Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Michael John LaChiusa, Marc Kudisch, Norm Lewis|
The Wild Party (LaChiusa) (2000 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
With his controversial The Wild Party, prolific composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa continues to stretch the possibilities for contemporary musical theater. His racy musical is based on a 1928 poem about one night o... more »
Listen to Samples
Amazon.com's Best of 2000
With his controversial The Wild Party, prolific composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa continues to stretch the possibilities for contemporary musical theater. His racy musical is based on a 1928 poem about one night of escalating decadence, through which LaChiusa stages a brilliant, savage, polystylistic unmasking of the lies we live by. The original cast recording captures the manic energy of the top-rate cast, including Mandy Patinkin, Toni Collette, and Eartha Kitt all working together in electrifying ensemble. --Thomas May
Similarly Requested CDs
Better on CD than in theater
Scott Cain | Cincinnati, OH | 05/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this version of THE WILD PARTY on the first night of previews and was disappointed. The score and cast were strong, but the book and direction (at least then) was lacking. I am sure that they have improved it since then. I bought the CD and have found it very enjoyable. The score is melodic and interesting. The cast is all top-notch, with Toni Collette, Marc Kudish, Brooke Sunny Moriber, and Norm Lewis standing out to me. "Stars" Mandy Patinkin and Eartha Kitt make this one even more popular. This recording shows that the score was never the problem. I highly recommend this CD.As a side note, there was another musical version of THE WILD PARTY in New York this season. That version, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, played Off-Broadway and also had a very strong score. The CD of that version comes out in July and is also highly recommended. Have fun comparing the two."
Listen more than once to appreciate this WILD PARTY
Scott Cain | 04/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Because of my limited tolerance of Mandy Patinkin I decided to purchase Andrew Lippa's musicalization of Joseph Moncure March's poem and instantly fell in love with it. After a few months, I purchased the LaChiusa version and tried to give it a chance. After one listen, I too quickly concluded LaChiusa's version was tedious with no real melodic hooks like those that percolate throughout Lippa's score. But then I read March's poem.It became immediately clear that LaChiusa did the better job of capturing March's piece with the jazz-infused music of the era and characterizations of the many partygoers in the poem. (For example, whereas Lippa turned Jackie into a silent chorus boy of a dancer, LaChiusa gives us the charming drunk that March wrote. However, Lippa has assembled a talented cast of singers, particularly Julia Murney's "Queenie" and the wonderful Brian Darcy James fleshing out Burrs (how it would have been great to hear him sing LaChiusa's version instead of the always frustrating though talented Patinkin!) And few if any will argue with Alex Korey's delivery of Lippa's "An Old Fashioned Love Story"; it's simply perfection.)In addition to "...Old Fashioned...", Lippa's version features a well sung and thoroughly infectious score ("Queenie was a Blonde", "Raise the Roof", "Life of the Party", "Maybe I Like it That Way", "What Is It About Her", "Poor Child", "How Did We End Up Here?" and the aforementioned "Old Fashioned..." all stunners.) But after I listened to LaChiusa's version a few times (and I'll admit that it took a few listens, reading the excellent lyrics along the way) I have grown to love the Broadway (LaChiusa) score. Among its highlights: the driving "Queenie was a Blonde", a wonderful showstopping turn by Marc Kudish in "Breezin Through Another Day", the jaunty "Uptown", the deliciously moody "People Like Us", Toni Collette's moving "Lowdown-Down", and the always commanding Eartha Kitt in her two solos.So, to those out there trying to decide which THE WILD PARTY CD to purchase I say "Buy both", they each have their merits. If you can only purchase one, ask yourself this: "Do I enjoy Andrew Lloyd Weber's hummable and easily accessible music (buy Lippa)or do I prefer Sondheim's more intriguing and intellectually stimulating music which requires multiple listenings to properly enjoy (LaChiusa)?" And do yourself a favor and pick up March's poem. It sings all on it's own!"
An important modern musical-- and a thrilling cast recording
Steven Valenti | Cleveland, OH | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anybody interested in modern musical theater needs to listen to "The Wild Party." The brilliant score by Michael John LaChiusa is a true ground-breaker. You've never heard anything quite like it. The first time I listened to it, I didn't know exactly what to make of it-- LaChiusa is far from a traditional musical theater composer. After a few listens, though, it just "clicks," and suddenly you realize that this is exactly what musical theater should be-- daring, exciting, and intelligent. This album has become my most-listened-to cast recording of the last five years.
The musical mainly takes place over the course of one long evening, during a party thrown by vaudeville performers Queenie (Toni Collette, striking in her Broadway debut) and her abusive boyfriend Burrs (Mandy Patinkin, never better). As the various misfits, wannabes, and wash-ups congregate at their apartment, the stage is set for a wild night of booze, drugs, and sex. Of course, with those ingredients, things are bound to get out of hand, and they do. Danger lurks under the surface, and the revelry quickly gives way to something more sinister. This is a "dark" musical, no question, and LaChiusa is honest in his depiction of the uglier sides of human nature. That's not to say the show's a downer-- LaChiusa infuses a lot of humor, and ultimately, hopefulness comes out of all the debauchery.
One of the real pleasures of the album is how completely transporting it is-- LaChiusa's music (terrifically orchestrated by Bruce Coughlin) evokes the jazzy 20's (while still feeling modern) and moves at such a breathless pace that you can't help but get swept along by its reckless energy. There are a lot of emotional shifts, and the music and lyrics skillfully reflect the dissonance of these alienated city dwellers. It helps too, that an impeccable cast contributes some really gripping characterizations. In addition to Collette and Patinkin, there's a great supporting cast that includes Eartha Kitt, Yancey Arias, Norm Lewis, and Tonya Pinkins.
It's really a shame that "The Wild Party" seems to be underappreciated. It certainly didn't help that there was another "Wild Party" musical, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, that came out at about the same time. The cast recording for that one is enjoyable and certainly more readily accessible in its traditional sound, but it doesn't thrill like this "Party." Looking back, too, it seems criminal that "Aida" won the Tony for Best Musical Score over this (and over LaChiusa's excellent "Marie Christine"). Still, you get the feeling that years from now, "The Wild Party" will be regarded as a landmark musical, and this recording will be a classic.