Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alan Jay Lerner|
Coco (1970 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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A lovely forgotten musical
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 12/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"COCO is a lovely forgotten musical which is not without its charms. It offers some lovely Andre Previn-Alan Jay Lerner songs and features the legendary Katharine Hepburn in her ONLY Broadway musical role.Stand-out songs include "Let's Go Home", "Mademoiselle Cliche de Paris on the Corner of the Rue Cambon", "A Woman is How She Loves" and "Gabrielle".Katharine Hepburn's witty delivery of her numbers is faultless; even though she is by no means a singer, she is aware of the tempo and timing behind her phrasing and nails each and every number.The musical ran for over 300 performances (quite respectable considering) and closed the day after Hepburn left the musical at the completion of her contract. Clearly the reason why the show ran so long was of the fact that Hepburn was starring in it.The cast also features George Rose and Gale Dixon, as well as a capable ensemble.The sound quality of this CD-remastering varies; some tracks are quite crackly and there is a large amount of click and hiss in the recording (apparently there is very little in the way of source material for this score). However, die-hard collectors of cast recordings will surely delight in having it in their collection."
Kate Overcomes the Critics!
Thom Heinrichs | 03/09/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, sure, the lady cannot sing. She breaks the back of the musical phrases, and her grasp of rhythm is charmingly unsteady. Yes, the Previn music is oftimes uninspired. But the sheer energy of this piece can't be denied. Nobody but a Broadway musical purist NEEDS this CD, but every musical fan will find something to enjoy here. What Previn gets right, he gets excitingly right. ("The Money Rings Out...") The title song "Coco" and "Always Mademoiselle" have a melodic sweep that is thrilling, with gorgeous orchestrations to match. Lerner's lyrics for this show have always gotten a bum rap; but the lyrics for "Coco" beat those for "Applause," which also ran that season, and beat out "Coco" for all of the major awards. (And you can't tell from the CD, but the libretto by Lerner was better, too. Certainly funnier.) Hepburn LOVES what she's doing, and that comes across in spades. (Perfectionist that she is, Hepburn went back into the studio AFTER the release of the cast album and re-recorded certain numbers, just to try and make it better. Who has that kind of passion nowadays?) Ignore the insipid sub-plot with the dreadful young lovers. This is a recording of a unique performance, and we should BE so lucky as to have a show this lively, with a leading performance so forceful, joyful and passionate, on Broadway these days!"
A Broadway Musical Come Back To Life!
Sean Orlosky | Yorktown, IN United States | 12/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As sweet, decadent, and giddy as a glass of champagne, "Coco" is a felicitous, endlessly clever gem of a musical. Maybe it does require a couple of listenings to be fully appreciated, but afterward, it's a delight every time you hear it. From the bright, sparkling overture to Chanel's triumphant declaration of eternal independence, "Coco" is a magical ride.Starring the legendary Katharine Hepburn (perfectly cast as the witty, fiercely independent "Coco" Chanel), and a supporting cast including Rene Auberjonois, David Holliday, Gale Dixon, and George Rose, this seven-time-Tony-nominated show (two-time winner) is a mix of glossy, bouncy, moving, and fun songs from start to finish.Circa 1953. The revered fashion designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, having been in retirement for fifteen years, is ready to stage the comeback of a lifetime, feeling that the current fashion "world belongs to the young". She stages the comeback with the aid of a model, Noelle (Dixon), her attorney (Rose), and the nuisance of a seething fashion "expert" (Auberjonois). Although the comeback is badly received in Paris, the new collection becomes a smash in America. Chanel has conquered the fashion world all over again.The songs are wonderful: Hepburn's indignant refusal to be trounced on by other designers ("The World Belongs to the Young") is most amusing. Her memories of being a courtesan ("Mademoiselle Cliche de Paris On The Corner Of The Rue Cambon") is a pungent smirk of a song. The score's best (and most hilarious) number, "The Money Rings Out Like Freedom" has Chanel reviewing her past innovations: costume jewelery, pants for women, and the little black dress. ("Alex gone... what a shame... what a hit that dress became!") Hepburn is very moving as Chanel remembers her childhood, the father who left her to fend for herself, which struck a spark in her to always be independent. But Hepburn probably has her greatest emotional arc in "Always Mademoiselle", beginning the song bemoaning the fact that her career has denied her the happiness of marriage and motherhood, but finally, with an unwarranted burst of triumph, she declares, "Right or wrong, I'm glad to be- GABRIELLE- CHANEL!"Other players are not slighted: Dixon has a charming wisp of a song: "A Brand New Dress", and Auberjonois shines with his delicious "Fiasco". Holliday has one good number, the quiet "Let's Go Home", and one not-quite-describable number, "A Woman Is How She Loves", which just seems to go all over the place. Hepburn and a cast of four American salesman have a lot of fun with the cleverly funny "Orbach's, Bloomingdale's, Best & Saks". The music of Andre Previn in this show is absolutely beautiful, and is very charming ear candy. The lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner are a tad sophisticated on first listening, but are more appreciated on second listening.Maybe it was ahead of its time, or maybe it's Hepburn's incantory singing that turns some people off, but make no mistake about it: Broadway afficionados, Hepburn fans, and curiosity listeners will all delight to the sparkling wit, charismatic charm and magic of "Coco", one of Broadway's great forgotten treasure chests."