Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Kander, Fred Ebb, Vanessa Williams|
Kiss Of The Spider Woman: The Musical (1994 Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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Kander & Ebb at Their Best
Jason D. Witte | Kansas City, MO | 03/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a long-time admirer of the musicals of Kander & Ebb, particularly "Chicago" and "Cabaret". With "KOTSW," they are at the peak of their prowess, creating a score/lyrics of dazzling and heartbreaking brilliance.Vanessa Williams is astounding as Aurora/The Spider Woman -- one is reminded of the great sultry film vamps of the 30s and 40s, which Aurora obviously is. Williams demonstrates great expressivity in her voice, as well as an impressive range.Howard McGillin is a fine Molina, though in the dialogue sections he tends to come across as a bit too fey. His singing voice is quite good, and he absolutely triumphs with "Dressing Them Up", a showstopping high-camp number. I am anxious to acquire the OBC recording of KOTSW, simply to hear how Brent Carver approaches the role.Brian (soon-to-add Stokes) Mitchell is wonderful as Valentin, capturing well the anger and frustration and initial homophobia of the character, and the development of his relationship with Molina is subtle but convincing. Mitchell is given what I think is one of the most rousing numbers written for the musical stage, "The Day After That".There is a level of sophistication to KOTSW that seems to be a first for Kander & Ebb. This is not to say that they have tried and failed before, but "Chicago" and "Cabaret" didn't call for the emotional sweep which imbues KOTSW; rather, they delivered what they promised: hard, glittering scores with incisively biting lyrics. Particularly impressive among the songs are "Over the Wall," "Dressing Them Up," "Dear One," "Where You Are," "Gabriel's Letter/My First Woman," "Gimme Love," "The Day After That," and "Anything For Him."Ultimately, the score and lyrics succeed on the two leads; Mitchell and McGillin flesh out the characters and give their relationship a complexity and believeability. The score builds up to what I think is the climactic number, "Anything For Him," which provides the key turning point in their friendship, while maintaining the complex nature of their relationship. KOTSW has more than earned its place alongside "Chicago" and "Cabaret" as pinnacles in the careers of Kander & Ebb, and at the same time secures its place as a pinnacle in the genre of musical theatre overall."
Vanessa Williams does well in the title role
Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) | New York | 07/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a huge fan of KOTSW, I was anxious for this new recording. Miss Williams does wonders in the title role- she has the sexual allure and smooth, sultry vocal quality that former star Chita Rivera was somehow missing. Howard McGillan displays stunning vocal comand...but leaves one longing for the heartbreaking musical interpretations of his predecessor in this role, Brent Carver. (I feel it is worth noting that Jeff Hyslop, the only actor to play Molina on Bway who was not recorded, brought both McGillan's vocal power and Carver's tear-jerking vulnerability to the role). Brain Mitchell does very well -however he somehow didnt' seem to "own" this role as much as others I have seen him play. It is worth investing in this recording simply for Williams' dazzling new interpretations of the score and for the material that is missing on the Original Cast Recording CD that can be found here."
Vanessa Williams sounds GREAT!
brian - | New York State | 07/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although Chita Rivera is a good "spider woman" on the london cd, I prefer Vanessa Williams'smooth and young voice because she sounds(and looks) like a movie actress/temptress of the 30's and 40's. The supporting cast does a good job with the haunting Kander/Ebb music. Kiss of the Spider Woman is a tragic story with great music, and nobody sings the title role better than Vanessa Williams. You will not be dissapointed with this cd."