Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jule Styne, Jule Styne, Bob Merrill|
Prettybelle (1974 Original Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
A forgotten score brought back into the light
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 12/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PRETTYBELLE was written a good 20 years before THE PRODUCERS and URINETOWN pushed the boundaries of the Broadway musical. The story is about a drunken Southern woman with a multiple-personality disorder who, when her law-enforcing husband dies, discovers that he made his living murdereing and terrorizing blacks and Mexicans in their small Southern community. She decides to 'give herself' to the communities that her husband wronged, and in turn comes under the hatred of her small-minded neighbors.But the gorgeous Southern-fried score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill (their first since FUNNY GIRL) is now, in hindsight, one of their best collaborations. Angela Lansbury (as the title character, Prettybelle Sweet), sings a clutch of wonderfully off-kilter songs like "Manic Depressives", the sobering "To a Small Degree", the charming corn of "In the Japanese Gardens" and the unashamedly pro-alcoholic "When I'm Drunk I'm Beautiful".This musical never made it past its month-long try-out tenure in Boston thanks to scathing reviews about its unfavorable depiction of Southeners. Angela Lansbury, as always, gave her all in the leading role, and was angered and upset that this show was not given the fanfare that it deserved.In 1982, Varese Sarabande recruited Angela Lansbury as well as the bulk of the original cast, and recorded this re-creation of the original production. This recording preserves this musical, definately ahead-of-its-time, and is well worth another look.Highly-recommended."
An unknown gem
njprof | Morris Plains, NJ USA | 05/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered "Prettybelle" a number of years ago, before the CD was released, and paid handsomely for a recording of it. I'd read about this courageous show and was pleasantly surprised by its contemporary score. Well before "The Producers," "Prettybelle" set out to offend, and did it so well, the show closed in Boston. Men, women, alcoholics, the mentally unstable, politicians, and southerners get satirized and savaged. Much of it is wonderful, and Angela Lansbury, of course, is first-rate. No one who cares about the Broadway musical should miss this one."
james | 04/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is the only record we have of Angela Lansbury's performance in Prettybelle, a performance which would have given her a fifth tony award had it ever come to broadway. It is wonderful to hear Miss Lansbury do a role that is not the "normal" leading lady- she is probably the only living actress who could achieve this. Miss Lansbury is in great voice and Styne's music has a 70's feel, but is rooted in golden age broadway sound. a must have for any musical lover."