"While the future waits, the present swings," Carol Lawrence sings in "Comes Once in a Lifetime," the second-act showstopper from Subways Are for Sleeping.

"While the future waits, the present swings," Carol Lawrence sings in "Comes Once in a Lifetime," the second-act showstopper from Subways Are for Sleeping. But the present was doing the twist, à la Chubby Checker, when this musical hit Broadway in 1961. Considered old-fashioned back then, this album—enterprisingly reissued from the Columbia original by New York's Fynsworth Alley—finds the score remarkably perky after slumbering for 40 years. Lawrence, as a reporter researching a story on people bedding down on the subway, struggles through soporific ballads. But Phyllis Newman, playing a beauty queen avoiding being evicted by always wearing a towel, jolts listeners awake on "Shoo-In." Orson Bean nearly matches her comic energy when he dreams of her getting dressed in "I Just Can't Wait." Collectors will love the six bonus tracks, especially the discarded "Man With a Plan" that composer Jule Styne recycled two years later as "I'm the Greatest Star" from Funny Girl.—MS