/Are the luckiest people in the world." (Marc Steyn, in an article posted on, dated April 9, 1998) Furthermore, writes Steyn, "Merrill is the man who single-handedly produced the worst songs of the decade and so debauched the currency of mainstream Tin Pan Alley that it had no moral authority to resist rock 'n' roll."

Well, excuuuse me, Mr. Steyn. I, among millions of others growing up in the 50s, really dug Bob Merrill's novelty songs, and I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs he wrote for his first Broadway score, NEW GIRL IN TOWN. How can anyone resist such rousing, toe-tapping, full-throated ensemble numbers like "Roll Yer Socks Up," "At the Check Apron Ball," "The Sunshine Girl (Has Raindrops in Her Eyes)," "There Ain't No Flies on Me," and "Chess and Checkers"? Novelty songs? Yes, and so are Marthy (Thelma Ritter) and the girls' reminiscences about their youthful "Flings" and Anna's (Gwen Verdon) recounting of her introduction to the wayward life by her Minnesota uncles and cousins "On the Farm." Merrill's score also includes a couple of lovely ballads: Mat's (George Wallace) "Look at `Er," Anna's "If That Was Love" and "It's Good To Be Alive," later reprised by Mat.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music
New Girl in Town is one of my favorite musicals. I haven't heard it in years because I only have it on vinyl. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kathleen M. Kacprowicz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good score, great cast.
This recording has a wonderful cast and captures the essence of the live performances of Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter. Read more
Published on November 8, 2011 by Ralph
4.0 out of 5 stars Gwen Verdon sings Eugene O'Neill
It seems that red-headed singing and dancing sweetheart Gwen Verdon could do no wrong when it came to starring in Broadway musicals. Read more
Published on April 11, 2009 by Byron Kolln
Essential Reading - Marc Styn's "The Worst Songwriter of All Time," posted April 9, 1998 on "In a century of pop music, Bob Merrill pretty much has a hammerlock on the... Read more
Published on April 10, 2009 by J. T Waldmann
1.0 out of 5 stars NEW GIRL IN TOWN
New Girl in Town has been one of my favorite musicals, ever since I saw it on a pre-Broadway run in Boston over fifty years ago. Read more
Published on March 19, 2008 by Robert George Funke
4.0 out of 5 stars NEW GIRL IN TOWN
'New Girl in Town' has long been out of print and now the girl has returned and welcome home. I had never heard the score before but it turns out it is a solid and surprisingly... Read more
Published on November 21, 2007 by Robert F. Powers
2.0 out of 5 stars So-so Musical Version of "Anna Christie"
The 1957 musical "New Girl in Town", which featured Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter, is a very mixed bag. Read more
Published on May 22, 2005 by Helluva Godtime
2.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but not a goodie
I had the unique oppertunity to perform in my college's production of this show, and I must say that it is perhaps the worst piece of musical theatre I have ever worked on. Read more
Published on June 16, 1999 by Lauren (
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