"Half a Sixpence" would probably have had only mild success in New York, if even that, were it not for the choreography of Onna White. The show had been tepidly received in London, but when White took over for Broadway, it became a dazzling dance extravaganza.
Sadly, though, this came at the expense of the score. Several excellent songs ("The Oak and the Ash", "I'm Not Talking to You", "I Only Want a Little House") were cut between London and Broadway to make room for additional dancing, and they're not heard on this album. As a result, the OBCR can come off as repetitious and dull.
It isn't, really, when taken as the sum of its parts. What's left of the score is often thrilling ("Money to Burn", "Flash! Bang! Wallop!") or lovely ("Long Ago", "I Know What I Am") -- but there isn't enough of it, and it's not as varied as it was in London. The dance music was left off the album (as was one song for the chorus), and it clocks in at about ten minutes shorter than most cast recordings of the period.
As the longer and more definitively cast London version is currently unavailable, though, fans of musical theatre should not hesitate to grab this album. David Heneker (who died several days ago, as I write this) was a great talent, and this preserves some of his best work.