Jim Miller | New York, New York United States | 02/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Sherry!" is great fun and a total delight. No, it is not quite a long neglected masterpiece, but it is a first rate score, given a wonderful rendition by the all star cast. Having seen (and adored) "Sherry!" when it played briefly on Broadway thirty-seven years ago, I am thrilled to finally have a recording of this score.The story behind the CD is fascinating - the score was lost for many years after the show closed, and the trunk containing the complete score was found at the Library of Congress just a few years ago. More details are in the notes, written by James Lipton ("Inside the Actors Studio,") who wrote the book and lyrics to the show. Nathan Lane is perfect as Sheridan Whiteside; I don't think Carol Burnett would be right to play Lorraine on stage, and her singing voice isn't quite what it used to be, but she is still a delight to listen to and has a lot of fun with her numbers. Bernadette Peters delivers on two nice ballads - her "Maybe It's Time for Me" is particularly nice. After listening to the CD several times, the quality of the tuneful score is really growing on me, and it is more ambitious and accomplished than I initially would have given it credit for. I've always known that the title song is terrific. In addition, there's a wonderful and funny showstopper for Burnett, "Putty in Your Hands," complete with a tap dance segment, a lovely, sweet "Au Revoir" that's delivered by Tommy Tune and reprised touchingly by Lane and Burnett, and a marvelous, wistful eleven o'clock number for Lane, "Marry the Girl Myself," that is a sophisticated and winning extended musical scene. Lane makes the most of all his numbers - they are witty and fun, and they sound better each time I listen. There is even a cameo appearance by Mike Myers, who is quite good in the role of Banjo, a character based on Harpo Marx.There really isn't a bad song in the score. Some of the numbers are a bit long, and a couple, such as "Crockfield" and "I Always Stay at the Ritz," seem extraneous and unnecessary, but they are still fun. Whether they would work on stage or possibly slow down the show remains to be seen. There are a couple of other songs I'd describe as mediocre, but most of the numbers are tuneful, effective, and quite entertaining, with the songs I've previously mentioned being real highlights. The huge, fifty-two piece orchestra sounds terrific.As the title song states, "Sherry, you fill my cup with happiness . . . I swear champagne is overrated, I'm just plain intoxicated, Sherry, with you!" Now, hopefully, we'll get to once again see a stage production of this delightful musical."
Sadly, it just isn't much
John McWhorter | New York, New York United States | 05/07/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful notion, a musical version of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER. And anyone who says that the material didn't lend itself to musicalization should consider that people said the exact same thing about MY FAIR LADY. One never knows. And for years, show buffs have had the wonderful cut on the UNSUNG MUSICALS album of Christine Baranski and Jonathan Freeman doing the wonderful title song. For years I myself have been salivating waiting for this recording.And here we have this stellar cast, including Nathan Lane who did the role in New York not long ago. And they all do their best. And the orchestra is big, fat and marvelous.But in the end, it must be said that SHERRY reveals itself as one of those sixties musicals that hits all the marks but never even gets close to that certain Element X. Like BAKER STREET, JIMMY, and MATA HARI, SHERRY failed not just because of bad luck or timing, but because the score is uninspired.It's obvious that Lipton and Rosenthal put their hearts into it. But suffice it to say that not one of the songs besides the title song even begins to hit the level of that one. Rather, this is a paint-by-numbers score so typical of its era, when the grand masters were getting written out, and the bifurcation of show music and pop was siphoning off potential new Broadway masters like Burt Bacharach. Thus the field was left open to people who could write "show music" rather than show music.What with Lipton's grateful, breathless liner notes describing the saga of how the show was once thought lost, one so wants to receive SHERRY as a lost gem. But really, unless one is immediately entranced by the sheer participation of Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tommy Tune, Nathan Lane, etc., one cannot help noticing that there are no tunes here that one would spontaneously take home, no settings of numbers of the deftness of, for example, "The Rain in Spain". There are some cute rhymes, of course. And the melodies are competent. But that's it.For example, Carol Burnett, in the Lorraine Sheldon role, has a song called "Putty in Your Hands." You can imagine the gist of the number. Its setting, complete with tap dancing scrupulously recorded on the album, implies that this is a big deal. But it isn't. The song just sits there; the concept is fine but ordinary. Carol Burnett gives it her all, but she just doesn't have anything to work with. It isn't that the number was somehow better when Delores Gray did it; it didn't have a chance even then.I am glad to see Manhattan festooned with posters for the release of, of all things, a recording of an obscure forty-year-old Broadway score. But whenever I see one of those posters on a door in a midtown corner store, I rue that the album itself is such a plop. I know it's hard to write a Broadway score, and I admire the authors' persistence and drive.But the result didn't pan out, as hard as that is to say. This just was not one of the authors' better days. Do not seek this one expecting an unsung miracle begging for revival. SHERRY was just one in a herd of 1960s Broadway scores that exemplified the Golden Age musical format in obsolescence."
"Sherry" is a delight!
Byron Kolln | 05/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm glad that I got the CD of "Sherry" before reading some of the completely misguided and completely wrong reviews on this site. Is "Sherry" a lost masterpiece, no. Is it enjoyable, ABSOLUTELY. For anyone really interested in the history of musical theater, it is a must have. The songs are easy to listen to and thoroughly enjoyable, not like some of the terrible "rock - scream and yell" shows now on Broadway. I'd take "Sherry" over "Rent", "Aida" or "Lion King". It goes back to the tuneful, sometimes silly classics. The cast is superb. It is a cast that could never be found in a live presentation. The idea of Nathan Lane (giving a magnificent performance) Bernadette Peters in perfect voice and the incomperable Carol Burnett in an actual theater together is more than anyone could hope for, but we have it here in spades.One of the best parts of this CD is the video clips. Viewed on a computer, we have clips from the Bravo making of the album special, plus parts of interviews from "Inside the Actor's Studio" with Nathan Lane, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Mike Myers. More show albums should have extras like this.Forget the reviews that put the score down and just be prepared for a fun filled melodic experience and be happy that a lost show has been found and recorded so lavishly."
A lost musical returns!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 04/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SHERRY! is one of those fabulous Broadway flops which has garnered a sizable cult following. The original cast (including Clive Revill, Dolores Gray and Elizabeth Allen) was meant to have been recorded by RCA which renigned on its deal. The original score and libretto of SHERRY! were mislaid following the closure of the show, thought to be accidentally placed on the wrong truck and burned with the sets. In 1999, after a long search, the hallowed score was found untouched in the Library of Congress' archives. SHERRY! is based on the classic play THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. This brand-spanking-new World Premiere studio cast album of SHERRY! has been a long time coming, though its been worth the wait. Nathan Lane is perfect for the role of Sheridan Whiteside (indeed he played the role in the Roundabout revival of DINNER); with the legendary Carol Burnett (ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, FADE OUT-FADE IN) as Lorraine Sheldon. So great to hear Burnett in another great big bouncy musical! Her voice is still fabulous! Bernadette Peters (INTO THE WOODS, GYPSY) fits perfectly into the role of neglected secretary Maggie, giving one of the best numbers in the score - "Maybe It's Time for Me" - the justice it deserves. Tommy Tune, Tom Wopat, Lillias White and Mike Myers also put in some great appearances, with Phyllis Newman (SUBWAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING) in a disappointingly small role. Added as a bonus are several CD-ROM video selections, including interviews with Nathan Lane, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Mike Myers, as well as clips of Lane, Burnett, Peters, Wopat, Tune & co in the studio recording their numbers.
So, finally after over 30 years, here's SHERRY!"
Sherry - you make my life deliciously merry!
Mr. Kurt A. Lerps | Brisbane, Australia | 03/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a joy to finally have Sherry recorded. I was living in NYC in 1967 and actually saw this show 5 times. The original cast of Clive Revill, Dolores Gray and Elizabeth Allen were just tremendous. I have been hearing about a studio recording for years and pestering anyone I could about it! The show was a delight and there was a rumor that RCA had actually made the recording but never released it. This album has brought back so many happy memories and the cast is great! I fell in love with Carol Burnett in Once Upon A Mattress (I actually danced in a revival of Mattress in Philadelphia) and her Lorraine is just great! It followed the magnificent script of "The Man Who Came To Dinner" so well that the original evening in 1967 was a delight! It was the day of entertaining musicals. Angel must be congratulated on following this through. The extras are great fun - especially watching Carol B and Tommy Tune record their numbers. I had left NYC before Nathan Lane became a star but have seen the recording of the Producers and his Sheridan Whiteside is perfect! Will there be a revival - we can only hope - meanwhile "Sherry" "Maybe It Is Time for..." thee! Can we only hope for Cds of "Donnybrook", "Baker Street" and "A Time for Singing"!!!"