Seventh Heaven

Seventh-HeavenOriginal Broadway Cast, 1955 (Decca) 2 Stars (2 / 5) Seventh Heaven received mixed-to-negative reviews and closed fairly quickly, but the show’s impressive music earned it this recording. Composer Victor Young’s rich melodies are paired with Stella Unger’s often catchy, sometimes silly lyrics: ”I’m richer than Midas, I’m high as a kite is” and “To all headwaiters named Francois, I wish you all a very cordial au revoir” are two examples. Yet the stronger numbers outweigh the weaker ones, and the performers put the material over skillfully. Robert Clary, as a pickpocket, performs the humorous “Happy Little Crook” and the delightful “Love Sneaks Up on You” with the baby-voiced Patricia Hammerlee as a prostitute. Clary also leads the ensemble in the rousing “C’est La Vie,” which opens and closes the musical. Chita Rivera and Gerrianne Raphael as happy hookers join Hammerlee in a powerful rendition of “Camille, Colette, Fifi,” but they don’t do as well with “Love, Love, Love.” Leading lady Gloria DeHaven has a solid ballad in “Where Is That Someone for Me?” but her “If It’s a Dream” is not up to snuff; nor is Ricardo Montalban’s “A ‘Miss-You’ Kiss” or “A Man With a Dream,” although he does good work in the waltz “Remarkable Fellow.” The one duet for Montalban and DeHaven, “Sun at My Window, Love at My Door,” has lyrics that may give you the giggles, but the melody and the performances will satisfy. There’s also some lovely dance music: “The White and Gold Ballet” as listed on the LP, “Chico’s Reverie” as listed on the CD. One of the two bonus tracks is Marian Caruso singing “Blessings,” the other is DeHaven doing a pop version of “Where Is That Someone for Me?” with Victor Young and his orchestra. — Jeffrey Dunn