Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Reba Mcentire|
South Pacific in Concert from Carnegie Hall
Genres: Country, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
From the second the majestic overture of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1949 show starts, you know you're in for a treat: In this age of diminished Broadway pits, hearing the 45-piece Orchestra of St. Luke's firing on all cylin... more »
Listen to Samples
From the second the majestic overture of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1949 show starts, you know you're in for a treat: In this age of diminished Broadway pits, hearing the 45-piece Orchestra of St. Luke's firing on all cylinders is just thrilling. And that's only the beginning of the fun in this most traditional, most delightful musical, recorded live at Carnegie Hall in June 2005. As Nellie Forbush, Reba McEntire deploys a homespun Southern charm that works marvels against the urbane Emile de Becque, i.e., Brian Stokes Mitchell and his impossibly buttery baritone (check out his rendition of "Some Enchanted Evening"). Of course we shouldn't be surprised, since country star Reba had turned out to be musical-theater star Reba when she replaced Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway. Here, she brightly delivers classics (yes, the show is packed with them) like "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "A Wonderful Guy." And let's not forget Lillias White, chewing the scenery in spectacular fashion as Bloody Mary ("Bali Ha'i," "Happy Talk"--what was that about the show being packed with memorable tunes again?). When the classic American musical is done with such gusto, it's hard not to be won over. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
Similarly Requested CDs
An Enchanted CD
tides24 | West Seneca, NY USA | 04/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the beginning, was the Score. And oh, my, what a score it is; truely one of the gems of the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals. One is transported, as classic after classic washes over you. And although some of the references are a bit dated, ("skin as soft as DiMaggio's glove"), it makes no difference. That old cliche': "they don't write 'em like this anymore", is certainly true.
The performers are really wonderful. Jason Danieley and Lillias White are standouts. Perfect for their roles. Alec Baldwin made me laugh out loud. (What a hambone!) And Brian Stokes Mitchell! Wow! Dude can sing!
As a long-time fan of Country Music, I have watched the artistic growth of Reba McEntire for many years, but she continues to amaze. Her performance in "Annie Get Your Gun" was sublime. And I think she is wonderful here, bringing zest, heart, and passion to her role. Not to mention that voice. You can hear one syllable of one word, and immediately know it's Reba. There's no singer like her. As Country fans know, she has always been a premier story-teller in song, and she uses that talent to great advantage here. Once again, she's made her fans proud. Nice goin', Red.
The only thing better than this CD? That would have to be the DVD, scheduled for May 2006. Can't wait."
A wonderful concert
groomRN | Illinois USA | 05/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this concert on our local PBS station, and was completely captivated. Firstly, no one has sung the part of Emile like Brian Stokes Mitchell; forget what you think you know of "This Nearly was Mine". His version is simply the most beautiful one I've ever heard. He sang it with such passion that it moved me to tears.
Secondly, I must admit I'm not a Reba fan. Nothing against her, but I just don't care for country music. HOWEVER...
She did an incredible job as Nellie. Her Tulsa accent worked very nicely as the girl from Little Rock. And she put such joy and energy in the part, I couldn't help but love her.
Thirdly, Lillias White was absolutely outstanding in her role, singing "Bali Hai" better than I've ever heard it.
True, this is an unusual version of this musical, but that's what I enjoyed about it. The songs are of course familiar, but they have a new life to them in this concert version."
Authentic Nellie and Great Cast
John Ellis | New York, NY United States | 05/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those Broadway aficianados - some appear on this page - who approach show tunes the way opera buffs do opera - as a sacred pure art - will drop their monacles when they hear Reba McEntire bend notes like steel girders. And after hearing Mary Martin work so hard (and well) to disguise her Texas twang in the incredible original cast recordings ("...waiting for the daunce", for instance), it is a shock for a moment. But then the rightness of the contrast with Mitchell's operatic barotone creates the same magic that Pinza and Martin had, two very different worlds, styles and talents that somehow merge. Though the very difficult circumstances may contribute real nervousness to McEntire's performance (these concerts are always wildly under-rehearsed for financial reasons), she works it into her performance and gives Nellie a quality of vulnerability that illuminates why her fears would pull her back from her passion. Mitchell plays the very adult quality of his character well, a man who expects trouble even from a woman he loves deeply; racism is no surprise to him, he'd seen Hitler rise. This takes thirty years off the script. He sings the magnificent "This Nearly Was Mine" perhaps a shade too slow in tempo, but with the phrase cut for time in the middle section of Pinza's recording restored and Mitchell's acting of it, this is the definitive version as of now. His performance is wisely informed by Pinza's, just as any Henry Higgins is by Rex Harrison's, but built on to make it his own. White does similar work with Bloody Mary, absorbing Juanita Hall without imitating her. Cable is very well sung if flatly acted; Alec Baldwin condescends to the underwritten baffoonish part of Billis, but is fine anyway (fortunately his singing appearance is brief). The sailors even sound believably lusty, if still not the equal of the real ex-sailors Joshua Logan assembled for the original production. The only complaint here is that every scrap of underscored dialogue is included, and it's cued so that you can't just play the songs. Which makes it ideal for one listen, then you wish you could have an edited version (which in fact I am making on my Mac as we speak) closer to the length of the original. All in all, with its great restored orchestrations and this cast, it's the equal of the original, which I memorized when I was five. Supposedly dated, done this intelligently and with this kind of talent, there is no reason "South Pacific" couldn't be a smash on Broadway all over again. As with "Showboat", Oscar Hammerstein's liberal humanity still glows from a much uglier era of racial relations. This recording not only shines musically, it dispells the erroneous notion that the work suffers from any tinge of racism itself (something that may have risen from the somewhat smug movie version). "You've Got to Be Taught", which they had to fight to keep in the score, still has a sting and rings true fifty seven years later. Note: there is little to recommend the DVD because the performance with scripts and almost no staging on the small Carnegie stage is visually dull, worth catching on PBS maybe, but the CD is the keepsake."