37 West 56th Street. An address that in-the-know sophisticated New Yorkers knew very well in the mid-1950s – the resplendent reconverted townhouse of one John Wanamaker that served as the home to a delectably delicious series of cabaret entertainments presented at the Upstairs at the Downstairs by Julius Monk.
For Four Below Strikes Back, Monk assembled a great four-person cast, including the amazing Nancy Dussault, Jenny Lou Law, George Furth (before he turned writer with Company, Twigs, The Act, and Merrily We Roll Along), and Cy Young. The then-topical material is wonderful, as it always was, and somehow then-topical material crazily remains topical through the years. Writers include Monk regulars Ronny Graham, Tom Jones, Bud McCreery, Bruce Williamson, and others. As always, it’s a mix of fun songs along with a few well-chosen ballads, all delivered in high style by the great cast. This kind of revue has gone the way of the dodo bird and it’s a real shame. Frankly, we could use a Julius Monk today – someone sophisticated, wry, witty, urbane, and yet completely off-kilter.
Monk’s shows were completely unique, and his shows were very special and beloved by all who were lucky enough to see them. Their popularity happily produced many cast recordings of his shows so their legacy lives on and we’re pleased to give Four Below Strikes Back its first CD release.
1. Overture and Opening (Bud McCreery) Entire Cast
2. Leave Your Mind Alone (Ronny Graham) Nancy Dussault and Cy Young
3. Mr. X (Herbert Hartig and Lois Korey) Jenny Lou Law and George Furth
4. It’s a Wonderful Day to be Seventeen (Tom Jones and Ronny Graham) Nancy Dussault
5. The Castro Tango (Bruce Williamson) Jenny Lou Law and George Furth
6. Charlie Chan (William Roy) Nancy Dussault
7. The Sitwells (Bud McCreery) Jenny Lou Law, Cy Young, and George Furth
8. Merry-Go, Merry-Go-Round (G. Wood) Jenny Lou Law
9. Jefferson Davis Tyler’s General Store (Edward C. Redding) Nancy Dussault and Company
10. Four Seasons (Louis Botto and William Roy) Entire Cast
11. Speak No Love (Edward C. Redding) Cy Young
12. The Constant Nymphet (John Meyer) Jenny Lou Law and Nancy Dussault
13. Man Tan (Ronny Graham and William Roy) Jenny Lou Law
14. Lola Montez (Michael Brown) Nancy Dussault and Cy Young
15. Family Fallout Shelter (Bruce Williamson) George Furth
16. Literary Time (Tom Jones) Cy Young and Jenny Lou Law
17. Love, Here I Am (Walter Marks) Nancy Dussault
18. Payola (Bruce Williamson and William Roy) Entire Cast
Robert Colston and Paul Trueblood at the Plural Pianos