Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Kander, Fred Ebb, Ruthie Henshall|
Chicago - The Musical (1998 London Cast)
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Like 1997's Grammy-winning new Broadway cast recording, this disc benefits from CD length by featuring music and dialogue cut from 1975's original Broadway cast recording. Plus, time's been very kind to the Kander and Ebb ... more »
Like 1997's Grammy-winning new Broadway cast recording, this disc benefits from CD length by featuring music and dialogue cut from 1975's original Broadway cast recording. Plus, time's been very kind to the Kander and Ebb musical, which was initially critically panned for its decadent cynicism...but that was before O.J. Simpson and, in the words of Chicago's Roxy Hart (played by the terrific Ruthie Henshall here), murder became an art. Ute Lemper can't touch Chita Rivera's wonderfully sex-drenched original Velma Kelly, but, then, neither did Bebe Neuwirth in 1997--and still, "All That Jazz" remains one of the greatest opening numbers in musical-theater history. Everything else here is as fine as, if not better than, the U.S. recordings, and all 23 tracks are just good old-fashioned Broadway gems. --Bill Holdship
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Ruthie & Ute are simply to die for!
Robert Lopez | California | 08/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The London Cast Recording of CHICAGO is absolutely fantastic! As far as I'm concerned this is the one true CD that has the most talented cast of performers to play these phenomenal characters. Ruthie Henshall is absolutely amazing as Roxie. In fact she's the best Roxie I've ever seen or heard for that matter. Her "Funny Honey" and "Roxie" numbers will have you guessing "How does she do that with her voice? " Ute is fabulous too, although it does take some time to get used to her smokey, sexy voice. Chita Rivera originated the role of Velma and ofcourse is the best, but Ute holds her own as she belts "All That Jazz" and "I Can't Do It Alone." The supporting cast is fabulous also. Songs to hear include; the belty "When Your Good To Mama", the harmonious "My Own Best Friend" and the hilarious "Mr. Cellophane". Highlights of this CD also include a higher range for the girls' duet in "My Own Best Friend", and most of the tempos of each song has been sped up. And I won't forget Roxie's Soliloqy which is not heard on any of the previous records. This CD is a mussssst buy. Buy it over the dreary recording of the Broadway cast anyday. Bebe is great but her singing is nowhere near as strong as Ruthie's or Ute's. CHICAGO-LONDON ROCKS!"
Beats the Broadway Cast
Nate Bush | California USA | 12/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this production on tour in the U.S., and then soon after bought the Broadway revival CD. Soon after that, I sold it. I did find the London CD in the library and listened to it, and I must say, if you are going to choose between the Broadway and London cast recordings of the revival of CHICAGO, this is the better of the two. The orchestra is just as lively, and in fact, this album is more complete, with dance music and some dialogue added. While I am not fond of her Fantine in the 'Les Miserables', Ruthie Henshall, as Roxie Hart, does some of her best work here. However skilled a dancer Ann Reinking is, she unfortunately is a weak singer and actress. Ute Lemper is a fabulous Velma Kelly. Both she and Bebe Neuwirth on Broadway have big voices, both are strong and sassy, but where Lemper is effortlessly smooth, cool, and sexy, Bebe seems like she's struggling to relax and comes off rather stiff. Simply listen to 'All that Jazz' and you'll know what I mean. As for the accents, while the native German Lemper does have a slight lilt, it's easy to ignore (especially since her singing is superb) and the British cast doing American accents didn't bother me one bit.There really is no 'definitive' album of this show. The original cast recording with Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon should be listened to at least once for historical value, and the film soundtrack is great if you're into pop culture. But think, kids: No cut songs. No movie stars with iffy musical abilities. No hip-hop 'Cell-Block Tango'. The London CHICAGO is the one to own."
No Place Like London.......
star_to_be | NY | 05/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...I am a professional musician and play musicals all of the time, and am also a dancer and actor. I have found that most imports of musicals have a MUCH better grasp on the orchestral understandings and are able to play with the American flare much better than we do! This is very evident in the West End production of CHICAGO. The B'Way revival CAN'T TOUCH the orchestra on this London recording. The musicians play with an amazing flare and stylistic edge that this show requires. Overall, the cast acts the show better. Fosse shows require a touch of characterization and melodrama...this production sees to instilling these elements. Ruthie Henshall is AMAZING as Roxie (as Anne Reinking is ust a poor rip-off of Gwen verdon). She provides dramaric sides to Roxie found no place else. The ensemble has soooo much energy that it creates an amazing backbone to this cd. This is very obvious in such numbers as the Cell block Tango when compared to the B'way revival. My biggest dissappointment of this recording is Mary Sunshine...never before have I heard such a poor rendition of "A Little Bit Of Good." Granted there are other little imperfections, but nothing to warrant a suggestion NOT to purchase this cd. This recording is definitely worth it!"