A Forgotten Treasure
Stephen Peithman | Davis, CA USA | 05/05/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based (but not officially) on the film "Buena Serra, Mrs. Campbell," this stage musical didn't fare well on Broadway, but the recording shines. First, there is the wonderful score by Burton ("Finian's Rainbow") Lane and Alan Jay ("Camelot") Lerner. The song "One More Walk Around the Garden" is worth buying the CD, but there are many more fine numbers as well. Georgia ("Oliver!) Brown is in top form in every song, especially "I'm a Woman." If you love exploring Broadway shows, try this one on for size."
Charming, really charming...
Julio Lopez | Santiago, Chile | 08/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the Melvin Frank film "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell" (1969), one of the best comedies with Gina Lollobrigida in the leading role, the story sets in the small italian village of San Forino, where a woman has accepted money from three american former GI's (Peter Lawford, Phil Silvers and Telly Savalas) who think they fathered her child during the Second World War. There's a Veteran Celebration and the three men are coming back to town. Mrs. Campbell is worried since the men will discover they've been cheated for almost 20 years. "There never was a Mr. Campbell. As I didn't know who the father was I made up the name out of a soup can label that I had at sight. The other label I saw was Coca Cola, but I couldn't call myself Carmelina Coca Cola, so I chose Campbell...", explains the troubled lady in the musical adaptation. The result of this Broadway version (slightly different from the movie)is more than satisfactory: it actually shines and delights you. Most of the songs with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner & Joseph Stein are beautiful, melodic and easy to remember. Actually, "Carmelina" is one of those soundtracks which melodies you hum and whistle after you've heard them just a couple of times. It's that sort of soundtrack that sounds old-fashioned but captures the musical essence of the great Broadway shows. I did not see the stage production (which was a box office flop), yet I wonder how it could fail with such great music. The booklet is quite informative, with information on Burton Lane, members of the cast and a detailed account of the story line. After listening to this album, some images from the George Cukor film "My Fair Lady" came up to my mind which - I think - defines this album entirely. It's that moment when Eliza Doolittle is introduced to the Queen who - impressed by her beauty - softly states: "Charming, really charming..."
Get it soon, before it goes out of print. If you've got a nostalgic soul, you'll love it."