Ratings and Reviews
mp3 Single of THE BUTLER'S SONG
The Butler's Song, sung by the great George S. Irving, is a classic. From the 1976 musical "So Long, 174th Street" which was based on "Enter Laughing," the song features the original orchestrations by Luther Henderson. The voices you hear in the intro are those of Robert Morse (Mad Men) and Loni Ackerman.
So Long, 174th Street is a musical with a book by Joseph Stein and lyrics and music by Stan Daniels featuring Orchestrations by Luther Henderson and Dance Arrangements by Wally Harper. George S. Irving originally played the butler in the ill-fated 1976 production. Later, reworked, revised, and with its original title Enter Laughing: The Musical - the show was presented in 2007 at Off-Broadway's York Theatre Company, with George S. Irving reprising his role from over 30 years earlier. As he did in the original production of So Long, 174th Street, Irving received well-deserved rave reviews for his hilarious rendition of "The Butler's Song". The voices you hear in the short spoken intro to the songs are the two stars of the show Robert Morse and Loni Ackerman.
Based on Stein's earlier play Enter Laughing, which had been adapted from the Carl Reiner memoir of the same name that served as the basis for the 1967 film, it focuses on the journey of young David Kolowitz from factory helper to actor - and from insecure adolescence to self-assured adulthood - in just three whirlwind days in New York City in the late 1930s.
After six previews, the Broadway production, directed by Burt Shevelove and choreographed by Alan Johnson, opened on April 27, 1976 at the Harkness Theatre, where it closed after only 16 performances. The cast included Robert Morse, Barbara Lang, George S. Irving, Loni Ackerman, and Rita Rudner.
Clive Barnes of the New York Times observed, "The people involved are talented enough . . . So what went wrong? How did Enter Laughing end up leaving us yawning?" He noted composer/lyricist Stan Daniels was a producer of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and suggested "he should stay where he is well off . . . when the music and lyrics do not work for a musical, the musical does not work."
The recording of the score by Bruce Yeko's Original Cast Records, with Kaye Ballard added to the cast, was released in 1981.