Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Glenn Paxton, Robert Goldman, George David Weiss|
First Impressions (1959 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
You'd think Jane Austen's novels would have made prime material for Broadway more often, but no. First Impressions, the 1959 musical based on Pride and Prejudice, is one of the few to have explored the British novelist's w... more »
You'd think Jane Austen's novels would have made prime material for Broadway more often, but no. First Impressions, the 1959 musical based on Pride and Prejudice, is one of the few to have explored the British novelist's world. The show has not made much of an impact on the Broadway landscape, but it has quite a few things going for it. The cast is dominated by Hermione Gingold as Mrs. Bennet, the mother of five daughters. The headstrong daughter is played by Polly Bergen, whose husky voice takes a bit of getting used to in this context, since some of the score (by unknowns Robert Goldman, Glenn Paxton, and George Weiss) leans toward operetta, especially on such tracks as the duet "Fragrant Flower." Other numbers are easy for a nonsinger like leading man Farley Granger, who's better known for his swashbuckling roles in Hollywood. Some of the unintentionally funniest moments include "I Suddenly Find It Agreeable," in which Granger sounds uncannily like Peter Sellers in one of his goofy '60s duets with Sophia Loren. Add to the mix the fact that few in the cast bother with an English accent and a book and direction by the unlikely Abe Burrows (a long way from Guys and Dolls), and you have one weird, if appealing, musical. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
AT LAST - FIRST IMPRESSIONS HAS ARRIVED
Mr. Kurt A. Lerps | Brisbane, Australia | 11/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was in boarding school when I was visiting NYC and my parents got me a ticket for an SRO performance of First Impressions. That day, Ellen Hanley was announced as performing Elizabeth Bennet - some people left BUT Hanley got a standing ovation at the end of the performance - I am so happy that she is on the record as Charlotte Lucas - I know when I bought the LP, I found Polly Bergen not as entrancing as Ellen Hanley was on stage. Anyhow, Gingold was brilliant as the coarse Mrs Bennet and Granger superb! As an 19th C English BA I still rave about this adaption - thank you DRG for this, Kean, Happiest Girl, Christine and many others - how about Baker Street, Minnie's Boys, Donnybrook and A Time for Singing! A very good nostalgic recording of the golden days of musicals!"
A delightful Broadway-flop
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 12/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FIRST IMPRESSIONS is a rather-enjoyable Broadway flop that is, believe it or not, a musical version of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"!Polly Bergen, in her third Broadway show (after JOHN MURRAY ANDERSON'S ALMANAC and THE CHAMPAGNE COMPLEX) is a delight as Elizabeth Bennet, the eldest daughter of Mrs Bennet (Hermione Gingold). Bergen sings some lovely songs in this score, but her big payoff comes in the eleven o'clock number "This Really Isn't Me", which she colors with her husky and warm voice. More recently the incantory Ms Bergen has returned to Broadway in the revival of FOLLIES as Carlotta Campion; and subbed for Carole Shelley in the role of Frau Schneider in CABARET.Farley Granger (in his Broadway musical debut) sounds quite ill-at-ease with his songs, though his comical duet with Bergen in "A Perfect Evening" is quite enjoyable.Hermione Gingold is perfectly-suited to the role of the pushy Mrs Bennet, and is backed up beautifully by Phyllis Newman (SUBWAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING), Lois Bewley, Lauri Peters (THE SOUND OF MUSIC) and Lynn Ross as her other daughters.The score by Robert Goldman, Glenn Paxton and George Weiss is quite interesting, though hardly suits the time-period of the piece.All-in-all, a great recording for Broadway buffs."
The Great Polly Bergen!!
shelly silver | The Big Apple | 08/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This musical , adapted from Pride and Prejudice, starred Ms. Bergen, Hermione Gingold, Farley Granger and Phyllis Newman. They're all delightful, and though the score isn't great, it's quite enjoyable and all of Ms. Bergen's numbers are just wonderful. What a treat to finally have this show on CD. The folks at DRG are to be commended for caring enough to release these great 50's and 60's shows,fondly remembered by many of us! It's nice to know there are folks who care for more than just the bottom line!"