Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Anyone Can Whistle (1964 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Give credit (and thanks) to Goddard Lieberson and Columbia Records for preserving the original cast recording of Anyone Can Whistle despite a blink-and-you-missed-it run of nine performances in 1964. That's often blamed on... more »
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Give credit (and thanks) to Goddard Lieberson and Columbia Records for preserving the original cast recording of Anyone Can Whistle despite a blink-and-you-missed-it run of nine performances in 1964. That's often blamed on the challenging and confusing book, which features a Mayoress (Angela Lansbury) whose town is economically depressed until the fortuitous arrival of an apparent miracle. Unfortunately, the resulting influx of tourists clashes with 49 patients (known as "cookies") from a local mental hospital led by nurse Fay Apple (Lee Remick) when a traveling physician named Hapgood (Harry Guardino) arrives to sort things out. The score is fascinating early Stephen Sondheim and includes numerous songs that have become staples of Sondheim song collections: "There Won't Be Trumpets," the gentle title tune, "A Parade in Town," "Everybody Says Don't," and "With So Little to Be Sure Of." Almost exactly 31 years later, Anyone Can Whistle was recorded as a gala benefit concert, with 20 additional minutes of music and dialogue, an all-star cast including Lansbury and Bernadette Peters, and the excitement of a live performance. For heart, though, it still doesn't measure up to the original cast recording. --David Horiuchi
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A great recording
Maggie | United States | 06/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is far better than the concert version done with Bernadette Peters. I can't really name the exact reason--if anyone looked at the cast lists for both, the talent would seem to be about dead even--but this album has far more heart and simplicity. The 1990's version is cutesy and far too "knowing." The performers seem less sure of themselves and the material so they act with very broad strokes. The original version however, is subtle and heartfelt. When I listen to it, I almost consider it to be Sondheim's best score. (Although, I usually think that Assassins, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd or whatever Sondheim show happens to be in my CD player is his best!)"
The one that started it all
Tommy Peter | 10/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have only seen the film version of "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum"
The Songs Without The Script--Thank Heavens
Tommy Peter | 05/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stephen Sondheim's second show as both composer and lyricist, and the one that set the mold for much of his career; i.e., a brilliant score wedded to a second-rate book. As usual, Sondheim's songs express the show's ideas with more wit and eloquence than anything that the librettist (in this case Arthur Laurents) could even concieve of, much less achieve. And as was often the case, his work attracted talented performers who often do some of their best work in his material (Lee Remick is strikingly witty and intense here, and Harry Guardino, a macho stalwart in films and television, displays a talent for whimsy that one would never have expected). Angela Lansbury is less of a surprise (she seems to give brilliant performances as easily as she draws breath), but there is still profound pleasure in her witty and oddly poignant performance as the scheming mayor of a backwater small town; when, in the opening song "Me and My Town" she sings "somebody, please buy a ticket to us," there is a desperation in her voice that makes the character's subsequent chicanery at least comprehensible. It makes you wonder, at least it makes me wonder (and not for the first time), why Sondheim doesn't write his own scripts. He couldn't make a bigger hash of it than most of his collaborators have."