Dance A Little Closer

Original Broadway Cast

Dance A Little Closer, Original Broadway Cast
CDTER 1174

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Book & lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.
Music by Charles Strouse

based on Idiot's Delight by
Robert E. Sherwood 

Harry Aikens, a down-at-heel supper club entertainer warms again to an old flame, Cynthia Brookfield-Bailey, when they are both ensconced in an Austrian hotel on New Year's Eve awaiting World War III. Cynthia was the mistress of a man who bore a remarkable resemblance to the American diplomat, Henry Kissinger.

by Charles Strouse

It is New Year's Eve again at the Barclay Palace Hotel in the Austrian Alps in the "avoidable future" but not so very far from the hotel in the Italian Alps where Robert Sherwood served up Idiot's Delight almost 50 years earlier. The international situation is still deteriorating and the jet-set crowd is dancing on the brink to the music of Harry Aikens and Delights.

Harry's love life is reflected in his act. It is a chequered record that was generally fun.

A New Year's past invades Harry's memory with a particular woman he could not posses. There had been an attraction but not for her. At this point in the present, who should appear but a double for the woman in Harry's past, the exotic Cynthia Brookfield-Bailey. She appears to feel that one is worth it - the Kissingeresque Dr. Josef Winkler. When Cynthia denies ever having known Harry, he joins the left-wing student, Halloway, in bemoaning the perfidy of governments and women.

Cynthia's liaison with Winkler is not without its own questions. How much of an influence does Winkler have over the gathering war clouds? How much of an influence does Cynthia have over Winkler? Is she merely a woman who thinks Winkler is wonderful or is she the woman from Harry's past who has always obsessed him?

Two of the other guests at the Barclay-Palace Hotel believe in love, although not perhaps in the traditional mould. Charles and Edward wonder why the world cannot just leave them alone. In an ideal world this might just happen but then Harry isn't leaving Cynthia either. Her resemblance to the "Cindy" of his memory is too marked and her relationship to the roving Winkler too apparently tenuous. Cynthia keeps denying that Harry was a part of her past or that he is likely to be part of her future. As for Winkler's famous wanderings, he always returns to Cynthia.

By the time his night-club act goes on that evening, however, Harry is convinced that he has a new girl. When word arrives that the frightening international situation is threatening to erupt into war, Cynthia turns momentarily to Harry. He is now certain that Cynthia is the girls of his past even though she denies it.

Act II opens with the hotel guests preparing to evacuate to safer climes as war appears to be imminent and an air base in the valley below is a likely military target. The Delights Trio is glad to be heading home but Harry is angry at the cancellation of the tour, mad at Cynthia who has run back to Winkler and mad at humanity in general.

Faced with a probable war in which one, or both, may be killed, the lovers, Charles and Edward, feel it important to formalise their relationship and they ask the Reverend Boyle to marry them. His position is firm, "I don't know" but everyone else has an opinion to offer. The boys' commitment leads Cynthia to seek a commitment from Winkler but he departs. Almost at the same time Harry, tortured by Cynthia's denials of the past declares he never wants to see her again which leaves Cynthia stranded in her seeming glory - but alone.

As the last bus leaves for the border, Harry returns. What ever happens to the rest of the world, if he is to have a future, Cynthia must be a part of it. As the first air raid sirens sound these two, at least, have found the potential for a personal peace.

CD 1
  1. Overture
  2. It Never Would've Worked
    Len Cariou, Cheryl Howard, Alyson Reed, Diane Pennington
  3. Happy, Happy New Year
    Len Cariou, Diane Pennington, Cheryl Howard, Alyson Reed
  4. No Man Is Worth It
    Liz Robertson
  5. What Are You Going To Do About It?
    Len Cariou, Joseph Kolinski
  6. A Woman Who Thinks I'm Wonderful
    George Rose
  7. There's Never Been Anything Like Us (Pas De Deux)
    Len Cariou
  8. Another Life
    Liz Robertson
  9. Why Can't The World Go And Leave Us Alone?
    Brent Barrett, Jeff Keller
  10. He Always Comes Home To Me
    Liz Robertson, Len Cariou
  11. I Got A New Girl
    Len Cariou, Diane Pennington, Cheryl Howard, Alyson Reed
  12. Dance A Little Closer
    Len Cariou, Liz Robertson
  13. There's Always One You Can't Forget
    Len Cariou
  14. Entr'acte/Homesick
    Alyson Reed, Diane Pennington, Cheryl Howard, Orchestra
  15. Mad
    Len Cariou, Diane Pennington, Cheryl Howard, Alyson Reed
  16. I Don't Know/Anyone Who Loves
    Len Cariou, Liz Robertson, Brent Barrett, Elizabeth Hubbard, Jeff Keller, I.M.Hobson, Diane Pennington, Cheryl Howard, Alyson
  17. Auf Wiedershen
    George Rose
  18. I Never Want To See You Again
    Len Cariou
  19. On Top Of The World
    Liz Robertson
  20. Dance A Little Closer (Reprise)
    Len Cariou, Liz Robertson, Company