Varsity Show Recordings

WKCR, Columbia's student-run radio station, recorded the live performances of some of the Varsity Show productions and then issued vinyl records. Below are digitized recordings of the Varsity Shows for 1952 through 1955. The vinyl records are part of the Varsity Show Records, the archival collection that documents the history of the Show held at the University Archives.

To learn more about the Show, visit the online exhibition, The Varsity Show: A Columbia Tradition. To find Varsity Show related resources available at the University Archives, check out the Varsity Show Research Guide. Finally, for more Columbia-related digitized audio and video materials, please visit our Media page.

The Streets of New York (1952)

The Streets of New York (1952) program cover Cover of the 1952 Varsity Show "The Streets of New York" program

Streets of New York, a story of man redeemed by the love of his daughter. The Show was first performed in 1948 and was revived three times (1952, 1958, and 1961) - a Varsity Show record. This recording includes on the B side, T.S Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral performed by Columbia University Players.

Streets of New York, Side A
Murder in the Cathedral, Side B

The Shape of Things (1953)

The Shape of Things program cover Cover of the 1953 Varsity Show "The Shape of Things" program

The Shape of Things focuses on international politics at Krumbum's department store, the most fashionable shop on Fifth Avenue. According to the Spectator review, the show was "was fast, loud, familiar and overly long" but "you'll have fun. Varsity Show is one of the most valuable parts of a college education: If you can't be in it, at least don't fail to see it."

The Shape of Things, Side A
The Shape of Things, Side B

The Sky's the Limit (1954)

The Sky's the Limit program cover Cover of the 1954 Varsity Show "The Sky's the Limit" program

Sky's the Limit, the show for Columbia's bicenntenial year of 1954, offered an overview of the history of the University. It included the work of several alumni: I.A.L. Diamond contributed a sketch, Howard Dietz wrote the lyrics for "How High Can a Little Bird Fly?," and Herman Wouk wrote the lyrics for "Noah, Columbus, Captain Kidd, and Bligh."

Sky's the Limit, Side A

Side A - 1. Overture, 2. The Sky's the Limit, 3. Life is a Carnival, 4. Welcome Young, Welcome Liberal, 5. The Revolutionary Ballet, 6. Loving the Fall, 7. Dear Old Pal, 8. Health is Here, 9. Mighty Peculiar Folk, 10. Take the Rhythm and Shake

Sky's the Limit, Side B

Side B - 1. Columbia Will FIght Today, 2. Football Ballet, 3. How Different Today, 4. Pity to the Plight of the President, 5. Little Lady of France, 6. How High Can a Little Bird Fly, 7. Noah, Columbus, Captain Kidd, and Bligh, 8. There's Live in the Old Girl Yet, 9. Finale - The Sky's the Limit

When in Rome (1955)

When in Rome program cover Cover of the 1955 Varsity Show "When in Rome" program

According to the Spectator, When in Rome was judged "tenuous and tiresome," and it played before "a sparse opening night crowd." It was also the last Varsity Show to include the Pony Ballet.

When in Rome, Side A
When in Rome, Side B