With sparkling, witty songs by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and a book based on a racy Hungarian comedy, it would have been surprising if I Married an Angel had been anything but a hit in 1938 – and indeed, it ran for almost a year, which qualified it for hit status at that time. Today, the show is best remembered for its title song and the quintessential Lorenz Hart torch tune, “Spring is Here,” which are heard on many a Rodgers & Hart songbook album, but little else – especially not for the forgettable Hollywood version from 1942. (This was a rather sexless enterprise, reconceived as a vehicle for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.) Yet the original boasted an all-star team directing (Joshua Logan) and choreographing (George Ballanchine) and a score that includes some of R & H’s most intriguing and provocative, if not exactly their best-known, songs: “Did You Ever Get Stung?,” “I'll Tell the Man in the Street,” “A Twinkle in Your Eye,” and “At the Roxy Music Hall” in addition to the widely loved “I Married an Angel” and the gloriously ironic “Spring is Here.” It’s a rarely staged work, and Broadway and songbook devotees will be lining up all the way down 55th Street to see what they’ve done with it. The cast includes Ann Harada (unforgettable as a surprisingly sympathetic stepsister in Cinderella, here as a comic Duchess) and Sara Mearns as the titular angel. And, by the way, the title is not metaphoric, the story is really about what it’s like to marry an actual angel. We shall see!
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