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Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
The original production of I Do! I Do! produced by David Merrick, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, and starring Mary Martin and Robert Preston opened on Broadway on December 6, 1966, and ran 560 performances, after which stars Martin and Preston took it on the road. It had many productions after that, but no real New York revival until 1996 when it played off-Broadway at the Lamb’s Theater in a much more intimate production that starred Karen Ziemba and David Garrison, directed by Will Mackenzie and choreographed by Janet Watson. It only ran fifty-two performances, but audiences who were lucky enough to see it loved every minute of it. It played beautifully as a smaller show and the sound of the score, redone for two pianos, sounded rather like The Fantasticks. The two stars gave engaging, funny, moving performances as the long-married Michael and Agnes.
What was really amazing was hearing just how great a score I Do! I Do! is. Tom Jones’ lyrics are beautifully crafted, and character driven in the best way, and Harvey Schmidt’s music is simply perfect, capturing every mood and emotion in surprising and stunning ways. The show produced one huge hit, “My Cup Runneth Over,” but every song in the show is wonderful. The cast album was originally recorded for Varese Sarabande and produced by Bruce Kimmel.
For this release, bringing this album back in print after twenty years, the recording has been lovingly remastered by James Nelson and includes a new bonus track – the cut song “Thousands of Flowers,” sung by the revival’s stars, Karen Ziemba and David Garrison. New cover art, a booklet loaded with color photographs, new liner notes by Tom Jones, Karen Ziemba, David Garrison, and producer Bruce Kimmel. -KRITZERLAND