Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, Adolph Green|
On The Twentieth Century (1978 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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"Max, I LOVE this play! (Dutdut,dutdut, dutdut, dutdutdut!)"
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 09/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When ON THE 20th CENTURY came out in 1977 critics found the show olf-fashioned and thus largeky praised only the famous set by Robin Wagner; now that time has passed, the score (and the wonderful complement of singers Harold Prince found for the cast) has held up wonderfully--this work may show Cy Coleman and Comden and Green at the very top of their game. The music is spectacular, from the thrilling overture to the wonderfully tricky "Sextette" with its beautiful central melody of Lily's ("But how could I have known/ That love from way back when/ Would flood my life again") and of course to the superb comic songs written particularly for Madeline Kahn, "Never," "Veronique," and "Babette."Kahn's performance on the cd is a revelation: although she had to be let go from the show a month into it because she reputedly refused to give her all to it in performance other than here and on opening night ("You don't expect me to do this every night, do you?" she supposedly told Prince after he congratulated her after the premiere), she shows fully here what might of been. Her performance here shows how much she deserved the praise given to her character, Lily Garland, by the train's starstruck fans when they see her in the score's great highlight, the swooningly evocative "Together": "Up till now just empty days/ Made up what I call my life/ But today's a day of days/ I'll remember all my life.""
This one belongs in every theatre fan's CD collection!
Jay Dickson | 07/29/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1978's "On the Twentieth Century"--a brilliant musicalization of the classic 1930s screwball comedy "20th Century"--is one of the most tuneful, intelligent, and flat-out funny musicals ever committed to disc. The score is by Cy Coleman (it may well be his best); the book and lyrics are by the immortal Betty Comden and Adolph Green, working at the top of their own inimitable form. And what a cast! Stars John Cullum, Madeleine Kahn, Imogene Coca, and Kevin Kline turn in superb performances--and their obvious delight at having such delicious, often over-the-top material to work with comes across beautifully on the recording. Among the score's highlights: the lovely "Our Private World," The wonderfully egomaniacal "I've Got It All" and "Mine," Act II's "Sextet," the title song, and Imogene Coca's never-to-be-forgotten "Repent." So: All aboard! This is a madcap musical ride you'll want to take again ! and again."
A brilliant musical with a sparkling cast!
Rosanna L. Bencoach | VA USA | 04/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cy Coleman's opening notes evoke the power, feel, sounds and motion of a great train as it pulls out of the station and builds to top speed. And from that moment, this comic musical never slows down. Based on the classic John Barrymore - Carole Lombard comedy "Twentieth Century," the show centers on two strong characters: maniacal Broadway producer Oscar Jaffee (John Cullum), and his one-time protegee and lover Lily Garland (Madeline Kahn). As Oscar runs from his Chicago creditors after his latest flop, he orders his henchmen to get him drawing room "A" on the legendary train The Twentieth Century ("New York in sixteen hours/Anything can happen in those sixteen hours"). Oscar knows that Lily, now a movie star, and her current lover Bruce Granit (Kevin Kline) will soon be boarding and have reserved the adjoining room. If Oscar can sign Lily to do a new show with him, his career and reputation will be saved. Of course, Bruce has to try to stop Oscar from getting back into Lily's favor. In the meantime, a religious nut is loose on the train, slapping permanent-sticking stickers on even the most inaccessible locations ("Repent for the time is at hand"), everyone on the train seems to have a script they want to sell to the broke Oscar("I Have Written a Play, Mr. Jaffee"), and sweet little lady Letetia Primrose (Imogene Coca) may come to Oscar's aid ("Five Zeros").Will Lily save Oscar's career? Do they still have feelings for each other? Will Oscar find a usable script to help him woo Lily? Listen to the album to find out. My favorite numbers include: - The delight of the other passengers awaiting Lily's arrival in a number that spoofs our star-struck society. ("Just to know my favorite star/ is not so very far/that somewhere there her scent will fill the air/she'll change her dress/she'll comb her hair/oh, lucky me/Oh, can it be") - Lily and Oscar, in different cars, singing about their old romance (and their lingering feelings) in the beautiful "Our Private World" - Oscar and Bruce, simultaneously and alternately singing to his own image in the mirror (each in his own room) about his need to get/keep Lily ("You're almost perfect, but one thing is true. You need her desperately, but she does not need you!") - Miss Primrose's advise to a sinful world. - A dejected Oscar's showstopping swansong, as he bequeaths his worldly possessions to his two faithful assistants ("To you I leave/ my letters to the critics. To you I leave/ my cane and spats.")Everyone involved with creating and performing this show (and it was a Who's Who of 1970s Broadway) turned in a top-notch job. This recording is a gem!Note: The CD contains several additional minutes of music not on the original LP."