Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ruthless!: The Musical (1994 Los Angeles Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Before you criticize, you must see the show!
musicaltheatrefanatic | NC | 12/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently saw "Ruthless" performed locally, and I have to say all the people who criticized this show based on the fact that it makes fun of musicals, and it's singers can't sing probably haven't seen it performed. If they had, they would know that THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT! "Ruthless" is so full of parodies and character parts that there's no other way it could have been made. Obviously, if it has a song called "I Hate Musicals" in it, it was not trying to cover up the fact that it was making fun of present day Broadway shows.(By the way, that song is not my favorite, but not because of the content, only because it's boring compared to the rest of the soundtrack.) Most all of the characters are not supposed to be able to sing because they are used to make the lead, Tina Denmark, look good. Ruthless is about a young girl named Tina who lives with her mother, Judy, in a suburban nightmare. Judy is the typical housewife, and Tina is a, well, ruthless, star wannabe. Then comes along Sylvia St. Croix, the talent scout, who decides to help Tina become a star. (Now the role of Sylvia is meant to be played by a man, and he is supposed to be humorous, not magnificent, so don't be fooled by his overemphasized vocals.) She proceeds to do so by first getting Tina into the school production of "Pippi in Tahiti" at all costs. When she doesn't get it, well let's just say there's a lot of murder and mayhem! What follows is a maze of plot twists, hilarious songs, and a whole lot of RUTHLESSNESS!Yes, I suppose if you bought this CD hoping that it would be a classic treasure, or a jewel of a musical, you'd be disappointed. There are no slow, sentimental songs, only funny, hummable tunes. After I saw the play, I went out and bought the CD so I could listen to the songs over and over. It opens with Sylvia setting the mood with the "Prologue" which shouldn't be the base for the show, move on to "Tina's Mother" probably my favorite song, not in a musical sense, but in a musical THEATRE sense! You have to remember, the sappy sweet voice she uses in this song is the funny part of her character, however, in the end Judy changes to a new character, a star, Ginger Delmarco,(a plot twist too complicated to explain) and the singer makes this transition so well, that I almost couldn't tell it was the same person. I think she has amazing vocal ability, and it's too bad that you are not able to listen to some of her later songs on this website. Another strong vocalist for being so young is the girl who plays Tina. She sounds sappy and sweet, exactly what was needed, and she still puts the spunk and pizazz, and EVILNESS into it! She hits the high, belted, notes so well, I anticipate them for the whole song! "Born to Enertain" is very well done! Ok, so no one else on the album has outstanding vocals, and some are just plain bad, but THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE! That's the joy of "Ruthless", listen and laugh along, but I promise you, you'll go around humming and singing the singable tunes later! "Ruthless" is one of the funniest shows I've seen or heard in a long time, and I think that it would be a pity for someone to be scared away from it because they want a comfortable "Phantom of the Opera" type album. I also hate that these people are criticizing it, because like I said, you have to see it before you argue with it. Try something new, I promise you won't regret it, unless you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended! :)"
La-la-hu-jah! This is high camp!
burghtenor | Washington, DC | 08/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll be a gun of a son! RUTHLESS! is a clever little chamber musical that many amateur theater groups can pull off. Scored for two pianos and percussion, costumed so that virtually everyone in the mostly-female cast looks like Joan Collins, and peppered with humorous (albeit tasteless) references to GYPSY, this show doesn't have one serious bone in its body. Throw in cameo appearances by a top-notch TV comedian and one of the supreme Broadway divas, and you've got a lot of high-caliber talent thrown into this frothy little show.Synopsis? Well, the liner notes are no help, I've never seen the show, and the web doesn't have much information. Here's my best guess, without giving too many surprises away:Suburban housewife Judy Denmark (Joan Ryan) is dull as dull can be, but her daughter (played by the absolutely amazing 8-year-old Lindsay Ridgeway) is the greatest song-and-dance sensation to ever hit the third grade. As Tina takes extreme measures to secure the lead in the school play, Tina's agent, Sylvia St. Croix (played by Loren Freeman in drag), asks, "where does Tina get her talent from?" Act I closes with a shocking revelation about Judy's own lineage that begins an awesome transformation in the lady who until this point in the evening has taken "mousiness" to a new level.The Act II plot twists are even more wacky, with a trip to the Daisy School for Psychopathic Ingenues, three generations of women extolling the virtues of vice, and lines such as, "Do you know what it's like ... fighting the urge to defrost your freezer?"And then there are the hilarious secondary characters! They include the school teacher "no longer afraid to get on with my life and off medication," the theater critic who does an uncanny Ethel Merman impersonation, and the personal theatrical assistant who makes us want to fasten our seatbelts in anticipation of a bumpy night.The music? Pleasant-but-not-memorable tunes with hilarious lyrics. Here are a few samples:Tina's view of death: "Why should I cry? I didn't get killed."
Eve's tribute to patience: "I'll be waiting in the wings when Ginger snaps."
A star's recollection of an acceptance speech: "I assure you the tears that I dabbed were not for the backs that I stabbed."The songs often clock in under 2 minutes, but the lyrics cover so much ground that the songs don't seem too short.In summary, RUTHLESS! is not your average musical. Loads of fun, but to enjoy the show to the fullest, you need to have extensive knowledge of musical theater."
One of the Best Musicals Ever! And I've heard 'em all!
firstname.lastname@example.org | United States | 04/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This incredibly campy yet brilliant musical take-off of 'All About Eve' and 'The Bad Seed' is hysterically funny with its razor sharp lyrics and very powerful score. RUTHLESS!, by Marvin Laird and Joey Paley, tells the tale of Tina Denmark, who is dripping with talent, but does not receive the role of Pippi Longstocking in the school play, so instead of taking this in stride, she kills the girl who beat her out of the part, causing total distress in her mother's life. This cast recording is top-notch and captures the many talents of the six-person cast. Certain songs definitely stand out as the best in the show, namely "Talent," "Teaching Third Grade," Born To Entertain," "I want the girl," and finally the culmination in the title song "Ruthless." My personal favorite is the definite show stopper "I Hate Musicals." A Fantastic Piece!"