Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|David Heneker, John Taylor, Cyd Charisse|
Charlie Girl (1986 London Revival Cast) - David Henneker
Genres: Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
BUT, HEY, IT'S FUN ANYWAY . . .
J. T Waldmann | Carmel, IN, home to the fabulous new Regional Perf | 09/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When "Charlie Girl" first opened at London's Adelphi Theatre in December 1968, it was, according to musical-theatre.net, "almost universally critically dismissed." However, it enjoyed a 5-1/2 year run, primarily because of Anna Neagle, who, during her 30-year film career, had been one of England's biggest box office draws.
In a 2004 interview, Elizabeth Ewing reminisced ". . . we went to see Charlie Girl with Anna Neagle. She'd been a person who sang and danced and her name was really Marjorie Robertson and then she changed it to Anna Neagle. And she did a lot of films after the war, she married a film producer called Herbert Wilcox and they did this Charlie Girl. And she was quite old, 60s and she was a mother in it and she danced and could still do high kicks and everything. And it was the era of pop groups, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Gerry Marsden he got a role as the Cockney boy who goes and works at the country house and falls in love with the daughter, whose more of a tomboy, Charlie, and likes tinkering with motor cars and things." (Theatre Archive Project)
For the 1986 revival, Cyd Charisse was brought to England to play Lady Hadwell, the role originated by Miss Neagle. New songs were added to the revival, one of which was probably "When I Hear Music I Dance," a big production number for Miss Charisse, who once shone as the dancing star of "Brigadoon" and "Silk Stockings" and other MGM musicals. The studio wisely emphasized her dancing talent and played down her singing voice. Her vocal shortcomings are even more apparent at age 65.
Which one can't say about the rest of the cast. They all shine vocally, even though some of the material is not worthy of their talents. Dora Bryan (Mrs. Connor) has a clever duet with Miss Charisse ("Let's Do a Deal") and nearly brings the house down with "The Party of a Lifetime." Paul Nicholas is fine as "the Cockney boy," although he sound too much like Tommy Steele -- who starred in "Half a Sixpence" by the same composer. Lisa Hull does very nicely with Charlie's songs, and Mark Wynter is outstanding as Jack Connor, the conceited Prince-not-so-Charming of this fairy tale.
After the overture and "The Most Ancestral Home of All," the opening ensemble number, I was ready for a really great show. Alas, this was not to be. Although some of the songs are excellent, some are truly dreadful. Several sound as if they were written for Sammy Davis, Jr. or Steve & Eydie to perform in Vegas, rather than be integrated into a book show. Lisa Hull even does some high register stuff at the end of one of her numbers that closely resembles the last few bars of Eydie Gorme's "I'll Take Romance."
Perhaps audiences in 1986 were more sophisticated than they were in 1968 and recognized the weaknesses in the book. Perhaps they also were put off by the disjointedness of the score. Perhaps Cyd Charisse just wasn't the box office draw that Anna Neagle was. At any rate, the 1986 revival at the Victoria Palace Theatre lasted only seven months, considerably fewer performances than the original's 2,202.
But hey, it's fun anyway."
Star Power but not as great as the Original Cast
Mike Perry | Bridgewater, Nova Scotia Canada | 07/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fine recording! I have it on LP. The songs are great and the show is a lot of fun. There are a few added numbers (more songs than on the original 1960's cast release) And the performances hold up well. If you want a complete record of Charlie Girl (one of the major British hits) this is a great recording that is fun to listen to."