Monday, November 25, 2019

'Man of Magic' to be released as limited edition CD

Here's one I never expected to see! Stage Door in the UK will release the original cast recording of the 1966 London stage musical Man of Magic as a limited edition CD on December 13, 2019. Below are details.

Continuing Stage Door's 'Cast Album Masters Series' is the CD debut of the 'Man Of Magic' Original London Cast Recording. Based on the life of iconic magician and escapologist Harry Houdini, 'Man Of Magic' opened at London's Piccadilly Theatre on November 15th 1966 and ran for 135 performance. 
Featuring music by Wilfred Wylam (a pseudonym for classical composer Wilfred Josephs) and book and lyrics by John Morley and Aubrey Cash, the production starred Stuart Damon as Houdini alongside Judith Bruce as Bess and Stubby Kaye as Toby Kester. Produced by legendary theatre impresario Harold Fielding, the production received mixed reviews and failed to achieve the acclaim of his earlier successes 'Half A Sixpence' and 'Charlie Girl'. Despite the lukewarm critical response to 'Man Of Magic', the production was noted for its elaborate recreations of Houdini's illusions and the performances of its leading players Stuart Damon, Judith Bruce and Stubby Kaye. 
Although 'Man Of Magic' marked Wilfred Josephs' only work for musical theatre, there is much to be enjoyed in his distinctive and immediate score, not least the rousing duet 'Conquer The World', 'Suddenly' and the comedy numbers 'Take Your Medicine' and 'Kester's Crystal Cabbage'. 
The limited edition 500 unit only release of 'Man Of Magic' continues Stage Door's 'Cast Album Masters Series'. Licensing recordings from the major labels, the series presents the CD debut of many London Cast Recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, all digitally remastered from the studio master tapes.

You can hear song samples and pre-order at the Stage Door website. It's also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Thanks to Michael Mitnick for the alert.

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4 comments:

  1. Hello John. I am confident people will be glad that they can buy this as it really is a gem to have. As I have posted before, Harold Fielding gave me his last personal copy of the vinyl record in the seventies. As I do play it often, every few years or so I have a lab clean the disk despite me having obtained a second copy a few years ago that is in near pristine condition. I am willing to part with that (if there is a keen collector wanting it) and will certainly preserve my first copy now by buying the new CD. Thanks for the heads up on this.

    On a different topic now. In 2021, a terrific modern Museum is opening in my home town of Blackpool (in the U.K.), which will feature all about the various entertainments and artists which have appeared in the town's long history. There will be a large section devoted to Magic and Escapology, and the door of the police cell which Houdini escaped from during his performances in the town was saved by the local council when the old South King Street Police Station was demolished and It will be one of the exhibits. As I am slightly involved in the project (My mentor Murray and I will be included in the Museum), I will be able to get an early sighting of the jail door and send you a photograph. Details about this fun and unique Museum can be seen here: https://blackpoolmuseum.com/

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    1. Thank you, Karl. Very excited about that door! Yes, please keep me posted.

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  2. Hello John. I just checked out the CD on the Stage Door website and it should really be good because it is listed as being in stereo and the original vinyl record was only in Mono. I don't think that CBS ever released a stereo version.

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  3. My copy of the CD arrived today and it really is excellent John. The jewel case contains a nice booklet and the stereo sound and quality is superb. It's nice being able to listen to all the tracks without having to stop mid-way to turn the vinyl record over. Overall it is well worth the money.

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