“Spring Cleaning” from The Grand Tour (1959 Yale Cast)
music David Shire lyric Richard Maltby Jr.
performance Edith Lebok, Gretchen Cryer
Maltby and Shire wrote The Grand Tour—which has zilch to do with Herman’s musical—while they were undergrads at Yale. It was the follow up to their previous collaboration an adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s an original story much along the lines of Do I Hear a Waltz? and The Light in the Piazza (women in the 1950s learn bittersweet lessons about life and love on vacation in Italy). While writing great material for women became one of their specialities as professionals, as undergrads it was more of a loophole: School rules required them to cast undergrads in their productions, even though they were much more interested in the performers in the graduate drama program. The undergrad college, however, was still a men’s only operation at the time, whereas the graduate program was co-ed. So they wrote a female centric show so as to snare graduate students for the leads.
This brief, jaunty duet features some wonderfully fun harmonies and is the type of song that puts a spring in your step if it comes up on shuffle.