Excellent sampling from some of Broadway's best broads
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 04/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even if you already own all (or most) of the albums featured on this compilation disc, no doubt you'll still get a kick of out it's excellent cross-section sampling of some of Broadway's most beloved and talented female stars.
Drawing from the large number of Broadway cast albums in the RCA-BMG catalogue, things get off to a cracking start with who else but Ethel Merman, performing "I Got the Sun in the Morning" from the 1966 Lincoln Center revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (still considered, all these years later, as the best-ever recording of the Irving Berlin musical).
Other great Golden Age treats to be savoured include Liza Minnelli's "Sing Happy" (from Kander and Ebb's delicious FLORA THE RED MENACE), "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from the London cast of GYPSY starring Angela Lansbury; and Barbara Harris' tour-de-force "What Did I Have?" from ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. Kudos to RCA for also including a nice piece from the cult flop JENNIE starring Mary Martin ("Before I Kiss the World Goodbye"), though perhaps "Flaming Agnes" from I DO! I DO! might have been a better choice for Martin's inclusion.
Modern musical theatre dames showcased include Bebe Neuwirth's "All That Jazz" from CHICAGO, Sarah Jessica Parker in the revival of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS ("Shy"); and Julia Murney as Queenie in Lippa's WILD PARTY ("Raise the Roof").
Sondheim admirers will appreciate a varied wealth of his best numbers, two coming from the landmark COMPANY ("Being Alive" with Patti LuPone, and Madeline Kahn's breathtaking "Getting Married Today"). "Children and Art" comes from his fascinating SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE and is performed by the original leading lady, Bernadette Peters. Another great Sondheim dame, Barbara Cook, dazzles with "Losing My Mind" from FOLLIES.