The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall

Utter-GloryOriginal Broadway Cast, 1979 (Original Cast Records) 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) This was a good idea: a sort of unofficial musical version of the old “St. Trinian’s” stories and movies about an English school filled with horrid little girls. The first 10 minutes of the show are fun, as authors Clark Gesner and Nagle Jackson (who also directed) set up various characters and story lines — and then simply abandon them. The rest of The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall is plotless, filled with incidents that don’t tie together. For example, one group of girls believe they’re about to be sold into white slavery; a young boy in love mails himself to his girlfriend in a trunk; and there’s a grown-up romance between a secretary and a salesman who must hide their passion. Presiding over all of this is the dotty headmistress, played amusingly by Celeste Holm. As events spin out of her control, the woman simply withdraws, locking herself in her office and happily pressing flowers. Gesner, the composer-lyricist of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, provides a score that’s lightly mocking in a stiff-upper-lip sort of way, but with nothing substantial to hang these songs on, they don’t add up to much. — David Wolf