Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cole Porter, Evans Haile, Howard McGillin|
Fifty Million Frenchmen (1991 Studio Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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Fifty Million Frenchmen can't be wrong!
R. J. Rozen | Chicago, IL United States | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An unjustly neglected work, this 1929 musical was Porter's first Broadway hit. Although it does not display the string of memorable songs found in "Anything Goes" or "Kiss Me Kate," it features "You Do Something to Me" (and, in true Porter fashion, it's the first song after the overture). The remaining songs are all delightful, from the rollicking "Find Me a Primitive Man" to the bittersweet "You Don't Know Paree." The performances are uniformly good; special kudos to Kim Criswell in the "Ethel Merman" role (even though Merman didn't play the role on B-way). And it's a delight to hear Peggy Cass, who made her mark on Broadway in "Mame," singing the specialty number "Queen of Terre Haute" (a song cut from the original run but restored for this recording--bravo!). Porter adored Paris, as he would later demonstrate in "Can-Can" and "Silk Stockings." This is, however, his quintessential love song to the City of Light."
You've got that charm, that subtle charm...
S. Lehne | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every true musical theatre fan has heard of Cole Porter, but for many this acquaintance does not extend beyond his most famous hits, Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes, possibly CanCan or Silk Stockings...they are therefore unaware that the quintessential Porter recording is in fact this studio cast version of his 1929 show Fifty Million Frenchmen. This is not to say that this is his greatest score, far from it, but it showcases everything that is glorious about the work of one of the greatest songwriters broadway has ever seen. Porter's music is not heavy, his songs do little to enhance the dramatic action, but most exhibit a charming simplicity or a rollicking tongue-in-cheek comic style which is utterly irresistable. The songs on this recording are all trademark Porter musical moments, they celebrate his well-documented love of Paris and his enjoyment of high society and its shadier entertainments. The love songs are not heartrenching perhaps, but each is lovely and touching in its own special way. The cast is highly capable, their own delight in the material is palpable and only serves to enhance that of the audience. Howard McGillin displays a lovely light tenor which is used to great effect in the pretty opening You do Something to Me which sets the tone for the whole recording. He is also wonderfully upbeat in the sprightly ensemble number Do You Want to See Paris? which contains the brilliant lyric: "We are now in the theatre called the Moulin Rouge an old Parisian pet. Where the men that girls remember meet the girls that men forget." He also gets what is probably the closest to a truly moving song that Porter ever came: You Don't Know Paree. Jason Graae has fun with You Got That Thing which contains the first of many hysterical referances to the Ancient World or Biblical occurences: "You've got what Adam craved when he with love for Eve was tortured. She only had an apple tree, but you! You've got an orchard." Scott Waara is weaker than his male co-stars but still produces a respectable version of I Worship You (Sample lyric: "The big Egyptian sacrifices were made to please the goddess Isis, and one of my most ancient vices is my worship of you.") Susan Powell delivers up a sweetly sung rendition of I'm In Love and while Karen Ziemba is the most uninvolved and consequently unexciting of the performers but still manages not to butcher Please Dont Make Me Be Good a delicious record of Porter's amoral attitude to relationships. ("Though heaven may be ok, when life's long journey ends, I'd rather go down below, and be with my intimate friends (God bless 'em)") Powell and Ziemba join together for a rather dull Let's Step Out, there is a much better version of this song on the 1966 Off-Broadway Anything Goes recording. Kay McClelland's quiet mastery of the comic interlude comes into play in the silly but hilarious Where Would You Get Your Coat? ("If the dear little rabbits weren't so bourgeois in their habits...if home life didn't thrill a South American chinchilla tell me, where would you get your coat?")and in The Tale of the Oyster, the kind of satirical anecdote only Porter is capable of: "See that bivalve social climber feeding the rich Mrs. Hoggenheimer, think of his joy as he gaily glides down to the middle of her gilded insides." Peggy Cass croaks her way amusingly through The Queen of Terre Haute but the real sensation is Kim Criswell who proves herself to be an excellent Porter interpreter with her brassy belt and sharp comic timing. Her three songs Find Me a Primitive Man, The Boyfriend Back Home and I'm Unlucky at Gambling are highlights of the recording. My personal favorite is the second one: "And although Maurice Chevalier may be a good performer in a certain way, still he can't perform like the boyfriend back home." All in all this is an absolutely essential edition to any serious fan's collection and is also a fine introduction to Porter for those who are unfamiliar with him."
That Voodoo that You Do So Well!
Alfonzo Tyson | Buffalo, NY United States | 06/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Fifty Million Frenchmen" is Cole Poter's first complete Broadway score and one of his best! It has the lovely ballad "You Don't Know Paree" ( a song that I'm sure was very close to Cole's heart, being a lifelong admiere of Paris), the racy cabaret "Find Me a Primitive Man" and "You've Got That Thing". I guarantee that "Where Would You Get Your Coat" will have you in stitches. Plus, it has "You Do Something to Me" which contains the famous line "Do do that voodoo that you do so well". If you can find a copy, I suggest that you snap it up quickly!"