PHILEMON Cast Recording on CD -- Anybody Ever See It on Stage?
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 05:42 pm EDT 06/15/19
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 05:38 pm EDT 06/15/19

I've been a fan of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones ever since I saw the Hallmark Hall of Fame version of The Fantasticks on TV in '64. Over the last 30 years I've seen stage productions of most of their shows. However, I've never seen Philemon on stage or on TV, nor did I ever own the cast album LP. For years I have heard all sorts of rumors and/or stories about the supposedly insurmountable obstacles to producing a CD of either the '75 Off-Broadway production or the '76 TV soundtrack. So I was quite pleased when Harbinger Records announced their recording, which I received a couple of weeks ago. According to the liner notes in the elaborate booklet, the recording contains all the tracks from the cast album LP with supplementary material from the soundtrack plus a demo recording by Schmidt. IMO the sound quality is as good as most cast recordings of that era. The score is excellent, very much in the vein of Celebration with a little bit of 110 in the Shade.

The booklet contains articles by Bill Rudman and Steven Schultz, a comprehensive history of the show by Tom Jones, a complete synopsis, comments from 3 of the original cast members, and a lot of other good stuff. I would imagine that most fans of Schmidt and Jones would enjoy this CD.

Just curious. Have any ATC-ers ever seen a stage production of Philemon or the TV version? Comments?

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