Tip-Toes

Tell-Me-MoreNew York Concert Cast, 1998 (New World, 2CDs) 4 Stars (4 / 5) Enchanting piffle from 1925, Tip-Toes has a funny Fred Thompson-Guy Bolton book, a dancey Gershwin score, and an insuperable cast in this Carnegie Hall concert performance. The orchestral materials, as Rob Fisher relates in his liner notes, were in good shape except for the Arden and Ohlman dual-piano parts; Joseph Thalken and John Musto recreate these spectacularly. Fisher’s orchestra sounds just a tad underpopulated, and the conductor might have picked up the pace of such songs as “When Do We Dance?” and “Sweet and Low-Down.” The chorus is on the thin side, too, with just eight voices. But what a darling song collection this is — big on George Gershwin syncopation, blue-note harmonies, and lightly satirical Ira Gershwin lyrics. The cast members perform in perfect period style, and with total conviction. Emily Loesser is an ideal Jazz Age heroine, her light soprano caressing “Looking for a Boy” with great affection, and Andy Taylor is a young hero right out of a John Held, Jr. cartoon. Principal comics Lewis J. Stadlen and Lee Wilkof winningly sock across the silly jokes and puns, and enough dialogue is included to give you an idea of the book. This is a lighter, simpler show than other Gershwin gems — so patently innocent that, at one point, the hero and heroine sing to each other, “Goody-goody-goodnight, sleep tight.” But the charm never curdles, it just charms. (Note: Also included on this two-CD set is the score of the Gershwins’ Tell Me More.) — Marc Miller