Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Henry, Sweet Henry (1967 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Extremely underrated show
Mark Falconer | New York, NY | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that this show has never been fully appreciated. Even the positive reviews on Amazon just say "it's a fun show," or something to that effect.
The genius of this show lies in how well Bob Merrill musicalized two teenage girls. How did this middle-aged man get inside the heads of these teenagers? Listen to "Here I Am," and tell me it's not a masterful example of a teenager's feelings set to music. Another great example of what Merrill was doing comes in "I Wonder How It Is (To Dance With a Boy)" - "I haven't, up till now, been asked by a boy, but just being asked is a thing I'd enjoy. Sometimes I just visualize me, being kissed by his eyes! Holy smoke, how cow, I wonder how it is." It's wistful and naive and silly and romantic - exactly the sort of thing a teenage girl would sing. Personally, I think this musical would be extremely popular among high school groups - the students would love relating to these characters. One last song I'd like to single out was singled out in another review - "Do You Ever Go To Boston Anymore?" It is a true rarity in musical theatre; a freeform song that travels along the character's psychological impulses. It condenses the complexity of a young girl's relationship with her father into two and a half minutes. Really, as the only kind of this song before this time period is "My Time Of Day" from Guys and Dolls (which is, of course, also one of the most important moments in that show.) And just the arc of the show in general is extremely touching - the growth of these two girls from immaturity to womanhood. The ending is extremely poignant as a dramatization of "putting away childish things."
Yes, as other reviewers have said, Alice Playten is simply incredible as the nasty Kafritz. She really must be heard to be believed. Personally, I think all the roles are well-cast, down to Don Ameche in the title role (although sadly his songs are not nearly on the level of the girls' songs.)
I'm afraid that I've de-emphasized the fun of this show somewhat to stress the emotional content. It is just as fun as those other reviewers mentioned. It's frequently hilarious, actually, and plays very well in front of audiences who aren't familiar with the material. (Some of Ameche's funniest material is left off the cast album, sadly.) But it's so much more than just fun and silly - this musical is rich and beautiful."
HENRY SWALLOWED WHOLE BY A TINY TERROR NAMED ALICE
Robert F. Powers | Quincy, Ma USA | 07/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I SAW HENRY SWEET HENRY AND FOR WHAT IS WAS IT WAS A VERY ENTERTAINING SHOW. UNFORTUNATLY THE SHOW WAS CURSED WITH A WEAK BOOK, ONE MAJOR MISCAST ROLE AND A DYNAMO NAMED ALICE PLAYTEN WHO BLEW EVERYONE ELSE OFF THE STAGE. WHEN A SUPPORTING ACTRESS CAN STEAL A SHOW FROM THE STARS-YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN TROUBLE. DON AMECHE WAS RIDICULOUS AS A WOMANIZING BON VIVANT AND HAD THE CHARISMA OF A FIRE HYDRANT. THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE MUSICAL WERE TWO YOUNG GIRLS WHO HAVE A CRUSH ON HENRY BUT EVEN THEY WERE OVERSHADOWED BY THE AWESOME PLAYTEN WHO AS KAFRITZ BROUGHT ACT ONE TO A STANDSTILL WITH HER FEROCIOUS SONG, 'NOBODY STEPS ON KAFRITZ' SHE EVEN GOOSE-STEPS OFF THE STAGE AS HER NUMBER CONCLUDES. BUT THE OVERALL SHOW WAS LIKABLE AND ROBIN WILSON AND NEVA SMALL HAVE THEIR OWN MINOR SHOWSTOPPER IN ACT TWO WITH 'I'M BLUE TOO'
IN 1967 HIPPIES WERE IN VOGUE AND MICHAEL BENNET CHOREOGRAPHED A NUMBER IN CENTRAL PARK CALLED 'WEARY NEAR TO DYIN' WHICH FEATURED A HIPPIE MOONWALKING ACROSS THE STAGE. SO THIS ANSWERS THE QUESTION--MICHAEL JACKSON DID NOT INVENT THE MOONWALK-THE OTHER MICHAEL, BENNETT THAT IS, DID. THIS RECORDING IS NOW OUT OF PRINT BUT IF IT EVER BECOMES AVAILABLE IT MAKES FOR A PLEASANT IF NOT CLASSIC SHOW SCORE."
"I'm Blue Too Sandra Dee"
Keith Summers | Columbia, MD | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a year old when this musical opened on October 23, 1967 at the Palace Theater in NYC. However, I am familiar with the film "The World Of Henry Orient" on which this musical comedy is based. I love the film and out of curiosity, purchased the album on Ebay last week and I've been listening to it ever since. Robin Wilson is touching as Val with her numbers "In Some Little World", "Here I Am" and the heartbreaking "Do You Ever Go To Boston". Neva Small as Gil, has her moments too with "I Wonder How It Is To Dance With A Boy" and the duet with Val "I'm Blue Too", which will have you singing all day. The two songs that Don Ameche has are just OK, but no musical is perfect. "Weary Near To Dyin'" has a great 60's feel to it and Val sings the lead with the hippies in Washington Square in the background. I will agree with the other reviewers on this: Alice Playton as Kafritz is awesome with both her show stoppers "Nobody Steps On Kafritz" and "Poor Little Person". Why hasn't this musical been revived? Originally the show ran for 80 peformances, which is a flop by broadway standards, but the show itself is not. Get this and you'll know why Bob Merrill was a great song writer who knew how to get inside a character's head and share it with the listener."