« Kennedy Center's 2011-12 season features music of Vienna, Prague, Budapest; new 'Pal Joey' | Main | Big musical draw in Washington this week: NSO performs Messiaen's 'Turangalila' »

March 9, 2011

A Broadway song to fit my condition, from 'I Can Get It For You Wholesale'

After finally seeking medical advice and discovering, as I suspected all along, that I had something far more interesting than a mere common cold (common? moi?), I've started an antibiotic regimen that, I trust, will eventually render me physically flawless again (all right, all right -- I know they're just antibiotics, not miracle drugs).

Meanwhile, I've had a song running through my head these many sinus- and cough-filled days and nights, a song from the Broadway show that put Barbra Streisand on the map -- Harold Rome's "I Can Get It For You Wholesale." I figured you'd like to enjoy it, too, out of deep sympathy for my condition -- especially since I don't have anything more interesting to post right now.

The title says it all: "I'm Not a Well Man."

Singing the first verse (with a change of pronoun) is a 19-year-old Streisand, who, of course, got her chance to shine in the show-stopping number "Miss Marmelstein." Ever since I bought the original cast album for this now rather obscure musical, as part of my must-have-all-things-Streisand phase during my teens years, I've never forgotten this particular tune, with its delicious Jewish folk flavor. I've even been known to sing a few bars every time I've been under the weather (even though that can make other people feel sick).

Here, then, a flash of vintage Broadway. If you happen to be feeling lousy, too, I hope this perks you up a little:

Posted by Tim Smith at 1:01 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Clef Notes, Drama Queens


Very cute song. Never heard it before. Wow did she sound young. A most appropriate tune indeed, Mr. Smith. Hope you're headed to recovery.

Sorry you are under the weather, Tim.

Two words: Neti pot.

Pei pa koa is pretty decent cough medicine (from herbal as I remembered), great non alcoholic medicine, some western cough medicine are more effective, but this is non drowsy.

You can access info online @

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
View the Artsmash blog

Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Famous faces in classical music
Sign up for FREE entertainment alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Most Recent Comments
Stay connected