Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 05/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"REDHEAD was one of Gwen Verdon's biggest Broadway triumphs. It featured a beguiling score by Albert Hague and Dorothy Fields as well as a witty book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, Sidney Sheldon and David Shaw. And of course it featured Bob Fosse choreography and direction.The story is a Whodunnit set in the music-halls of London at the turn of the century. Verdon plays a sweet-voiced gamin called Essie Whimple, who becomes embroiled in the mystery, though she isn't in fact the 'Readhead' of the title!Once again, Bob Fosse uses many of his regular featured players like Joy Nichols and Buzz Miller, with Richard Kiley as Verdon's dashing love interest Tom Baxtor.The score features a few gems including "The Right Finger of My Left Hand", "I Feel Perfectly Marvelous", "The Uncle Sam Rag", "Look Who's in Love" and "I'll Try".The cast-album to REDHEAD has been faithfully reissued by Fynsworth Alley/Varese Sarabande (after being cruelly out-of-print for several years on the RCA label). It comes with three bonus tracks of songs cut during tryouts, including "You Love I" (performed by Jennifer Piech and Mark Price), "It Doesn't Take a Minute" (performed by Liz Callaway) and "What Has She Got?" (performed by Faith Prince).A must-own for Broadway buffs."
Commendable Memorial to Gwen Verdon, but . . .
J. T Waldmann | Carmel, IN, home to the fabulous new Regional Perf | 07/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Being a fan of Gwen Verdon (I own recordings of every Broadway show she's appeared in), I am grateful to Fynsworth Alley for reissuing REDHEAD, especially because - except for Gwen Verdon and Richard Kiley - musically it has so little to offer. I don't doubt that it was deserving of the Tony Awards it received, but 1959 was a dreary year for musicals on Broadway. I'm sure both she and Kiley (I have all of his shows as well) were fine, but I imagine it was Bob Fosse's direction and choreography that kept the show going. It certainly wasn't the score.Previous reviewers have called the score "beguiling" or listed the "gems." Frankly, I find most of the songs either derivative or exceptionally dull. The scores for both GOLDILOCKS and FLOWER DRUM SONG, also from 1959, are far superior. I would have preferred a reissue of NEW GIRL IN TOWN from 1958 which also won Tonys for Best Musical and for Best Actress (Verdon), as well as best featured actress, the wonderful Thelma Ritter. Bob Merrill wrote an excellent score that contains nemerous "gems". Perhaps Fynsworth Alley or DRG will get around to bringing back this show, one of the many shamelessly deleted by RCA.Amazon lists Varese as the reissuing company, but it fact it was remastered and released by Fynsworth Alley. Their website is currently undergoing reconstruction, so keep checking them out. It's the only available outlet for Marc Blitzstein's JUNO, a superb score featureing Shirley Booth and Melvyn Douglas. BUY IT!!All said, REDHEAD is an important show and worthy of this fine reissue. It's an important document of both Gwen Verdon and Richard Kiley and the heady days of the book musical. May Vernon's and Fosse's stars shine brightly forever."
Performers better than the material.
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 09/02/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Gwen Verdon and Richard Kiley give fine performances here but the material is decidedly second-rate.
Though the show won the 1959 Tony award it has never been revived and will probably NEVER see a full-scale revival.
The disc is for musical theatre completists only."
Redhead Remastered is a Musical Theatre Joy!
Douglas Carter | Highlands, NY | 06/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Redhead won 1959 Tony Awards for Richard Kiley, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, and Best Musical. A star vehicle for triple threat Verdon, Redhead edged out Flower Drum Song to become the hit of the 1959 theatre season. With a score by legends Albert Hague(Plain and Fancy) and Dorothy Fields(Sweet Charity, Seesaw), Redhead is the story of a simple English girl(Verdon) who gets caught up in a murder mystery and eventually swept off her feet by a heroic American, Tom Baxter(Kiley). The score features beautiful love songs(Look Who's in Love), comic duets(Behave Yourself, She's Not Enough Woman for Me) and good old fashioned fun from the Golden Age of Broadway(The Uncle Sam Rag, Erbie Fitch's Twitch, and I'll Try). This CD is a wonderful representation of a world and genre of musical theatre that has since passed us by. Any fans of the Golden Age of Broadway will not regret purchasing this CD. Beautifully remastered by Bill Meade and Fynsworth Alley, the orchestrations and vocals sound as fresh as ever- Redhead has never been heard like this before! Generously included are three handpicked songs that were cuts during tryouts. "You Love I"(a charming song for Tom and Essie), "It Doesn't Take A Minute"( a solo for Essie) and the brilliantly clever and catchy "What Has She Got" (delivered by Faith Prince and a supporting cast). Any lover of Broadway would be mistaken not to purchase this remastered CD of one of Broadway's most charming Tony winners. You will fall in love with Redhead!"