Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nymph Errant

Last year I had the good fortune to see Prospect Theater Company's production of Nymph Errant, the 1933 musical with songs by Cole Porter. Rob Urbinati rewrote the book for this production, making the musical adhere more closely with the James Laver novel that originally inspired it.

More recently, I got hold of a recording of the 1989 London concert version. Listening to it reminded me of some of the show's high points. The big number from the piece that everyone remembers is "Experiment," but also fun is "It's Bad for Me," sung by the ingenue Evangeline.

Evangeline also sings a great Act One closer, which also happens to be the title song of the show. In typical Porter fashion, she sings:

     I used to take you
     So seriously.
     I dreamed about you deliriously.
     But now I've gone so far,
     I know how harmless you are.

My favorite song, however, is "The Physician," in which a woman laments a lack of affection from her doctor:

     He said my maxillaries were marvels
     And found my sternum stunning to see,
     And did a double hurdle 
     When I shook my pelvic girdle,
     But he never said he loved me.

For all its faults, Nymph Errant really is a fun show, and I hope more people do it in the future.