ONE TOUCH OF VENUS

Mr. Nowak
Featured Actor
joined:5/20/13
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/17/13 at 08:24pm
I just got the Jay studio cast recording and I absolutely adore this score!

Why has this show never received much recognition? The music is absolutley gorgeous, and rather different from most Broadway fare from that time period. "Speak Low" had some success, but the show largely disappeared after its run, except for a few concerts and a run in England that never even made it to the West End.

The plot sounds a little absurd, but not much more absurd than many shows from that era. Is the book the show's failing?
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/17/13 at 08:37pm
When it was presented at Encores, I found the book to be fine. That was one of Encore's best presentations, actually.

Updated On: 12/17/13 at 08:37 PM
trentsketch
Broadway Legend
joined:6/25/09
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/17/13 at 08:41pm
I think it's just not very well known at this point. I'm a big fan of the show. A local college did a really great production a couple years ago. It is deceptively hard music to sing so that might have an impact on it.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/17/13 at 09:51pm
A friend of mine held the Broadway rights for years. He just couldn't raise the money, I think because of the lack of name recognition. Theater fanatics may know the score but "Speak Low" is no longer a hit to the general public. Neither is the title of the show recognized by lots of customers.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/18/13 at 08:27am
It was quite a big hit in its time; here are some other hit plays and musicals from that era that are rarely if ever done or heard today:

Panama Hattie
Separate Rooms
Let's Face It!
Janie
Claudia
Kiss and Tell
Follow The Girls
The Doughgirls
Song of Norway
Dear Ruth
State of the Union
High Button Shoes
The Two Mrs. Carrolls

We often dismiss them (without knowing anything about them) as "dated," but a lot of hits just become forgotten.
ErinDillyFan
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/06
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/18/13 at 10:29am
One of my favorite songs is "I'm A Stranger Here Myself." I saw a great production of the show at The Shaw Festival a couple years back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqmWBireC5U

GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/27/13 at 10:58pm
Okay, so I'll just admit to being dimwitted.

Now that we have that out of the way, is the "complete" VENUS by Jay Recordings ever to be released on CD? Is it already sold out?

I see that I can download it to my computer via iTunes, but that's not where I want to keep a recording I am sure I will treasure.

Updated On: 12/28/13 at 10:58 PM
Demitri2
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/05
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/28/13 at 05:31pm
According to a post last week on ALL THAT CHAT it will be released as a 2 CD set in February. However after waiting for its release on CD for years, I'll believe it when I actually have it in my hands.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/28/13 at 05:55pm
Thank you so much, Demitri2. I'm sure you saved me hours and hours of searching.
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/29/13 at 02:59pm
The score is very strong. In addition to the wonderful songs others have mentioned, I'll throw in Foolish Heart, That's Him and West Wind. The book by Perelman and Nash, who are not pikers, is, by turns, outlandish (in a good way), fantastical, hilarious and strangely touching. I think it's absolutely viable if you have the luxury of presenting something with no name recognition. IMHO it has high entertainment value.
Demitri2
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/05
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/29/13 at 05:07pm
Your most welcome GavestonPS. I just hope the February release date is an accurate one. Fingers crossed here but I guess time will tell.

I don't know if this is of interest but recently I was able to view a 1955 TV telecast of the show at the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. Apparently the show had been done that summer at the Dallas State Fair and NBC decided to air the production editing it to fit into a 90 minute time slot. I was glad I saw it since it appears to be a lot more faithful to the original 1943 Broadway show than what I was only previously familiar with through the Ava Gardner movie version which omitted practically all of the score (though Gardner is something to watch as the Goddess of Love and Beauty). The major caveat with the TV version though is the casting of Venus with actress Janet Blair. She's absolutely charmless in the role. Otherwise at this time it's probably one of the few chances we'll ever get to see what ONE TOUCH OF VENUS might have been like. The link below includes a plot synopsis.

http://www.paleycenter.org/collection/item/?q=one+touch+of+venus&p=1&item=T:20651
sondheimboy2
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/29/13 at 05:19pm
I think that the script to this and "The Beauty Part" hold up better than almost all of S.J. Perlman's other writings
"A coherent existance after so many years of muddle" - Desiree' Armfelt, A Little Night Music "Life keeps happening everyday, Say Yes" - 70, Girls, 70 "Life is what you do while you're waiting to die" - Zorba
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/29/13 at 06:12pm
That's a shame about Janet Blair. I love her on THE PAJAMA GAME album.
Demitri2
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/05
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/30/13 at 01:57am
I believe you've confused Janet Blair with Janis Paige who I'm also a big fan of from PAJAMA GAME and even the HERE'S LOVE OBC recording. Paige would have been much better suited to play the role since she possessed a much more impish quality than Blair. The only time I saw Janet Blair live on stage was when most the original cast of FOLLIES had come out west from NY after it closed there. It opened the now unfortunately torn down Shubert Theatre in Century City. But the wonderful Dorothy Collins had opted out of the tour stop being replaced by Janet Blair who added nothing to the role. In fact I would rather have seen Blair's standby, Jan Clayton (from CAROUSEL and TV's LASSIE) instead of her. And wait, she also did a terrible musical I saw with Patricia Morrison titled WINNER TAKES ALL about suffragettes (later turned into ONWARD VICTORIA on Broadway with entirely different creators). Guess I'm just not a fan of the woman...lol.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Posted: 12/30/13 at 05:37pm
Yes, indeed, I did confuse the two. Thank you for the correction. I've seen Janis Paige in a few films and I probably saw Janet Blair on TV, but I can't remember when.