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From My Collection: The original OVER HERE! souvenir program

The hit 1974 musical OVER HERE! was highly entertaining. It has a fantastic score by the Sherman brothers, better known for Mary Poppins and other classic Disney scores. Here Richard & Robert Sherman channel the big band swing and boogie woogie sounds of the World War II era, and especially the distinctive sound of 1930s and 40s superstars, the Andrews Sisters, who actually starred in the show.

My understanding it that the show had not been written for the Andrews Sisters, but rather for younger actors who would play fictionalized versions of them called "The DePaul Sisters. "

But when Patty & Maxine expressed interest in playing the roles themselves (Laverne had already died) , the producers jumped at the idea. This was, of course, during the "1970's Nostalgia Craze", which the Broadway musicals NO, NO, NANETTE and GREASE had helped to set in motion. Bette Midler had recently put "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" back on the charts with her hugely popular hit single, so having the Andrews Sisters on Broadway felt hip, cool, campy and nostalgic all at the same time.

The supporting cast was filled with future stars including John Travolta, Treat Williams, Marilu Henner, Ann Reinking, and Samuel E. Wright.

Many of them had previously appeared in GREASE and OVER HERE! was something of a sequel to that show as it was helmed by that show's director and choreographer, Tom Moore, and Patricia Birch, used the same design team

and music director, and tried to do the same kind of the thing for the 1940s as GREASE had done for the 1950's.

After the final bows, Patty would ask the audience. "Do you want to hear some of the old songs?", and of course the audience would cheer and the sisters would launch into a set of their classic hits. It was thrilling in a nostalgic way, but sort of undercut the Sherman brothers great score. But, I will never forget it. I got to hear the Andrews Sisters, in person, sing their most famous songs!

It is still one of my absolute favorite cast albums to play!

Here is a scan of the the original souvenir program:

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