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Gershwin: Oh, Kay!

Soloists, Orchestra of St Luke's/ Stern

(Nonesuch 79361)

Don't you just love the unassuming way that "Someone to Watch Over Me" - one of the greatest of all show-songs - ambles into the overture. Please note, this is the show that gave it birth, not that hybrid impostor Crazy for You. Note also how the Gershwins make capital out of it, its first appearance wistfully understated, and then, wham, a big emotional curtain to Act 1 for their heroine.

Dawn Upshaw is that heroine here, a Gertrude Lawrence for our times, phrasing like she wants to show you how much she means what she sings. And Nonesuch, in its continuing series of Gershwin stage works, has once again assembled a cast around her that sounds like they're living the period. 1926, to be precise.

This was George and Ira's first collaboration with Guy Bolton and PG Wodehouse and it was a smash, a peach of a score, the very effervescence of the light-headed Twenties. Toe-tappers "Clap Yo' Hands" and "Do, Do, Do" go back-to-back in this show, and that boogie-woogie piano is never too far away. Swingtime. ES