Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Joan Ford, Walter Kerr, Jean Kerr|
Goldilocks (1958 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
Straight from Broadway's Golden Age: It's Goldilocks!
Danny Smolenski | Northridge, CA USA | 06/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first discovered Goldilocks through the double draw of Leroy Anderson and Elaine Stritch. Elaine Stritch I already knew as Joanne in Company singing "The Ladies Who Lunch", and Leroy Anderson was one of my favorite composers, known for such light programmatic and novelty orchestral pieces as The Syncopated Clock, Belle of the Ball, Bugler's Holiday, The Typewriter and Plink, Plank, Plunk. That combo of names caught my eye as I was flipping through the record bins one day, and as I scanned the album cover I saw the names Don Ameche, Nathaniel Frey and Margaret Hamilton which absolutely clinched the deal. I left the store with the record and went straight home to play it. From the moment I dropped the needle (yes, I've had it that long) I was captivated, and it has since become one of my perennial favorites. The score is top notch, particularly in the material for Stritch and the perfectly cast Don Ameche. It does sag a bit in the material for the secondary couple, but I think that's because it's the primary couple who are the comedians while the secondary couple gets stuck with the sappy side of romance. Yes, there are book problems. Walter Kerr later admitted that they kept beefing up the comedy at the expense of the love story, and reading through the book (which through an incredible stroke of good fortune I found at a local Half Price Books) that's a fair criticism. But this weakness doesn't overwhelm the show and make it unworkable. I have to agree with the assessment that with The Music Man already running featuring a slightly more lovable con artist and a sweet rather than brassy leading lady, Goldilocks wasn't able to measure up to the competition. Taken on its own terms though, Goldilocks works wonderfully. To mention particular favorites of mine in the score, I have to start with Stritch's Act 2 torch song, "I Never Know When To Say When". Why didn't this become a standard? It stacks up with the best Broadway has to offer. You can hear the pain in Stritch's voice as she laments the mess she's made of her relationhips. "Give the Little Lady" near the top of Act 1 doesn't really cover much in the realm of plot, but it's just so much fun, and "The Beast In You" never fails to get me laughing. All of these feature Stritch alone or with the chorus, but her duet with Ameche, "No One'll Ever Love You", is just as good, and Ameche's solo number, "I Can't Be In Love", in which he discovers to his astonishment that he is indeed in love, is priceless. Then on top of that is "Bad Companions" for Don Ameche's shady sidekicks Nathaniel Frey (an excellent comic character actor who appeared in many better known shows such as Damn Yankees and She Loves Me) and Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West sings!) which is a hoot from start to finish. These are the standouts in my book, but the whole score is eminently listenable, pleasant and tuneful. Of course with Leroy Anderson writing the music it couldn't be anything else. I sometimes wish I had been born 30-40 years earlier so I could have actually seen what I am only able to get the barest hint of from reading the libretto and listening to the cast album. I strongly recommend to anyone who has had enough interest to wind up here reading these reviews to make this show a permanent part of your collection. More people need to know this show!"
Worth your investment - A real delight!
Paul Bunkerr | New London, CT USA | 01/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having learned about the life of Leroy Anderson through the recent PBS story on his career,I was very interested to hear this famous composer's only Broadway show. This original cast recording is a gem. The majority of the songs are first rate, the perfomers are all first rate and the recording quality sounds as fine as anything on the market today. What a shame that the show had such serious problems, such as a weak book and opening with such hits as West Side Story and Music Man already running on Broadway. If you enjoy Broadway musicals and don't know this show, buy this recording. You will not be disappointed!"
path31783 | NJ | 08/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Leroy Anderson is one of my favorite composers. Stritch is one of my favorite performers. The Kerrs are brilliant theater people. How could this show not turn out to be a classic? It's a shame that the talent of the performers went unappreciated and that the book was criticized as being too plot-heavy, because the score is absolutely delightful. From a slam-bang overture, to a dead-on operetta parody to Stritch's fantastic first song, to the love duet that follows, the great music just keeps comiong. Okay, there are some drawbacks - Pat Stanley's voice seems too tame at times, and the songs for Max, supposedly the romantic lead, are pretty awful. And the score seems far too abbreviated, as though this cd were only a highlights album. Also, "I Never Know When" - probably the most gorgeous song in the show - is a rather overt ripoff of "By goona-gonna lagoon" from The Golden Apple, a far better show which has similarly been lost to the ages. But this CD is really wonderful, and makes a welcome addition to any collection."