Seven Come Eleven
Conceived, Devised and Directed By: Julius Monk
Performed by: Phillip Bruns, Ceil Cabot, Rex Robbins, Steve Roland, Donna Sanders, Mary Louise Wilson
Pianos By: William Roy and Carl Norman
Distributed By: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Well, known in the cabaret scenes, Seven Come Eleven was Julius Monk's sixth show and was performed at The Downstairs Room in 1961. Featuring William Roy and Carl Norman on dueling pianos, the show was filled with funny skits, song and dance numbers, tongue-in-cheek chatter...everything one would expect from a cabaret show. The show was met with rave reviews. Happily, the show was recorded and on August 12, 2013, Masterworks Broadway released the original 1961 cast recording of Seven Come Eleven.
Right away, I knew I was in for some laughter, especially when I heard the second track, This Is New York! I couldn't help but laugh heartily at this comedic song for, although performed in 1961, still portrays all of the aggravating downsides of living in the big city. This is followed by the island style performance (complete with bongo drums) of The Jackie Look which instructs every housewife how to act, dress, etc. to be just like Jackie Kennedy. This is followed by a hilarious spoken skit called Suddenly Last Tuesday, in which the male and female player discuss all of the ways in which they hope to make on another miserable, for what is unhappiness if it is not shared.
The funny stuff is cut with a track of serious song, I Found Him, a love hopeful love ballad, which, although nicely performed, left me wanting more comedy. Happily, I was rewarded with School Daze, a tongue in cheek performance about the education and construction corruption of the day, and Forbidden Tropics a funny song about the "dirty" little romance books of the time. There are a number of funny songs to follow like Captain of the Pinafores about a man who has always had a flare for fashion with a Modern Major General flare; Alma Whatsa Mater, a hilarious song about the perils of the Peace Corps; I Flew to Havana Last Wednesday in which a woman discusses how she fell in love with her Cuban hijacker and more. I especially enjoyed the talking skit between the favorites from Suddenly Last Tuesday reappearing in Don't You Feel Naked Not Drinking?
Seven Come Eleven is a whole lot of fun. The songs and skits are just as enjoyable today as they were in 1961. I found myself laughing hardily during my first listen and laughing even more during the second. Seven Come Eleven is one of those cabaret acts that never seem to get old and I would recommend the original cast album to any fan of musical theater.