Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gary Geld, Peter Udell, Cleavon Little|
Purlie (1970 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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An unheralded classic
Jeffrey Anbinder | New York, NY | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ask someone about the great musicals of the 60s and 70s, and invariably you get "Hair," "Godspell," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Grease," and maybe "Jesus Christ Superstar." And maybe for pure popularity, that about covers it - but for the best music and singing, nobody outdid Cleavon Little and Melba Moore in the highly underrated and shamefully now-lesser-known "Purlie."You might not get away with a revival of this musical in the 21st century; even though historically accurate, the musical's depiction of black sharecroppers in the early 20th century South is a little bit stereotyped and unflattering. But showcasing the typical conflicts for southern blacks in that time and place also makes for some amazingly great songs; "Down Home" lets Purlie and his sister argue about the benefits of living up north where it's "free" vs. south where it's familiar, and "First Thing Monday Morning" depicts in grand, beautiful spiritual style how it's easy to have dreams, but sometimes even easier to put them off until tomorrow.The gospel-tinged music isn't just spiritually moving, it's darn fun as well. And while Sherman Hemsley (later of "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" comes close to stealing the show with "Skin a Cat," the real gem here is a young Melba Moore, who rips into her songs like her life depends on it, and really makes you believe she's in love with Purlie.It's tragic that there aren't more revivals of this show, and that so few fans of musical theatre don't know it better. If you arrived at this page because you're surfing through musicals in general, here's your chance to fill a serious gap. It should be an essential part of a true Broadway fan's collection."
Wonderful from start to finish!
Nancy Rowland | Harveys Lake, PA | 03/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Purlie, the musical based on the play "Purlie Victorious" written by Ozzie Davis, is a wonderful adaptation. The music is moving, thought- provoking, funny and just plain enjoyable. The story opens with the spirit-filled "Walk Him Up" being performed at the funeral of Old Captain, the local plantation owner. We then go back a few weeks to see the arrival of Purlie Victorious, a young black man who had left a few years earlier after being whipped by Old Captain. He has come back, not for revenge, but simply to sort-of con Old Captain out of some money, an inheritence, left in his care. Purlie's intention is to buy the local church building, affectionately called Big Bethel, and become a "New-Fangled Preacher Man". He has brought along a young girl named Lutibell Jenkins, who is the one they are hoping to pass off as a long lost relative who can claim the money Old Captain is holding. Lutibell, however, is only going along with it because, as she tells in the title song, "Spring don't spring to charm the bees/the flowers flower just for Purlie/Purlie my Purlie/ You just thrill me through and through/ Purlie you're to good to be true/ Purlie I'm in love with you". She's got it bad. Purlie's cousin, Gitlow, has his own ideas about how to handle Old Captain, which he describes in the aptly named "Skinnin' A Cat". Meanwhile, throughout all of this, Charlie, Old Captain's son, is trying to write a folk song ("Barrels of War" and "The Unborn Love") and understand why his dad still treats blacks the way he does. Old Captain tries to explain in "Big Fish, Litle Fish", but Charlie just won't get it. He's too nice a kid. The showstopper tune is sung by Lutibell as she's sitting waiting for Purlie to take her to Old Captain's house to get the inheritence. "I've Got Love" is incredible as only Melba Moore could do it. Next, the farm hands are dreaming about how they're gonna change their lives in "First Thing Monday Morning", if they get around to it. Charlie tries another folk song, and Gitlow has the other workers serenade Old Captain, telling him he's been elected "Great White Father of the Year". ("We know your whippings are with love/kisses in your mind/If it's love you want then don't be shy/ Come kiss our black behinds!" I love it!) Lutibell makes a mess of trying to sign the legal paperwork to claim the inheritence and is left alone with Old Captain who tries to kiss her. When she goes home and tells Purlie, Purlie charges up the hill to challenge Old Captain, leaving Lutibell and Missy, Gitlow's wife, to sing about how a woman can support her man in "He Can Do It". This song is my fave ! When Purlie gets to Old Captain, Old Captain gloats about how Purlie will never get the money or the church because he has sent Charlie to buy it. Charlie comes back with the deed and when Old Captain finds that Charlie has put Purlie's name in the title, he drops dead "standing up". Charlie finally hits it big with "The World Is coming To A Start", and the play ends with a reprise of "Walk Him Up". This play was revived in the early 1980's and aired on Great Performances in 1985 with Robert Guillaume playing Purlie. It was such a treat to finally see the action to go along with the music I had been listening to for years. The story behind Purlie has the ability to not be preachy about the conditions of life in the South. It uses the wonderful feel of the spiritual to draw you into the story and keep you there, wrapped up in the happenings, and the songs, of the characters. The story, the music, the actors... it all adds up to a big 10!"
One of the BEST things of my Childhood
Andre W. Maloy | East Elmhurst, New York United States | 09/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first Broadway Show that I had every seen, now I am singing and have been off-broadway. The singing was great and I wish I could find this on VHS. I still have the original Albam and have just ordered the CD. I studyed "I Got Love" in voice class and use it sometimes for auditions. I GOT LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, FOR THIS PLAY AND IT'S MUSIC."