Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh, Sid Caesar|
Little Me (1962 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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ArkivMusic Brings a Wonderful Coleman/Leigh Musical Back fro
J. T Waldmann | Carmel, IN, home to the fabulous new Regional Perf | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long before the advent of Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton (1961, to be exact), there "lived" another shapely blonde of dubious talent whose claim to fame consisted primarily of her notoriety. Her life story was the subject of Patrick Dennis' (author of "Mame") literary happening entitled "Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of that Great Star of Stage, Screen and Television, Belle Poitrine (as told to Patrick Dennis)." "Considered pretty risqué at the time (several of [the] photographs were rejected by censors), LITTLE ME tells the rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches, etc. story of Maybelle Schlumfert, an overdeveloped and self-deluded girl who rises to become Belle Poitrine, (French for 'Pretty Bosom,' aka 'Gorgeous . . . '). (To fill in the blank, go to wikipedia.com, the source of these quotes.)
Belle's colorful - yet inspiring - story is the stuff of which Broadway musicals are made, and the authoress chose the young, up-and-coming playwright Neil Simon to transform her memorable prose (with help from Patrick Dennis) into a dramatic opus. However, at one point during their collaboration, Ms. Poitrine and Mr. Simon simultaneously shouted: "Let's rent a theater and do a musical!" When the news was broadcast on the front page of "Variety," Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, great fans of Ms. Poitrine's memoir, practically broke down the door of Mr. Simon's suite at the Plaza in their eagerness to supply the music and the lyrics. And that, my friends, is how LITTLE ME, the musical, was born.
Well, maybe it didn't happen exactly that way. But it could have, were not Belle Poitrine merely a figment of Patrick Dennis' fertile imagination.
LITTLE ME opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 17, 1962 and ran for 257 performances. Sid Caesar, (7 Emmy nominations, 2 wins) gave bravura performances "in multiple roles with multiple stage accents, playing all of Belle's husbands, each of whom comes to a propitiously untimely end." Nancy Andrews won a Tony for portraying Old Belle, and Virginia Martin was her ditziest best as Young Belle. Swen Swenson, as one of Belle's suitors, oozes sex and sleaze with his show-stopping "I've Got Your Number."
LITTLE ME boasts one of Cy Coleman's most tuneful scores and some of Carolyn Leigh's most witty lyrics. (From "I Love You"): "Though other girls are so far above you./To show you I am democratic,/Considering you're riff-raff/And I am well-to-do." (From "The Other Side of the Tracks"): "And the muscles keeping your nose up/Are the only muscles you tax./Oh, I envy someone who grows up/On the other side of the tracks." And my personal favorite, "Real Live Girl," a waltz sung by World War I sad sack Fred Poitrine when he first sets eyes on Belle: "Pardon me, miss, but I've never done this/With a real live girl./Straight off the farm with an actual arm/Full of real live girl./Pardon me if your affectionate squeeze/Fogs up my glasses and buckles my knees,/I'm simply drowned in the sight and the sound/And the scent/and the feel/Of a real live girl."
LITTLE ME is a premier example of the kind of musical designed to do nothing more than entertain, and it does so in grand fashion. David Barbour ("The TheaterMania Guide to Musical Theater Recordings"), in giving the original RCA recording a 5-star rating, writes: "The album starts with one of the most exciting overtures ever and takes off from there, thanks to orchestrator Ralph Burns. With Cy Coleman's tough, sophisticated melodies perfectly matched to Carolyn Leigh's mind-bending word games, the entire score of LITTLE ME is a treat. . . . " Amen.
My only complaint is the sound quality. ArkivMusic writes this about it CDs-on-Demand: "The music on the disc is exactly the same as the original and has not been processed or altered in any way." Pity, because this one suffers from RCA's notoriously bad 1990s digital transference. Although we should all be grateful to ArkivMusic for this and other re-issued RCA shows, they really deserve the kind of superb remastering Sony/BMG has lavished upon the Sondheim reissues.
In spite of the sound quality, I'm giving LITTLE ME five stars. It's a show I will return to again and again. You will too. Highly recommended."
My very 1st Time!
George F. Schmalz | Howell, NJ, USA | 08/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Little Me was the very 1st Broadway Show that I had gone to! I remember it was a High School Band trip from Saddle Brook, NJ, into NYC. A very short distance by bus, a wonderful day in the city. Dinner was at the lamented 'Blue Ribbon' restaurant. If I recall correctly, there were several popular European eateries at that time. i.e. The Stockholm, Voison, Luchow's.
Having no idea was the story was, I do remember that marvelous Sid Ceasar! He was like a horse in a very hot race!! He never stopped singing, clowning AND acting. Laughed until it hurt and then some more. This CD has reminded me of that wonderful experience, and of the happier days of the early sixties. Nice to think back. And laugh!"
Five Stars for Carolyn Leigh
steve lowenthal | NYC | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite complaints about sound quality, and whatever one's opinion regarding vocal talent (I for one would rather listen to Gwen Verdon than to Sarah Brightman) -- anyone with a taste for sharp, witty songwriting MUST own "LITTLE ME"! With all due respect, that's a no-brainer.