Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Hugh Martin, Lehman Engel, Philip Green|
Make a Wish (1951 Original Broadway Cast)
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Nanette Fabray sings delightful vintage Hugh Martin score
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 01/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"MAKE A WISH is a delightful musical from the pen of Hugh Martin (MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, LOOK MA I'M DANCIN'!) which is receiving it's long-awaited CD debut thanks to British boutique label Sepia.
MAKE A WISH tells the story of a young French orphan (played by Nanette Fabray) who escapes her dull lot to become a member of a nightclub kick-line. It's based on Ferenc Molnar's THE GOOD FAIRY. Despite it's strong cast and score it shuttered after 102 performances.
Harold Lang and Helen Gallagher play the secondary romantic couple with capable Stephen Douglass as Fabray's love interest. Lang and Gallagher would go on to co-star again in the 1952 revival of PAL JOEY, before Gallagher's Tony-winning turn in the title role of 1953's HAZEL FLAGG.
Nanette Fabray sings the delightful "I Wanna Be Good 'n' Bad", "Over and Over" and "What I Was Warned About". There are also great numbers like "Who Gives a Sou?" and "Suits Me Fine"; though the score only yielded one popular hit ("When Does This Feeling Go Away?").
The disc is rounded out by Fran Warren's cover version of "Feeling"; with the complete set of the Stephen Douglass album 'Serenade For You' thrown in for good measure!
This disc is simply magical, and is highly-recommended.
Blow Out the Candles
Bruce K. Hanson | Petersburg, VA | 01/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before I go any further I must confess that any CD that features Nanette Fabray, Harold Lang, Helen Gallagher and Stephen Douglas would rank high among others. In the case of "Make a Wish", Sepia records has again remastered vintage recordings to great effect giving this charming score by Hugh Martin a much needed face-lift. It's also interesting to compare some of the songs from here with songs from Martin's earlier success, "Look Ma, I'm Dancin'!" "Let's Do a Ballet" was cut from that show (but included on Decca's CD) and new lyrics were writen for it to create Fabray's opening number in "Make a Wish". Likewise, Martin also "cannibalized" the tune of "Horrible, Horrible Love" from the former show and turned it into "Who Gives a Sou?" which is sung by the four leads of the musical. However, whether recycled or totally new for the occasion, all of the songs are very engaging and well sung with the only fault being the lack of a French accent in Gallagher's performances. I'm sure that her dances with Harold Lang more than made up for this minor issue. Along with the cast recording we are also treated to "bonus" songs, the best being those by Stephen Douglas singing tunes by Rodgers and Hart, Kern and Hammerstein, and other Kern treats. There are plenty of photos as well as informative liner notes with this CD package. Chalk this up as another musical from the fifties that should be included in your collection."
An interesting concept that didn't quite work
tenor fanatic | Florida | 01/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Make a Wish" received almost all favorable reviews--no raves, but no pans--but somehow did not click with the paying audience. Why? Perhaps because the songs were written before the libretto was written, and rewritten, and rewritten. I have not seen the show; but it seems that the music and the story just did not gel. Or perhaps, because a 31 year old Nanette Fabray, playing a French orphan, simply did not come across as believeable. Fabray was an excellent performer, who never quite reached the level of popularity she deserved. But, in this instance, I feel she was miscast.
Instead of trying to piece a storyline together, just listen to the entertaining music. The title number, "Make a Wish," and "Who Gives a Sou," are both great listening. The "Sale" ballet, if you know its setting, is wildly satisfying; as you listen, you can hear the freneticism of a department store sale.
Stephen Douglas is another excellent performer, whose talents were not really appreciated. His rich baritone is evident on this recording.
"Make a Wish" is a valued part of my collection of Broadway msicals."