Coleman: If You Hadn’t But You Did

Written by Steven Blier

Artistic Director, NYFOS

December 29, 2015

Steven Blier (photo Liv Hoffman)

I have loved the song “If You Hadn’t But You Did” ever since I heard the original cast recording of Two on the Aisle (where it was performed by powerhouse Dolores Gray, who sounds as if she could sing Amneris). Cy Coleman is at his peak, and lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green do a dazzling turn with a series of rhymes for the word “if”—“South Pacif’,” “bare midriff,” “hieroglyph,” and about 18 more. In this performance, Kristin Chenoweth has a scene partner: m’man Séan Martin Hingston, who spends most of the song playing a hilariously acrobatic corpse. As Chenoweth’s punching bag, he takes the most extraordinary pains (to paraphrase Sondheim). Bear with the slightly dark video, and you’ll see some deliciously witty physical comedy.

And for more fun, the Dolores Gray original, sung at a healthy clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un3JE346h4A

Steven Blier

Artistic Director, NYFOS

.


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