Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Faith Prince, Tom Wopat, Harvey Fierstein|
A Catered Affair (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
A Catered Affair, the new musical with book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, score by John Bucchino and direction by Tony Award-winner John Doyle, poses the question that inevitably faces every mother and d... more »
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A Catered Affair, the new musical with book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, score by John Bucchino and direction by Tony Award-winner John Doyle, poses the question that inevitably faces every mother and daughter: whose wedding is it anyway? It's 1953, and family ties are strained when a Bronx mother struggles to give her only daughter the elaborate wedding she herself never had and the bride never asked for. Based on the 1956 motion picture of the same name, the production stars Tony Award-winner Faith Prince as Aggie Hurley, the mother-of-the-bride, Tony Award-nominee Tom Wopat as 'Tom Hurley,' the father-of-the-bride, and Fierstein himself as Winston, the uncle-of-the-bride. It's a funny, poignant and oh-so-human tale of love and disaffection, and the tender and melodic score to A Catered Affair -- expertly preserved on this original Broadway cast recording -- explores both our need for love and the true meaning of family.
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Celebrating "A Catered Affair"
Mark Eden Horowitz | Washington, DC | 05/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The recording of "A Catered Affair" sneaks up on you. It's a slightly sad, bittersweet story. There are no Kander & Ebb or Jerry Herman-like vamps and key changes, blaring trumpets, and big production numbers where suddenly everyone belts the title tune. But this is a haunting show and score. It gets under your skin and makes you think and feel things - exactly what a work of art should do.
The songs by John Bucchino are musicalized scenes, with tender melodies rich with subtle surprises - unexpected notes or rhythms, but these surprises don't feel forced or calculated, but simply human. Bucchino is a craftsman as a lyricist; all the rhymes are true and rarely call attention to themselves, but they also have a poetry that can be heart-stopping. A favorite example is calling the words "I love you" a "three-syllable bouquet".
This recording by PS Classics captures the score and the show. It weaves dialogue, underscoring, and songs to give a full sense of the story, the time, the place, and most of all these beautifully rendered characters. This is not a star vehicle, but Faith Prince in particular - as the mother weighted with regrets - gives a magnificently nuanced performance. She can convey a history of feelings in a single word. Tom Wopat comes across as absolutely truthful as her over-burdened husband, and gets something of a "Rose's Turn" in his explosive "I Stayed". Leslie Krtizer is fine, quirky, and touching as the (mostly) practical bride to be. I am less enamored of the Harvey Fierstein as the uncle. Although he wrote the libretto, his foghorn of a voice calls too much attention to itself, and just doesn't seem to fit with the tenor of the rest of the performances.
The orchestrations are by the incomparable Jonathan Tunick. He works miracles with a spare ten musicians - though I would love to hear what he would accomplish with greater resources. The elegance of the score, the arrangements and the orchestrations, rather than fighting the kitchen-sink realism of the show, adds a layer of poignancy and a subtext of feeling that enriches the story immeasurably.
The best cast album of the year.
M. Grossberg | Montclair, New Jersey United States | 05/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Catered Affair is the best original cast album of the year since it combines all the elements for a great recording. To begin with it perfectly captures the entire play so that you can understand the development of the characters and their motivations. The music is wonderful as would be expected from the great John Bucchino with gorgeous melodies and insighful lyrics - the songs really grow on you and you will be hooked on them after several hearings. (If you are not familiar with John Bucchino's wonderful music try It's Only Life or Grateful, his other compilation CD's). The performances are wonderful, most notably Faith Prince and Leslie Kritzer, who creat wonderful chemistry on disc and are heartbreaking in their simplistic desires and longings. Add solid performances by Tom Wopat in an explosive song called I Stayed and the warm Harvey Fierstein in his inimitable style. Add to this the wonderful Jonathan Tunick arrangements, which could not be bettered. This is a score that will only grow with repeated hearings and familarity - you will really be hooked once you start. This is what Broadway musicals should be about - an original score that furthers the plot and explores the characters with beautiful melodies and lyrics. Don't pass this one by."
Great Recording Of An Underrated Show
fshepinc | 06/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reviewing a cast album is tricky. Do you write about the recording, or the show? I'm a fan of both. The show is a lovely, thoughtful piece about a family dealing with love and loss. Some call it kitchen-sink drama; I call it real life. The score is beautifully melodic, and perfectly captures the real, human emotions of the characters. This is not about tap shoes, helicopters, or pseudo rock and roll. It's about people.
This recording preserves that beautiful score, along with the amazing performances of Faith Prince, Tom Wopat, and the rest of the cast. The CD booklet has the complete lyrics, along with plot synopsis and commentary -and many color pictures. It's as classy as the wedding that Aggie wants for her daughter in the show. Listen to the previews. Visit the show's website to see clips. Then judge for yourself. This is an underrated gem of a show, and a cast album that is extremely satisfying to listen to."