Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Alyson Reed|
Do I Hear a Waltz? (Pasadena Playhouse Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Flawed revival missing the heart
terroh | 02/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am somewhat prejudiced. I was in Boston when the original show was in tryout - an impressionable journalism major at Boston University. Cast member Stuart Damon was kindness itself in granting an interview and taking me backstage during rehearsals. I'll never forget the event and I'll never forget the bittrsweet romance of the show.This attempt to revive the production has everything going for it but heart. What you do have on this album that you don't on the original is: the OVERTURE (a trifle); two short numbers - ENGLISH LESSON (less than half a minute) and GOING TO THE LIDO (less than a minute and originally part of the ensemble of HERE WE ARE AGAIN and more effectively used therein); a final reprise of THIS WEEK AMERICANS; and three major additions - the complete PERFECTLY LOVELY COUPLE (only the last half of it was recorded on the OC album); the dropped EVERYBODY LOVES LEONA (mediocre) and a completely new lyric for WE'RE GONNA BE ALRIGHT (clever lyrics but so cynical and degrading in its attitude towards marriage that it does not fit the rest of the show).The only performer who is stellar is Carol Lawrence - a match for the show's original Carol Bruce in both acting and singing ability- she steals the production. Everyone else ranges from serviceable to mediocre. Crivello's voice is lousy- it's all tremolo and very hard on the ears. His attempt to hit the last extremely high note in STAY comes out as a rasp. What throws off the entire production is Alyson Reed. It's like having Elaine Stritch in the role - she is brassy, rude, prudish, demanding, unattractive and totally unsympathetic as Leona. The recent revival of BELLS ARE RINGING suffered from the same total lack of warmth in its brassy leading lady.For Rodgers and Sondheim purists the album is worth purchasing for the additional material not on the OC album, but this revival result is a far cry from the beauty of the original."
A Pleasant Surprise
terroh | OH | 09/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing what a dud this was for years, I never bothered to buy the original recording. But after buying this newer version I was surprised how much I liked this! While it doesnt rank as the best of Rodgers or Sondheim, its much better than I was expecting. I even went ahead and bought the original cast recording after buying this one. If I had to choose, I would recommend this one as the better choice. It has an overture, the original lyrics to Its Gonna Be Allright and the song Everybody Loves Leona which isnt in the original. The lead ins and voice overs also help to establish character. But if you can swing it, get the original cast too (its cheap!) for Elizabeth Allen and Sergio Franchi"
"Someone Woke Up.....again"
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 07/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the shows that no-one ever expected to be revived was DO I HEAR A WALTZ?, the 1965 musical version of "Time of the Cuckoo", with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The show crashed and burned during it's original run and was basically relegated to the "fabulous flops" file. Fast forward to 2001 and the Pasadena Playhouse, who decided to dust off the show for a second chance at success.
Alyson Reed, who essayed the role of Cassie in the movie version of "A Chorus Line", played the lovelorn teacher Leona Samish whose holiday in Venice gives way to a whirlwind romance. Veteran Broadway star Carol Lawrence (most famously the original Maria in "West Side Story") plays the ebullient hotelier Signora Fioria, and sings the role's main number "This Week Americans" with all the showmanship and gusto that only a performer of her ilk can provide.
Alyson Reed's powerful and belty mezzo is well-used in her performance as Leona. The role's originator (Elizabeth Allen) had a similar sort of voice and the role really comes to life because of it. The rousing introductory number "Someone Woke Up", a fine combination of Rodgers at his most energetic and Sondheim at his most pragmatic, is indeed a highlight of the complete score.
While the work will never quite acheive the level of greatness that defines the all-time classic Broadway musicals, DO I HEAR A WALTZ? does give some pleasure with Richard Rodgers' most youthful and wondering score."