Klea Blackhurst, who took New York by storm in 2001 with her award-winning and critically-acclaimed tribute to Ethel Merman -- "Everything the Traffic Will Allow"
-- now turns her passion for musical theatre history to the checkered (his own word!) Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke with her release of "Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke's Broadway."
Vernon Duke was the creator of such indisputable standards as "April in Paris" and "Autumn in New York," although each was unfortunately nestled in a gargantuan flop: Walk a Little Faster and Thumbs Up!, respectively. His legacy as a Broadway composer ultimately rests on 1940's Cabin in the Sky, but there are countless musical treasures written throughout his career -- songs from Banjo Eyes, starring Eddie Cantor, and Dancing in the Streets, starring Mary Martin. There's even a curious meeting at the intersection of Vernon Duke and Ethel Merman: Sadie Thompson.
Blackhurst has compiled these gems and has lovingly invigorated them with her own unique style, supported by the fresh, sparkling arrangements by Michael Rice.