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1. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor
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2. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
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3. Anything Goes (1987 Broadway Revival
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4. Chicago - The Musical (1996 Broadway
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5. Guys and Dolls (1992 Broadway
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6. Oklahoma! (1998 London Cast)
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7. Cabaret: The New Broadway Cast
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8. Annie Get Your Gun (1999 Broadway
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9. A Funny Thing Happened on the
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10. Kiss Me, Kate (1999 Broadway Revival
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11. Once Upon a Mattress (1997 Broadway
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12. Godspell [2000 Cast]
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13. The Rocky Horror Show (2000 Broadway
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14. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor
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15. How To Succeed In Business Without
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16. The Who's Tommy: Original Cast
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17. Company - A Musical Comedy (1995
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18. Godspell (2001 National Touring
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19. Grease: The New Broadway Cast
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20. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor

1. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1992 Canadian Cast)
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Asin: B000001E0A
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1478
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat completed the transition from cantata for schoolkids to big-budget glitzfest with Steven Pimlott's 1991 London revival.Here's the 1992 Canadian version of that show, and even if it's not an ideal recording--Janet Metz as the narrator is no match for Laurie Beechman in the original Broadway cast and there's a little too much synthesizer in the orchestrations--this CD is valuable for the performance of former teen pop idol Donny Osmond as the title character.He's in excellent voice, and was so right for the role that he was selected to preserve it for the 2000 video production.And of course the songs are still here, showcasing Rice's witty lyrics and Lloyd Webber's chameleon tendencies--dabbling in country, calypso, French cafés, and a King-like pharaoh--as well as favorites "Any Dream Will Do," "Close Every Door," and "Go, Go, Go Joseph."This production also includes the "Joseph Remix" (also known as the "Joseph Megamix"), a nine-minute medley of themes arranged with a heavy beat that was used for a kind of onstage aerobics routine as the show's postscript. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best recording of the show yet!
Laurie Beecham's narrator on the original broadway cast is still the best out there, but Janet Metz comes in a VERY close second. Donny Osmond is the best joseph! He makes everyone else sound "second rate". When i first heard of this musical, i expected it to be very offensive to catholics ( and others ) who know the biblical version of joseph's coat of many colors. BUT: Mr. Webber has put the show together with such care that it truly is a "family show". Even my grandparents (who are devout catholics) loved the show when they saw it. The music is great, the costumes are great, the performers are great, and above all- you can't lose with a story like this. You need only buy 1 joseph cd, this one. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Osmond shines in Canada's "Joseph"
I have to admit, I purchased the CD of this version of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" mainly out of curiosity over Donny Osmond's performance as Joseph. Well, he is superb. His voice is clear and strong, and he delivers outstanding renditions of the character's songs. The rest of the cast in this, the 1992 Canadian version of this musical play, also does a fine job.

"Joseph," with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is a consistently entertaining CD. The lyrics re-tell the story of the biblical patriarch Joseph (found in Genesis 37-45), and Rice sticks remarkably close to the source material. "Joseph" has many inventive and humorous touches (such as making the Pharaoh sing his part a la Elvis Presley, or having Joseph's brothers break out into a calypso song).

"Joseph" works because of its combination of a compelling story, clever lyrics, and superb music. If you have heard other CD versions but have not listened to this one, check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Donny Osmond is a perfect Joseph
I must admit, my sister and I went to see "Joseph" when it was in Boston a few years ago, mainly because we had childhood crushes on Donny Osmond! I absolutely loved the show. Donny Osmond was just fantastic in this role and the songs seem to be made for his voice. Whoever thought of casting him was right on. This CD is one you will sing along to while in the car, and even my 2 year old loves the music.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's ok
my name is Tyson. I'm 16 and have a passion for music. Donny Osmond is by far the best Joseph I have heard out of all the cast recordings. However, I don't care much for the Canadian cast, especially Janet Metz the narrator. Her voice actually starts to annoy me. I think the best narrator is from the l.a. cast. My school is doing Joseph right now, tomorrow night is the last two performances. I am the lightboard operator so I have heard it at least 16 times from our school's cast. My friend Matt definately does an incredible job as Joseph and the best high school OR college Joseph I have heard through my years of ushering and tech for the different shows.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Cast Recording Overall
This is the best overall cast recording of the three revival cast recordings available. After hearing (and seeing in Toronto Canada) Donny Osmond as Joseph, you won't want to hear anyone else in that role. I have all the other recordings of this show, and this is by far the best recording. True, the orchestrations are a bit electronic sounding, but then again, this is Andrew Lloyd Webber and the orchestrations make the best of the available instrumentation. The songs are uncomplicated, the lyrics are playful and witty. Janet Metz as the narrator can be a little wearing on the ears after awhile, but I personally like her performance the best of the three revival casts. The American cast with Michael Damian in the lead is a joke. And the British revival cast recording is mixed differently so that all of the performers seem to be soft and lost within the orchestra. If you want just one cast recording of Joseph, this one is the one to get! ... Read more

2. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Asin: B00000I8B1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3133
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars Songs from the Funnies
I really wish I could have seen this musical. I love all things Peanuts, and I even memorized Charlie Brown's monologue from this play for my high school Drama class. But having this soundtrack is the next best thing. Here, you're treated to wonderful songs right out of your Sunday comics. The characters hold true to their comic strip personalities, and it's very easy to imagine that you've read this somewhere before.

There are quite a few highlights. "Kite" is a funny example of Charlie Brown almost succeeding at something. "The Book Report" takes each of the characters through the process of writing a report on Peter Rabbit. I especially love Schroeder's change to Robin Hood. My personal favorite is "My New Philosophy." Sally is coming up with new life philosophies as fast as she can. It's a hilarious song that gives Kristin Chenoweth a great chance to shine. Listening to this, it's easy to see why she won a Tony award for this roll.

I will agree with previous reviewers that have said Lucy's voice isn't the best. The actress just doesn't quite have the range to pull off the high notes that are required. But that only dampen two songs, and the rest of the time she sounds just like Lucy should.

All told, this CD really does belong in your collection. It's sure to cheer you up and touch your heart, just like the comic strip.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simplistic, but Adorable!
When I first heard there was a Charlie Brown musical, I cringed. But then I heard the album and my opinion changed drastically.

The cast of this revival is absolutely stunning; they really add the "Peanuts" flair to it. Anthony Rapp (whom I loved and adored in Rent) is the perfect Charlie Brown. If you just listen to Rent you can tell what a great actor this man is- he can be a struggling would-be director one minute and a kid who's down on his luck the next. Ilana Levine, as Lucy, takes some getting used to (mainly on the high notes) but her attitude is perfect! She's so self-absorbed! *laughs* Stanley Wayne Mathis is terrific as Schroeder. He definitely embodies our favorite piano-playing Beethoven wonder boy. B.D. Wong, as Linus, is so adorable in "My Blanket and Me". He gives new meaning to the term 'security blanket'. Kristen Chenoweth is *perfect* as Sally (who, I've realized, is a mixture of Sally and Peppermint Patty), especially in her duet with Schroeder, "My New Philosophy". It's so adorable, and catchy! And last but not least, Roger Bart as Snoopy. He's great; I can really envision him as being a dog on a red doghouse. If only he had a Woodstock. *sigh*

Anyway, this album is truly worth getting. The songs are simple, but they really tell a lot about children and the joys of life. Not a waste of money at all!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice little surprise. You won't regret picking it up...
To think, I had a chance to see this with the original cast but couldn't convince my friends to join me during our visit to NYC. Upon returning, I purchased this album and have been kicking myself since.

This is a great, fun story that's worthy of a revival. The assembled cast is brilliant, with Anthony Rapp at the helm as the forgotten child, Charlie Brown. Rapp's portrayal of the lead character is amazing, with a perfect blend of innocence, insecurity, and vulneribility. BD Wong is also surprisingly good as Linus, but Chenoweth outshines the cast with her presentation of Sally.

No point in explaining it, you just have to listen to it. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

1-0 out of 5 stars Little Snoopy of Horrors
I got this recording out of curiosity, having enjoyed the original album and several productions over the years. And while the cast is talented--despite the overly shrill Lucy--and some of the songs are perfectly fine, on the whole, I can't recommend this version.

Why? For one thing, the new songs don't mesh stylistically with the original songs. In and of themselves, they're fine, but both in style and orchestration, they just don't match. If you want to write a new Peanuts musical, fine, but if this one ain't broke, don't fix it. For one thing, "Beethoven Day" doesn't sound at all like a song Schroeder would sing. For another, the new songs are entirely too polished and pop; like the strips, the beauty of the original songs is in their simplicity, the fact that you believe that they're being sung by children. Even in the orchestrations in this version, they take a perfectly good performance of one of the original songs and ruin it by adding a new ending at odds with the sound and tone of the rest of the song. Why do this? To make it seem more contemporary, I suppose. "My New Philosophy" is the only new piece that even remotely sounds in character, and even that is far too polished.

Performance-wise, it's a fine production, with good voices and musicians, but some questionable acting choices. The usually excellent B. D. Wong sounds ridiculous as Linus with a lisp; he sounds frighteningly like Ed Wynn most of the time. (If you know who Ed Wynn is, you know why that's a horrible mental image for Linus.) And as I said before, Ilana Levine as Lucy is entirely too shrill, too over the top, so much so that it's unpleasant to listen to her singing voice. These are character choices, but a better director might have improved or cut them. On the other hand, Kristen Chenowith is wonderful, as is Roger Bart.

As for the sound mix on the album, it varies from too loud to too soft--though again, the orchestrations are largely to blame. Either way, the sudden shifts from a soft to a loud song kept scaring my child, which is not what this show should do. I shouldn't need to sit with my hand on the volume control the whole time.

Overblown, brassy, aggravating. And just when they've done a song right, they blow it. I was surprised at their restraint in "Happiness," and literally as I was about to say that out loud to my wife, it came roaring back with guns blazing, filling the room with a wall of sound and schmaltz. God forbid we present anything with subtlety. This production, while decked out in a beautiful set and costume design right out of Schulz' pen, misses all the simplicity and wonder of Schulz' writing in the effort to make a Big Contemporary Broadway Show. There is no magic in this version, only calculation. It's no wonder this production only ran for a few months, while the original ran for four years.

It's possible to revive and reinvent a show well. "Chicago," "Anything Goes," "Guys and Dolls" and "Cabaret" all come to mind. None were slavish imitations of the originals, but all of them kept the spirit of original source material, and all had long, healthy runs.

If you want a slick, over-produced, polished recording, then by all means, get this version. If you're only used to Broadway scores from 1980 and later and can't conceive of a simple, small scale show, get this version. If you want a recording that sounds like the Peanuts characters despite being played by grown actors, which is no mean feat, go for the original cast.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant remake with and incredible cast
Having lately joined the pantheon of actors who have played Charlie Brown in this awesome show's history, I was thrilled to have this recording as a reference. Maybe my love for this recording is what primarily turned me off to the original cast recording, but this cast truly seems to get ahold of what Charlie Brown is really about. Childlike innocence, vulnerability, even naivete, but it still says something about society, relationships and life. Anthony Rapp is surprisingly (almost) perfect for Charlie Brown, Ilana Levine is very good as the supercrab herself, Lucy. Stanley Mathis as Schroeder does a great job as well (for the most part), and while I'm not terribly fond of B.D. Wong's interpretation of Linus, this show's brightest stars are definitely Roger Bart as Snoopy (Suppertime is nothing short of fantastic) and Kristen Chenoweth as Sally (My New Philosophy remains spectacular no matter how many times you hear it).

The reworkings of the original songs are most excellent, and the new songs are remarkable. For an up-to-date, but still sincere recording, look no further than the New Broadway Cast Recording. ... Read more

3. Anything Goes (1987 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Asin: B000002WBK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2619
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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One of the leaders in the trend of big splashy revivals in the late 1980s and early '90s, Lincoln Center's 1987 production of Anything Goes was the perfect evocation of the 1930s, from the period pit band to James McMullan's striking poster art to the large photograph of Cole Porter that smiled over the stage like an approving spirit. While the score earns its share of authenticity by resurrecting numerous songs from the original score, it also tosses in a few ringers such as "Friendship" and "It's De-Lovely." (Porter himself did not mind when people staging his shows borrowed songs from his other shows.) Then-rising star Howard McGillin sings sweet ballads and the ensemble numbers are excellent, but the show belongs to Patti LuPone, who in the role of Reno Sweeney grabs the baton from Ethel Merman and never lets go. Her "I Get a Kick Out of You" is one of the great performances of her generation, and the title tune and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" make almost every other song sound like filler. LuPone was upset in the Tony race by Joanna Gleason, but the show did win for Best Revival. The booklet includes full lyrics, synopsis, production notes, and photos.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Anything Goes" for a new generation!
The 1987 Broadway revival of ANYTHING GOES was a fabulous success, starring the incomparable Patti LuPone as well as an excellent supporting cast.

Howard McGillin (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA's longest-serving Broadway 'Phantom') lends his resonant voice and boyish good-looks to the character of Billy Crocker, with a supporting cast led by Linda Hart (GYPSY, HAIRSPRAY) as the flirty Erma.

Patti LuPone (LES MISERABLES, SUNSET BOULEVARD) is ideally cast as the singing chaunteuse-turned evangelist Reno Sweeney, belting out the Cole Porter standards "Anything Goes", "I Kick a Kick Out of You" and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" in her own formidable style.

The musical later re-opened in London's West End starring Elaine Paige as Reno Sweeney and Howard McGillin reprising his role of Billy Crocker. I highly recommend both of these cast albums.

4-0 out of 5 stars divine Patti LuPone sings Cole Porter
ANYTHING GOES came back to Broadway in 1987 via a revival from the Lincoln Center Theatre. Patti LuPone (EVITA, LES MISERABLES) let her hair down to play Reno Sweeney, with charming Howard McGillin as Billy Crocker. This revival featured a new book co-authored by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, and interpolated songs from other Cole Porter shows into the score.

The story recounts Reno as she boards the ship SS American, bound for England. She manages to convince old pal Billy to stow away and join her. Billy discovers his old flame Hope Harcourt (Kathleen Mahony-Bennett) is also on board and is travelling with her fiancee, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Anthony Heald) whom she will marry on arrival. Also on board is Billy's employer Elisha Whitney (Rex Everhart), as well as 'Public Enemy 13' Moonface Martin (Bill McCutcheon) and sexy gun-moll Erma (Linda Hart). Also adding complications is Hope's battle-axe mother Evangeline (Anne Francine). It's up to Reno and Moonface to stir up the mix, do a little meddling and match up lovers...

Patti LuPone and the entire cast are superb. The production was a huge success, running 800 performances and later moving to London in 1989.

This cast album is a real delight.

5-0 out of 5 stars really wonderful cast album
"Anything Goes," is a great musical and this version is updated and really in tune. I'd reocmmend it to any musical theatre fan. Howard McGillan has a great voice really, strong and perfect for broadway. The rest of the cast is good too.
It feature some great Cole Porter songs, and really a vibrent and beautiful score.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Knock-Out In Every Possible Way
Although the 1987 revival of Cole Porter's legendary ANYTHING GOES plays fast and loose with both the original score and book, it's hard to be anything but enchanted with the show or the this cast recording--particularly when it includes the talents of Patti LuPone, Bill McCutcheon, Anne Francine, and many other Broadway notables.

The story of romantic follies aboard a transatlantic liner, the show opens with a scratchy recording of Cole Porter himself singing the title tune before the soundtrack segues into a dazzling overture by an excellent orchestra--and then proceeds to bounce out one great Porter tune after another: "I Get A Kick Out of You," "You're The Top," "Easy to Love," "Friendship," "It's De-Lovely," the title cut, "Blow Gabriel Blow," and "All Through the Night," to name but the most obvious titles.

While the entire cast is nothing short of brilliant, the show clearly belongs to Patti LuPone in the role of Reno Sweeney, an evangelist who does a little nightclub act on the side. LuPone hasn't been in better form since she dazzled New York audiences in EVITA, and her knock-you-flat vocal style is perfectly suited to both the role and the complex Porter tunes originally written for Broadway powerhouse Ethel Merman... and indeed, even Merman's memorable renditions seem to pale a bit in comparison.

Purists may complain about fiddling with the score, and it is true that this revival drops as many Porter classics from the original score as it adds from other sources; "Let's Misbehave" is particularly missed. But it's hard to argue with the addition of "De-Lovely" and "Easy to Love" (the latter of which Porter originally gave to Jimmy Stewart, of all people, to perform in the memorable 1936 film BORN TO DANCE.) And when Patti LuPone launches into "Anything Goes," you'll know it really does. Recommended as a knock-out in every possible way!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer

5-0 out of 5 stars The '87 Revival Cast Is Great!
A few years ago, I saw this revival version in my hometown and was amazed at how good it was. I have never been a huge Cole Porter Fan, but this show really changed my mind. I have heard (and own)all of the CDs of the different revival versions, but this is easily my favorite. The sound quality is very good and Patti LuPone is actually very good in this difficult role as Reno Sweeney. It is a very fun disk to listen to if you like Cole Porter or if you just like "Anything Goes!" ... Read more

4. Chicago - The Musical (1996 Broadway Revival Cast)
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B000003G7W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2210
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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"Chicago's plot was cynical and satirical in 1975, but today feels like a documentary." So says Walter Bobbie, the director responsible for this revival of the Kander, Ebb, and Fosse "musical vaudeville," which began as a minimalist concert staging for New York City Center's Encore! series before moving on to Broadway, critical acclaim, and Tony Awards. Actually, it'd be hard to go wrong with any production, no matter how it's staged, because the Roaring '20s jazz-based music here is simply great. Some people actually prefer the original's Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera as Roxie and Velma to Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth, but no matter. Joel Grey is perfect as Amos Hart, James Naughton matches Jerry Orbach's original Billy Flynn, and again, the music here is wonderful. A near-flawless classic. --Bill Holdship ... Read more

Reviews (88)

5-0 out of 5 stars a dynamic recording
For many, this was their introduction to the galvanising score of Kander and Ebb; the delightful cast-recording to the 1997 Broadway revival that would have never been possible without the now-legendary Encores! concert version in 1996.

The cast is uniformably excellent; Ann Reinking is a playful powerforce as Roxie Hart, Bebe Neuwirth's dry wit serves her well as the bitchy Velma Kelly, James Naughton is the epitome of suave as crooked lawyer Billy Flynn, Joel Grey is the perfect foil for Roxie as the henpecked Amos Hart, Marcia Lewis' powerful voice brings Matron 'Mama' Morton to life, and D. Sabella's breathtaking operatic chops are put to the test with gender-bending sob sister Mary Sunshine.

Rob Fisher's unparalled musical direction enlivens each and every recording that he conducts for, and CHICAGO is no exception. Brassy, well-paced and evocative, his direction is fantastic under the renowned Coffee Club Orchestra.

Ann Reinking's vocal style is fine; her singing is quite character-driven, and one can forgive her lack of singing finesse on the fact that she IS Roxie Hart, and danced the role for all its worth.

Numbers like "All That Jazz", "Funny Honey", "Cell Block Tango", "When You're Good to Mama", "Mister Cellophane", "Nowadays" and "Roxie" are all show-stoppers. I've said it many times; this score is simply dud-free, and in my opinion only rivals CABARET as Kander and Ebb's greatest score.

5-0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL RECORDING!!
First of all, this is the recording that got me interested in Chicago. Velma, (my favorite character)is played by the beautiful and talented Bebe Neuwirth. She is a wonderful and witty Velma Kelly. Ann Reinking is a great Roxie. I actually prefer her raspy voice over Renee Zellweger's soft Roxie. James Naughton is SUPERB as Billy Flynn, he can make you laugh without hardly trying. Joel Grey as Amos Hart was a wonderful choice, and finally, Marcia Lewis as 'Mama' Morton and D. Sabella as Mary Sunshine were also great contributions to this album. Here is a list of the songs and their ratings.

1.Overture- Great music, 4 stars

2.All That Jazz- Love Velma's voice, great kaereoke song, 5 stars

3.Funny Honey- Lovely song about Roxie and Amos's love, 5 stars

4.Cell Block Tango- Film version of this song is better, 3 stars

5.When You're Good to Mama- Marcia's voice is perfect, 5 stars

6.All I Care About- Better version than the film by far, 5 stars

7.A Little Bit of Good- Interesting..., 3 1/2 stars

8.We Both Reached for the Gun- One word... fun, 5 stars

9.Roxie- Ann Reinking's best performance, 4 1/2 stars

10.I Can't Do It Alone- I love this song, 5 stars

11.I Can't Do It Alone (reprise)- Not really a song, 3 1/2 stars

12.My Own Best Friend- Roxie and Velma's duet, 4 stars

13.Entr'Acte- Fun to listen to, 4 stars

14.I Know A Girl- Witty song about Velma's jealousy, 4 1/2 stars

15.Me and My Baby- Cute song about Roxie's new "baby", 5 stars

16.Mister Cellophane- Amo's life story, very sad, 5 stars

17.When Velma Takes the Stand- Self explainable, 4 stars

18.Razzle Dazzle- Interesting song, 5 stars

19.Class- Powerful and funny song, 5 stars

20.Nowadays-Good song, 4 stars

21.Hot Honey Rag- Very fun music, 5 stars

22.Finale- Great ending, 4 stars

4-0 out of 5 stars A fun album
If you love the musical CHICAGO, then you will love this album. I was introduced to the musical by the movie like many people so I didn't like it that much at first because I was prejudiced because of the stellar performances in the movie, but then I realized that the quality is no less than that of the movie, it's just different! BeBe Neuwirth is excellent as Velma- she is sexy and sassy (I like her slightly more than Ute Lemper on the London Cast because Ute Lemper can drain out the sexiness of Velma in some of her songs, such as in "I can't do it alone." But I like Catherine Zeta Jones's performance the best!) I like Ann Reinking's Roxie slightly better than Renee Zellweger's sweet rendition because Ann's voice is tougher and rougher than Renee's and is more fit for the part. AN AWESOME ALBUM WITH EXCELLENT MUSIC AND A STRONG CAST! In Order of my liking: the movie album, this album, then the London Cast.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is one score that keeps your mind and toes engaged!
When I first saw the revival of "Chicago" (originally conceived as a star turn for Gwen Verdon by her ex-husband, who just happened to be the great Bob Fosse) I could not believe how absolutely hypnotic it was. I found myself wanting to dance in the aisles and shout the choruses like a crazed fan. I of course immediately bought the recording but, unlike most, it did not turn out to be an impulese purchase as I still play it many years later as it works just as well as a stand-alone piece as it does if you saw the revival, which had many other treats.

Some may not know that this show flopped when it was initially released in 1975, and it apparently was two decades ahead of its time as it hit a home run the second time around. The new Chicago was funny, sexy, and totally contemporary in its depiction of political greed and corruption for its late 1990s audience. This wonderful recording captures the marvelous new cast which consists of Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, Joel Grey, James Naughton, and Marcia Lewis, all at the peak of their powers matched by an astonishing score, featuring "All That Jazz," "Roxie," "Razzle Dazzle," "Class," "Nowadays," and Grey's solo, "Mister Cellophane,". All true showstoppers that seem like a best of many musicals, but are all from the very same one. It should also be noted that Fosse's magic is generally seen solely as a creator of sensual and athletic dances that are virtually impossible to perform except for a chosen few, but this score proves that the music can prosper w/out the amazing dances that are to be found throughout this entertaining musical.

I can't think of a musical that manages to be so memorable across the board. And for those who have not seen the play or movie, the score tells the story just as well. A true must have for any fans of intelligent musicals with unparalled sizzle and a tongue in cheek cynicism that is as wicked as it is funny.

1-0 out of 5 stars Vulgar and degrading to the human soul
I found it shocking that music like this could ever become so popular. Saw the show on broadway, finding it very distasteful and wondering how low American popular culture can get in its taste and class. ... Read more

5. Guys and Dolls (1992 Broadway Revival Cast)
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000003FBL
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2966
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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This 1992 revival cast rewrote the standard for Guys and Dolls, with costumes and sets decked out in splashy colors, a crack pit band conducted by Edward Strauss, and a perfect cast. In the classic setting of Damon Runyon's tales of the New York underworld, Peter Gallagher and Josie de Guzman excel in their respective roles as the suave Sky Masterson and the innocent but hopeful Sarah Brown, but Nathan Lane and Faith Prince are even better as the hopeless couple Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide. Walter Bobbie brings the house down with the grand showstopper, "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," and the other ensemble numbers, including "The Oldest Established," are also thrilling. Frank Loesser's score, of course, is one of Broadway's greatest ever, with "Luck Be a Lady," "Fugue for Tinhorns," "I've Never Been in Love Before," "A Bushel and a Peck," "More I Cannot Wish You," and "Marry the Man Today." The list goes on, as does Guys and Dolls, in this definitive recording.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (36)

3-0 out of 5 stars Guys and Dolls Revival not quite up to the classic
I borrowed this CD from the library after having seen the play performed in my homewtown and having seen the movie. I've heard people say that the movie was horrible, but I loved it. Therefore, this CD was a disappointment as Peter Gallagher just didn't seem Sky Masterson-ish. Especially during his "Luck Be a Lady" (although the background is wonderful). He seems to rush through the song as if he's nervous that he's going to be boring. The song is never boring. Josie de Guzman (I'm sorry if I got the name wrong) also disappointed me. Her voice is very nice, and she has the anger at Sky in "Marry the Man Today" down very well, and hits all the notes nicely, but to me, she just doesn't have the thrilling voice of a Broadway singer. Faith Prince has a wonderful voice but squeaks a little too often for my taste. Although, I must say, her "Marry the Man Today" was just stupendous. I loved it.
Nathan Lane of course, is wonderful. He's got the act down pat. But his voice, while being very entertaining to listen to, did not sound like Nathan Detroit should sound to me.
The music in this play is superlative, the lyrics witty, the plot amazing, and I love it to death, but this is not the recording of it that I would recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars A real help, and a great album to boot!
I bought this CD to help me memorize the songs I needed to know for my high school's production of "Guys and Dolls", as I was thrown into the show just 3 weeks before we took the stage. Well, the CD helped me do just that. After the production, I began to listen to the songs for pleasure. It was amazing. The only con I found was Nathan Lane. Don't get my wrong, he fits in perfectly with the cast, but at times, it is almost painfull hearing him hit some notes. But, since Nathan Detroit is supposed to be a comical character, he works.

Not having seen the 1992 revival, I could not see how the actors worked on stage. But, I have seen the movie. If you could combine the two casts, it would make the ultimate production, from a musical standpoint. Imagine: Peter Gallagher as Skye, Frank Sinatra as Nathan, Jean Simmons as Sarah, Faith Prince as Adelaide. Perfection!

Aside from my dream production, this is a great album, a must-have for Broadway fans. I highly suggest this title, especially if you need to memorize the songs quick! Pick this up immediately!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Ever!!!
To the "Music Fan" from Washington D.C. If Frank Sanatra was the greatest Nathan Detroit, you could at least give him the honor of spelling his name right.
This is THE Best recording of Guys and Dolls available.
The movie sucks!!!! They took out some of the original songs, and Stubby Kaye in the movie is the BORING and FLAT one, not Nathan Lane.
Know what you're talking about before you write a review. This is the best recording of Guys and Dolls, its colorful and livley. A perfect 10!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Luck be a great CD
First off, "Guys and Dolls" is an awesome musical. Secondly, this recording is incredible. All the voices are excellent, and the orchestra complemnts eveything very well. Actually, this is one of the best balances of voices and instruments I have ever heard. My Personal Favorites are "Fugue for Tinhorns", "Guys and Dolls" and "Luck Be a Lady". The People playing the characters of Nicely-Nicely pretty much steal the show with "Fugue" and "Guys" but the Nicelyl comes out and does "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat" which just blows everything away. He has an awesome accent and he performs the song so well that you can almost see him performing it on stage. It is also a handy reference tool. I was trying out for the show and before hand I listned to it. I think my familiarity with the music definitely helped land me a part (I got Benny). Over all this is just an awesome soundtrack and a must buy for any lover of Broadway shows.

4-0 out of 5 stars a fine revival
Although nothing will come close to the greatness of the original Broadway cast, this 1992 Broadway revival of GUYS AND DOLLS is a worthy addition to any collection.

For a start, the recording is quite complete; it includes the entire "Havana" scene (complete with the 'Bacardi milkshake' dialogue), the Entr'acte, and the dialogue that links the "Havana" scene with "My Time of Day", "If I Were a Bell" and "I've Never Been in Love Before".

The performers are uniformably strong; Nathan Lane is the perfect smarmy Nathan Detroit; Peter Gallagher has the right amount of urbane coolness for Skye Masterson; Josie de Guzman's glowing voice and attitude is perfect for the holier-than-thou Sarah Brown; and Faith Prince puts her own stamp on Miss Adelaide.

This production was the hottest ticket in town when it opened on Broadway in 1992; the first full-scale revival of the show since a somewhat souped-up revival production in the 70's. The cast album captures a superb cast that is more than capable of portraying Damon Runyon's characters for a new generation.

Highly-recommended. ... Read more

6. Oklahoma! (1998 London Cast)
list price: $17.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00002EPLJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4086
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Following up their landmark 1993 revival of Carousel, London's Royal National Theatre delivers another pillar of the Rodgers and Hammerstein canon with their 1998 production of Oklahoma!As on the earlier CD, Oklahoma! provides a generous amount of music (74 minutes) by including integral dance music (including Laurey's dream ballet and passages of "Kansas City") and connecting dialogue, resulting in a more complete theatrical experience than most recordings provide. It also includes two songs that were cut from the film, the grammatically incorrect but vigorous chorus number "It's a Scandal, It's a Outrage" and Jud's powerful lament, "Lonely Room."Hugh Jackman excels as Curly, while Josefina Gabrielle is an effective Laurey. Filling out the strong cast are Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller, Jimmy Johnston as Will, Vicki Simon as Ado Annie, and Shuler Hensley as Jud; and thankfully, British accents are not prevalent on this plain. The booklet includes production notes and a synopsis with photos, but no lyrics. Of course, the question in most minds might be whether you need to make room on your shelf for another recording of Oklahoma!When it's this well done, the answer is yes.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a truly "complete" recording!
I never tire of defending "Oklahoma!" to those willing to dismiss it as merely musical comedy fluff. No show which changed the format of the Broadway musical can be dismissed so casually, and let us not forget that it contains issues of sexual harassment, territorial rights, and includes an onstage death at the end.

This particular recording is the first ever to include the "Dream Ballet," another important historical aspect of the show. That fact alone puts it at the front of current recordings of the show. In addition, spoken sections within numbers are included, giving the whole album a more theatrical feel than most. The only major musical segment not included is Ado Annie's encore verse of "I Cain't Say No," but this fact shouldn't deter listeners.

It also helps that the cast is excellent. Hugh Jackman is more a tenor than the high baritone the role calls for, but is engaging nonetheless, giving full rein to the character's machismo and tenderness. Jimmy Johnston and Vicki Simon are perfect as Will and Annie, utterly beguiling and believable in admittedly two-dimensional roles. The always delightful Maureen Lipman is great as Aunt Eller. Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey is a fine actress, but her head voice and chest voice seem to be two separate entities and a break is evident between them. Admittedly, Laurey is a tough role vocally, being a soprano in a very low tessitura. However, Gabrielle makes up for any vocal shortcomings with her truly winning performance.

The sound is fantastic, and this is one of the few British cast recordings of an American musical in which the accents are uniformly excellent. For devotees of Rodgers and Hammerstein, for lovers of classic musicals, and for anyone who may be curious, I highly recommend this new recording.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Recording of a Broadway Legend
I was fortunate enough to see this National Theatre production after it transferred to Broadway. This album is based on the 1998 London Cast and captures the essence and more of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic score. Their songs and melodies literally sweep you off your feet. All of our favourites are here that we have heard time and again over the years and never tire of - Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, Many a New Day, People Will Say We're in Love, Out of My Dreams, The Farmer and the Cowman and the stunning title song, Oklahoma.

Australia's own Hugh Jackman is born to play Curly: his wonderful tenor wrapping the lyrics in a warm romantic glow. Other cast highlights include - Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey and Maureen Lipman as the delightful Aunt Eller.
There are also some excellent orchestral highlights including the Ballet music following Out of My Dreams and the Overture medley.

The CD booklet features many production stills that are also in the souvenir program. There is also a short history of the musical that makes for an interesting read.

It was a privilege to see this legendary musical that has become part of American theatrical folklore, actually performed live on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre featuring a stellar cast supported by a huge orchestra on stage. The rousing Finale as featured on this great CD really goes off with a BANG: Seeing Oklahoma on my last night in New York following an amazing visit, was the ideal way to say farewell...until next time! This CD is a treasured memento of an incredible show, production and city!

4-0 out of 5 stars once a hater, now a lover
I used to hate oklahoma! i am a fan of a large range of musicals but oklahoma never interested me. it has a good story line but before now it bored me to tears. then my boyfriend made me watch the new one and it was amaizing! this cast rejuvinated the story and made you feel for the characters. i like the ado annie/will turner storyline a lot better than the laura/curly storyline; however, hugh jackman was an amazing curly. the actress who played aunt eller was amaizing. this is a great album to add to your broadway colection.

3-0 out of 5 stars A variety of talent, aspiring to a great show
My first exposure to Oklahoma! was via the 1955 film production starring Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae, so I'm always comparing other examples of the musical to this particular rendition. The 1998 London Cast has an unquestionably more entertaining instrumental arrangement, so this allows a person to hang on with some of the weakness in the casting. Next to MacRae (or by himself, for that matter), Hugh Jackman is not such a convincing Curley. There isn't as much of the cowboy in him. It is tough for anyone to go up against Shirley Jones, so Josefina Gabrielle does all right, and I'd perhaps even give the nod to Vicky Simon over Gloria Grahame in pepping up and feminizing the role of Ado Annie. Shuler Hensley, with that powerful, operatic voice of his, really brings out the anger that is the central trait of Jud Fry, but perhaps it helps that he gets to sing "Lonely Room" where Rod Steiger did not in 1955. I enjoyed getting to hear "It's a Scandal, It's an Outrage", from a performer more authentic with the way you'd expect a "Per-si-an"'s accent to sound than Eddie Albert. The voice of Maureen Lipman is a little too gravelly for my tastes as Aunt Eller, and the character of Mr. Carnes sounded too old and crochety. Mr. Skidmore in the film had a presence that tended to go missing in this edition, but then we didn't have to listen to as much of him as that old cow-punching man of his. So I guess I have to rate this one in relative terms. I've listened to it many times while I've been driving my pickup truck in city traffic, so perhaps that's something of a testimonial. The music carries you past the singing, pretty much. One of the first entries into the era of the modern musical comedy is still giving folks something to have happen to them, in the act of listening.

3-0 out of 5 stars This Oklahoma is worth listening to
I have always hated the musical Oklahoma ever since I was a child, to me it was like listening to nails on a blackboard and the story was not interesting. After hearing this cd at a friends house and purchasing it shortly after, I actually want to see Oklahoma with this particular cast. Maybe the reason why I liked this version was because nobody in the cast affected a really bad southern accent like in previous versions. While I still cannot say that I love Oklahoma at least I can say is that I now find it tolerable. ... Read more

7. Cabaret: The New Broadway Cast Recording (1998 Broadway Revival)
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B000007QGL
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5113
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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The 1998 Broadway production of Cabaret is that rarest of revivals, one that feels like an utterly new show. Despite their incredibly familiarity, the songs of Kander and Ebb sound as lively and lascivious as ever, and the revised score augments the original with several tunes written specifically for the Oscar-winning 1972 film ("Mein Herr," "Maybe This Time"). In the central roles of deluded chanteuse Sally Bowles and the MC, respectively, Natasha Richardson and Alan Cumming have big pumps to fill; they successfully do so with distinctive flair, eschewing the ham-fisted tendencies of Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey to impart this complicated yet enthralling vision of 1930s Berlin with a fiercely individual spirit. --Kurt B. Reighley ... Read more

Reviews (81)

5-0 out of 5 stars Here life is beautiful...
This recording represents the glorious 1998 revival of Kander & Ebb's masterpiece Cabaret, which I consider at least among the top contenders for best American musical of all time. Though the show has to be seen to be believed, there is a lot to appreciate on this disc.

Alan Cumming steals the show as the Emcee, in an extended "Willkommen" showing off a lot of the patter from the stage version. Cumming's Emcee is so radically different from Joel Grey's (Grey, of course, is on the original recording and in the film) that they're not even comparable, and I think both of these wonderful renditions of the role stand on their own. Natasha Richardson as Sally Bowles - could there be a more famous character? - is not a perfect Broadway singer, but this is intentional. She infuses all of her songs with a great acting quality, though I think Jill Haworth's renditions on the OBC recording are better for casual listening. Her Cliff, John Benjamin Hickey, is barely on the CD, having lost the solo from the 1966 production. It's made up for by some songs from the movie - specifically "Maybe This Time," "Mein Herr," and "Money" - and the added "I Don't Care Much."

Mary Louise Wilson and Ron Rifkin are Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, respectively. Rifkin is excellent, and Wilson is very good - but she does not measure up to Lotte Lenya on the OBC. (Those are very, very hard shoes to fill; I don't wish the burden on anyone.) The chorus is great, adding to the sleazier atmosphere of the recording. It's particularly amusing how one of the "ladies" of "Two Ladies" is blatantly a man in this version - one of the bigger comic value bits that's pulled off well on stage. Michelle Pawk as Fraulein Kost gets some unexpected, but excellent, moments - including a German version of "Married" and the initial solo in the act closer "Tomorrow Belongs To Me." Wonderful stuff.

Every version of Cabaret is different; this revival owes a lot to both the original stage production and the film, but it is entirely its own animal. I can't really pick between the various versions, but I would say that no fan of Cabaret should be without this CD. Or the OBC CD. Or the film DVD. But if you haven't encountered the beautiful music of Cabaret yet, this is a great starting point for the modern listener.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new spin on a classic musical
The current Broadway revival of Kander and Ebb's 1966 musical CABARET is not entirely faithful to the original production. Some changes are based on Bob Fosse's 1972 film version, while others date from more recent revivals. Gone are the songs: "Meeskite", "Why Should I Wake Up?" and "The Telephone Song" and the film's "Money Money" has replaced the original show's "Money Song" - but we gain from the addition of "Mein Herr" and "Maybe This Time" from the film score, and "I Don't Care Much" cut from the original show during previews.

Natasha Richardson handles Sally's songs well - but not too well: You never lose sight of the fact that Sally is a second rate singer in a tacky Cabaret. John Benjamin Hickey isn't given a lot to do on the recording: Aside from a few lines of dialogue he shares but one duet with Ms.Richardson. Pity, as he seems to exhibit a fine singing voice.

The real star of the disc is Tony winner Alan Cumming as the Emcee: Comic and terrifying all at once. While Joel Grey presented a leering Emcee, Cumming is much darker: more decadent - Listen to him relish the word "beautiful" not once but three times in a row during the opening number..

Lotte Lenya brought such depth to the characterization of Frau Schneider, that others have paled in her wake, but Mary Louise Wilson gives the character a quiet dignity and resists any temptation to mimic her celebrated predecessor.

RCA Victor has again done an outstanding cast recording capturing the look and sound of one of Broadway's biggest hits. The accompanying booklet offers several color shots of the production and all the lyrics - but, unfortunately, no synopsis to provide the uninitiated with any kind of story link. It's the only flaw in an otherwise first rate package.

Columbia's classic original cast album (recently reissued on CD by Sony in their Columbia Broadway series) remains definitive - but this new darker more abr! asive production has yielder a very fine CD that crackles with theatrical excitement.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic! Go see it for yourself!!
"Cabaret" is one of my all time fav musicals. The music is fun, sad, catchy, meaningful and the choreography and vocals are also amazing! I'm so glad they decided to tape this recording DURING the show. You can hear the audience getting excited and having fun at the show. It makes it a lot more fun if you havent had the privlege of seeing this anazing show on stage. I saw the tour with Leah Thompson ("Caroline In The City") and she was phenominal, as is Natasha Richardson in this recording. I'm glad they added "Maybe This Time" which wasn't on the original score. If you love the movie Cabaret check out the Broadway revival version. I really hope they make another recording soon! All of my "Cabaret" Cd's (original, movie, this one) are being played out!!

5-0 out of 5 stars best cast recording of cabaret yet!
I have three of the cast recordings of cabaret and this is by far the best one!

1-0 out of 5 stars wretched
This album is a TRAVESTY.

The small amounts of spoken dialogue indicate a poorly acted, melodramatic debacle. The singing is weak, passionless and uninspired. The accents are horribly done. Compared to the remarkable Lotte Lenya, whoever plays the Fraulein's part is not the strong, interesting person of the original production. Instead, we have a fraulein that is just plain old and drab. The revision of the master of ceremonies is decidedly unwelcome - harsh and unforgiving. Sally Bowles has a completely unattractive voice. Everyone sings amateurishly, and it's obvious that they were trying to go for a harsh/realistic tone. The problem is that the way they do it it just plain sucks. This new Sally Bowles can't even hit some of the notes that I heard on the original broadway album. Combined with, again, HORRIBLE accent work that should be used as a textbook example for every actor on what NOT to do.

The point of Cabaret was great beauty and fun existing in the midst of tremendously tumultuous times. The 1998 reimagining of Cabaret as a production MIRRORING tumultuous and hard times is boring, ugly, in short a complete and utter failure. A 1/10. When I consider that it is an INSULT to the original broadway production, I lower that rating to 0/10. Then I reconsider - how can I give anything that incorporates such wonderful (written) music a 0/10? So I raise it back up to a 1/10. However, you'd never know that it was wonderful listening to this debacle. It's like listening to Tchaikovsky sung by a thirteen year old with no vocal training in the throes of puberty. Just plain awful. ... Read more

8. Annie Get Your Gun (1999 Broadway Revival Cast)
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00000ID42
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5902
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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This 1999 revival of Irving Berlin's timeless 1946 musical fantasy depictingthe love affair between Wild West sharpshooting stars Annie Oakley and Frank Butlerhas been somewhat updated for modern times. Not only has Peter Stone made revisions to Herbert and Dorothy Fields's original book (the story is now a show within a show, namely Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show), but there have been revisions to Berlin's original score as well. Some of it relates directly to late-'90s political correctness--"I'm an Indian, Too" joins "Colonel Buffalo Bill" and "I'm a Bad Bad Man" among the exclusions. But the tunes that made the cut remain some of the greatest moments of American musical theater, which is especially ironic when one considers that Berlin had to be coaxed into writing the show after original composer Jerome Kern suddenly died. Many of these songs--"They Say It's Wonderful," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "I Got the Sun in theMorning," "The Girl That I Marry," "Anything You Can Do"--have become standards on their own, and the revival thankfully retains the wonderful "An Old Fashioned Wedding," which Berlin wrote for the 1966 Lincoln Center revival of the show, with original Annie Ethel Merman reprising the role. Years after the fact, Merman remains a tough image to follow. But while she lacks Merman's brass and crassness, Bernadette Peters stands as the prettiest and sexiest Annie to date, even in the shadows of Mary Martin and Betty Hutton (the latter in the 1950 film version), not to mention probably the greatest singer of the bunch--her "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun" is an instant Broadway classic. They overdo "There's No Business Like Show Business" just a tad in this new version; it's seemingly reprised endlessly early in the CD. But, hey, if you're going to overdo it, what a song to overdo it with. --Bill Holdship ... Read more

Reviews (84)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bernadette Peters in a sparkling performance
Bernadette Peters makes the role of sharpshooter Annie Oakley her own in the cast album to the 1999 Broadway revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Peters is in fine voice here. She was praised to the rafters for her performance in this exceptional revival, which ended up for playing nearly 3 years at the Marquis Theatre as well as spawning a successful national tour. Tom Wopat sheds his 'Dukes of Hazzard' image with his masterful performance as Frank Butler, Annie's mentor and love interest. Wopat has a strong and rich voice, evoking memories of Alfred Drake and John Raitt, and the other 'matinee idols' of Broadway. Valerie Wright is a spunky Dolly Tate, with Ruth Nicole Snelson and Andrew Palermo in the roles of Winnie and Tommy. Annie's rambunctious younger siblings are played by Cassidy Ladden, Mia Waker and Trevor McQueen Eaton. Ron Holgate is a wonderful Buffalo Bill, with Peter Marx as Charlie Davenport and Gregory Zaragoza as Chief Sitting-Bull. Bernadette Peters is at her best with Irving Berlin's gorgeous ballad "I Got Lost in His Arms", though also impresses with Annie's introductory "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly". This entire album is flawless.


5-0 out of 5 stars "They Say It's Wonderful"...and It Is!
Saw this show in NYC a couple of weeks ago, and was thorougly enchanted. The sets were unique, the costumes were great, and the cast was fabulous. Bernadette Peters is the definition of spunk and charm, and who knew Tom Wopat had such a great set of pipes? The excitement of the show translates well to this CD; I didn't love the Tommy and Winnie subplot all that much, but the songs they sing are great. All in all, I truly enjoyed this CD. If you've seen the show, it brings it all back -- especially the could-have-heard-a-pin-drop moment at the end of "Moonshine Lullaby" before the audience burst into applause -- but even if you haven't, it's still great fun and very much worth buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bernadette too old? HA!!!!
...Bernadette may have been 51 when this was recorded, but it is still an amazing soundtrack to say the least!! Bernadette brings a flare to Annie that no other woman who has played the part could! Her enjoyable performances such as Doin What Comes Natur'lly, and You Can't Get A Man With A Gun are blended in with beautiful ballads such as Moonshine Lullaby and I Got Lost In His Arms. This CD is very nice and with it we have discovered that Tom Wopat can acctually sing on-key!!!! Its very enjoyable, but don't let me or anyone else influence you.....decide for yourself! May I also add that Ethal Merman(the first to portray Miss Oakley in 1946) was 38 in the first ever production of Annie Get Your Gun and was welcomed with rave reviews. 20 years later in 1966 she again portrayed Annie to, again, rave reviews from fans and critics. She was 58 years old. So it seems many of you are outmatched by many critics and Annie fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars THANK GOD FOR BERNADETTE PETERS!!!!
Lord knows i am a huge fan of Annie Get Your Gun!! i have the movie and three of the soudtracks, the '99 revival cast, the original cast, and the movie soundtrack, but this is by far the best one i have heard!!! many people i know think that Betty Hutton was the best, and she is very good, but i feel that Bernadette Peters is by far the best! Her best performances on this CD include the both funny and entertaining "Doin What Comes Natur'lly" and "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun", but my personal favorites are the beautiful "Moonshine Lullaby" and the hilariously entertaining "Anything You Can Do." If you are looking for a funny and entertaining CD this is for you!!! ENJOY!!!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars THIS IS ONE GREAT SHOW!
I take private voice lessons now and one of the songs my voice teacher had me sing was "You can't get a man with a gun" from this awesome musical. I was a little skeptical at first, but then I started to actually pay closer attention to the lyrics and they are very funny. The tune didn't seem so great at first, but now its clever and intertaining.
I never thought of "Annie, get your gun" as Irving Berlin's best musical. But I have always loved it. Everyone knows the ever-popular "There's no business like show-business." Yep, that's from this CD. And so is "Doin' what comes naturaly," and my favorites, "I got the sun in the mornin'," and "Anything you can do." Uh-huh, this is a good musical.
I'm not too familiar with the script of it, though. Since I only saw the older version of this movie on video. It was good, but the ending was disapointing. My brother and I made up some different endings to the show, all of them silly. Yet I liked them better than the one that is actually on there.
But anyways, it is great. A truly fine record and musical though at one point the movie goes downhill, where Annie is in love and they're singing a million really slow songs.
Bernadette Peters and Top Wopat do a fasinating "Anything you can do" and it really pays off. They are obviously talented and that is by-far my favorite song on this tape.
So yes, I would definitly reccomend this CD to anyone who had not already heard of "Annie, get your gun" (though the title is very misleading).
P.S. I wish I could see it on broadway like the person below did! You are so lucky! ... Read more

9. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1996 Broadway Revival Cast)
list price: $17.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B000002SJO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9340
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the first Broadway show for which Stephen Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics, has proven to be one of the master's most enduring creations, appearing in community theaters and, in 1996, in this full-scale Broadway revival. In the role of the scheming slave Pseudolous, Tony-winner Nathan Lane isn't the maelstorm that was Zero Mostel in the 1962 original Broadway cast, giving a subtler, neurotic performance. While one might miss the sheer force of Mostel's personality driving these madcap antics (based on the Roman comedies of Plautus), Lane's approach allows the show to become more of an ensemble vehicle. In a gender- and race-neutral move, Lane was subsequently replaced on Broadway by Whoopi Goldberg. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tonight, I am pleased to announce a revival of a comedy...
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" has the distinction of being Stephen Sondheim's first musical for which he wrote the music as well as the lyrics, after having reasonable success writing only the words for "West Side Story" and "Gypsy." Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart wrote the book in a blatant attempt to create a musical that would embody the spirit of Titus Maccius Platus, the noted third century (B.C.) Roman playwright. Actually, a lot of the show's comedic premises (e.g., siblings separated at birth) are lifted from the plays by Platus. The show had the distinction of making Zero Mostel a Broadway star, and in this 1996 revival it does the same thing for Nathan Lane. "Forum" is an unusual musical in that it is such a strong comedy that it would work even if you took out most of the songs. The exception, of course, is the opening number "Comedy Tonight," which perfectly sets the tone for the low comedy that follows. The only other memorable tune would be "Lovely," which of course gets parodied big time when reprised in the second act. But overall it is Sondheim's word play that stands out when listening to this album (e.g., "Bring Me My Bride" or "That Dirty Old Man"). Beyond that it is probably unnecessary to add that listening to either the original or the revival cast album is vastly superior to ever having to sit through the dreadful film version of this musical. However, "Forum" is one of those musicals that really needs to be enjoyed in live performance since often the stage action is what drives home a lot of the jokes in these songs. You cannot really appreciate this one unless you have actually seen the show.

4-0 out of 5 stars Music in Good 'Forum'
The number one reason to buy this remake is this: They took all of us musical theatre people's advice and speed it up! The tempo of this rendidtion is quick, smart, well timed musically and comically, and wonderfully orchestrated.

Saks and his team have turned in a fun album of a show that sometimes needs to be seen (Coutesans, Marcus Lycus) to be appreciated. Great attention was paid to sound effects which helps the listening audience understand the action that more than likely was happening on the stage at a particular momnet. And that, my friends, is the mark of a good musical theatre recording.

Much has been said about the individual performances, all of which are clear, well sung, and spoken. However, to say they are good performers is to take away from the real genius here. To make this musical work (and I've done it a couple of times) one has to find a complete cast of talented character actors. Romeo, Maria, Hamlet, and Barbara please sit down and make way for the circus fare. Saks has found his faux with the likes of Lane, Sabella, and Linn-Baker.

At times the orchestrations drag on and the quality of the actual recording could be better if you have an audiophile ear. But for the most part this is a must have for the musical theatre person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet melody
1) Show is hysterical. The music, the tempo, the acting, it all worked so well, and there was such cohesion it was superb
2) I played Hysterium in my high school play (Greenwich, CT: Brunswick - '01), and I had so much fun, and the CD helped immensley, as I heard several versions of the songs, and this one just rocked
3) N. Lane's voice is very strong, but can sound whiney at times. I don't know...I'm not getting money for this, so what do I know?!
4) Any chance I can get on stage?

5-0 out of 5 stars Woot! The best recording of Forum
My high school is doing Forum for there musical this year (I play Erronius by the way..), and this play is hysterical.Although, the movie conversion was totally crappy. The stage version is funnier. Nathan Lane was superb as Psudolus, and i reaaly didnt like him being replaced by Whoopi Goldberg...o well...

4-0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Classic
I personally am not a fan of classic musical theatre (although the time it was written may not be classic, but I do consider the music to be), but I love this album! The lyrics are witty and clever, and the wonderful music is all that I'd expect from Sondheim. This is a sure bet for anyone who's looking for a light-hearted musical where everything turns out okay in the end. ... Read more

10. Kiss Me, Kate (1999 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Sales Rank: 8119
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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This terrific new recording of Cole Porter's greatest show grabs you from the beginning: shimmering strings lead straight into "Another Op'nin', Another Show" before the orchestra takes over. Then it's on to many of Porter's best-loved melodies and wittiest lyrics, including "Wunderbar," "So in Love," "Always True to You (In My Fashion)," and "Why Can't You Behave?" Art imitates life in this story of a troupe's performance of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, as the stars quarrel as much offstage as they do onstage, and Porter's score reflects this with both contemporary '40s songs ("Too Darn Hot") and Bard-inspired stage songs ("I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua"). Similarly, Don Sebesky's marvelous new orchestrations alternate a jazzy band with Elizabethan-period drums and recorders. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie (both alums of Ragtime) are in glorious voice as the feuding stars, while Amy Spanger and Michael Berresse shine as the secondary couple. Surprisingly, when this production debuted on Broadway in the fall of 1999, it was the show's first-ever major revival. The original 1948 cast recording is still great listening, but this is a Kiss Me, Kate for the new century. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Revival of a Great Show!
Before this CD, I must confess, I have not seen or heard much or any of the music from Kiss Me, Kate; and the only other Cole Poter show that I had seen was Anything Goes! My friend saw the show and loved it, and that was when I decided to get this recording!

It is a very worthwhile recording and the music is top notch! Cole Porter's original score along with Don Sebesky's new orchestrations make a perfect match and are wonderful! There are many 'feels' for the music...such as Elizabethan and swing, and others!

Marin Mazzie is great as Lili/Kate, but I must say that even though Brian Stokes Mitchell was good in this show, he had much more depth and energy in Ragtime, which I also recommend strongly!

Overall, though, this recording of Porter's Kiss Me, Kate is very worthwhile and just a great Broadway CD to listen to! Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy successor to the original
While it's pretty difficult to top the classic original cast recording of Cole Porter's classic musical "Kiss Me Kate," with the great original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and wonderful performances of Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk, Harold Lang and company, this recording of the 1999 Broadway revival is a highly entertaining and worthy companion to it. It's great to hear a more complete version of Porter's wonderful score, with extra verses and songs and dance sequences that were deleted from the original album given their full due here. As for the new orcestrations and tempoes, I wouldn't say they're BAD, certainly not as bad as some people seem to think. Truly, they work best when the original arrangements are left alone, but the new arrangements generally are just fine and succeed at giving the score a fresh sound. (I agree with the other reviewer that the progressive change in tempo of "We Open In Venice," while it may belabor the joke of the song, is still great to hear) As for the cast, they may not quite live up to the originals, but they succeed in putting their own stamps on the roles and give highly entertaining performances. Brian Stokes Mitchell is, unfortuantely, at less than his best vocally (Maybe he had an off-day when they recorded this), but even if he isn't as good as Alfred Drake (Or himself in "Ragtime") he is still very funny and effective. Not sure he deserved the Tony, but he's good. The standout is Marin Mazzie, who shows off her range delivering a truly haunting and beautiful "So In Love" in a beautiful mezzo-soprano and a vibrant, truly angry "I Hate Men" with a gutsy belt voice that is a great contrast to Patricia Morison's witty but too sweetly sung original version of the song. Amy Spanger and Michael Berresse are fine as the supporting pair of lovers. And certain moments provided by the supporting cast and ensemble like "Too Darn Hot" and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" are too good to miss. The original cast recording of "Kiss Me Kate" is a classic that no music collection should be without, but if you want a new, different interpretation that is almost as entertaining, you should be very happy with this recording. Better yet, get both!

4-0 out of 5 stars New orchestrations are revival cast album's undoing
The 1999 Tony award winning revival of KISS ME KATE managed to show there was still life in this 50-year old show. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie are ideal as a modern day Fred and Lilli. Amy Spangler has the proper saucy style for Lois. There was some (needless, though minor) tinkering with the book and the show's famous Overture was dropped. (That Overture must be jinxed: on both the Columbia and Capitol cast albums it was replaced by the Entr'acte. The 1987 London cast uses a new Overture.) The "updated" arrangements by Don Sebesky are no improvement on the originals, although the use of Elizabethan styled music for the Shrew sections is appropriate. The new recording includes more dialogue than previous releases. The production moved to London after its Broadway run and that edition was taped and has been released on DVD and is well worth checking out.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but...
I thought this was great, I love this musical, however, the only flaw I noticed was in "Another openin'" seemed to be a little high in range for atleast one of female cast members in parts. But it doesn't detract from the performance too badly.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great musical show!
I really like this cd. The tunes are catchy and beautiful. It's well worth getting, and a wonderful revival done, for the musical, "Kiss Me Kate." ... Read more

11. Once Upon a Mattress (1997 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Asin: B000003G7Y
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Sales Rank: 8108
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars It's ok...
I LOVE the musical Once Upon a Mattress, having played Princess Winnifred myself, but Sarah Jessica Parker just doesn't cut it for me. Of course, being a much more recent performance, the sound quality is much higher on this CD than on the original Broadway soundtrack, and some of the orchestrations are better too, but if you want to hear a REAL Princess Fred, buy Carol Burnett's recording. Parker's voice is too sweet and girly to be Fred. Burnett had the part down--wild, belting, exuberant, and bordering on obnoxious. Parker just seems to want to sing pretty--and while she does have a beautiful voice, having a beautiful voice isn't necessarily the top requirement for a Fred. I also don't really like some of the changes in the new Broadway version. Some of the songs really were better before they were "fixed;" they should have been left alone. Anyway, overall, this CD was at least worth my money, and I enjoy listening to it occasionally, but I prefer the original Broadway soundtrack, bad sound quality and all. So, go ahead and buy this CD, but make sure to buy the original too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
With gorgeous orchestrations, lovely voices, and Sarah Jessica Parker at her very best, this recording far outshines the original. The entire score is featured here, all done tastefully. It is also worth mentioning that some of the lyrics and orchestrations were updated and sound more contemporary giving the show a greater Broadway feel. Don't waste any more time and BUY this CD. You won't be sorry.

4-0 out of 5 stars a fine recording; Sarah Jessica Parker tries her best
This cast album to the 1997 Broadway revival of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS is quite enjoyable, though the production itself met with mostly-negative reviews and it quickly shuttered.

ONCE UPON A MATTRESS and the lead role of Princess Winnifred are still largely identified with the legendary Carol Burnett. In this revival, Sarah Jessica Parker gamely attempts to crawl out from under Burnett's shadow, though she doesn't really succeed. Burnett had a seemingly-effortless belty singing voice, wheras Sarah Jessica Parker's light soprano is pretty but not substantial enough for the songs of the boistrous, bombastic Winnifred.

Parker especially struggles with the long, sustained phrases in "Shy" and "Happily Ever After", though her "Swamps of Home" is quite charming. Mary Lou Rosato is perfect for the role of Queen Aggravain, and David Aaron Baker is a fantastic Prince Dauntless.

Jane Krakowski (GRAND HOTEL, NINE) is a breathtaking Lady Larken, ably-partnered by Lewis Cleale as Sir Harry. Their duet of "Yesterday I Loved You" is sublime. The cast also features Heath Lamberts (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Lawrence Clayton, Tom Alan Robbins and David Hibbard.

A fine recording but it pales beside the peerless original Broadway cast album with Carol Burnett, Jane White and Joe Bova.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Musical Score for All
Although some may think that Sarah Jessica Parker and her voice is annoying in this musical I don't think anyone else could have done it better. She has that quality that keeps you listening because it is humorous and her voice adds charm to her character. "Shy", "Normandy", and "Happily Ever After", "Spanish Panic" are among my favorites. The entire company has done a marvelous job in this recording of Once Upon a Mattress. I only wish this musical version was out on video. This is a great musical and would be enjoyed by all!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Sarah Jessica Parker CANNOT sing!
I'm sorry to rate this so low but SJP is horrible. I cringe every time I hear her bark her way through "Shy." Please take my advice and get the old recording with Carol Burnett. She far surpasses SJP in talent, both musically and artistically. ... Read more

12. Godspell [2000 Cast]
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Asin: B000056JY3
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Sales Rank: 13241
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (30)

3-0 out of 5 stars MIXED BLESSING
As much as I LOVED the sparkling, expertly updated production that this recording represents, the Cd itself is a mixed bag for GODSPELL fans. It features perhaps the best assembly of voices I have yet heard performing these songs; however, the hip, techno-pop arrangements do not translate with the same electricity they had in person; it does not have the same you-could-play-it-forever-and-ever listenability as the original cast recording and the film soundtrack. It has a harder edge, and the arrangements of Light of the World and the Finale in particular are heavy-handed. Stephen Schwartz' revisited lyrics for the song Beautiful City, which was written for the film, scan oddly in this version, a ballad now placed as a set-up for the last supper. And Tower Of Babel, while wonderful to have on the recording, again places new lyrics (to represent updated philosophers) into the already-written-for-other-lyrics music -- it feels like a misfit. However, for younger audiences just getting into the infinite pleasures of this pop classic theatre piece, you could do much worse than this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
I own 4 recordings of GODSPELL. I have seen 3 productions of it. Without a doubt, this is my favorite of the recordings. I bought it at the same time that I bought the recent touring recording of the show. Let's by song and compare which cast did which better -Opening: Only the touring cast included this song. -Prologue: Definitly the off-Broadway. So heartfelt and not so messy... -Prepare Ye: off-Broadway. LOVE the dialogue. -Save the People: Touring cast. I enjoy the orchestration. -Day by Day: The touring cast's cheesy up-with-people version did not win me over. -Learn Your Lessons Well: off-Broadway! What a fun rendition! The funnest since the original! -Bless the Lord: I don't really care for either rendition...sorry. -All for the Best: Touring cast. More tongue-in-cheek and fun. -All Good Gifts: Touring cast. The cello orchestration is gorgeous (Though the off-Broadway gets brownie points for the dialogue) -Light of the World: Touring cast. The off-broadway's arrangement is horrendous. -Beautiful City: Touring cast. While the off-Broadway's is done well, it cuts out a verse making the song too short to matter. -Turn Back, O Man: off-Broadway. The new arrangment for the tour sucks the fun and humor out of it. -Alas for You: Ooh...this is a toughie. I like the arrangement in the tour, but I like the emotional interpretation in the off-Broadway. You decide which is more important. -By My Side: Off-Broadway. Much more moving. -We Beseech Thee: Ooh, another hard one. Both are just so much fun! Tie on this one. -Day by Day (reprise): Only the tour has this song. -On the Willows: Off-Broadway. Very heart-felt and as usual I'm won over by the dialogue. -Finale: DEFINITLY the Off-Broadway. It is my favorite recording of the finale I have found yet. The tour's feels rushed and doesn't move me half as much. All in all, this is the recording I like the most out of the recordings I've heard. "Long live God"

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Recording
I saw this cast during the off Broadway run. The approach to the show was fresh and the cast was solid from top to bottom. This is near the top of all the theater experience I have ever had. It was hilarious, sad, inspirational, and I'm not even Christian.

Listen to the energy of Prepare Ye into God Save the People of this recording and try to sit still - you can't.

If you have listened to the original cast album for 20 years or love the movie I can understand that the new take could be difficult to adjust to. Give it some time and you'll probably come to agree that this is the definitive recording.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very nice version
This version added some freshness to the early seventies pop sound of the original Godspell, yet pays homage to it in some areas. In some ways I wish they had payed less homage to the 70s, but that's probably a matter of taste. Of all of the available Godspell recordings, this version has the nicest voices and also gives us some of the dialogue to go along with the songs.

There are two areas where I feel this CD falls short. First, when they had the opportunity to really modernize the sound they often didn't--particularly as compared with the 2001 version. The attempts at 70s nostalgia with "retro" versions of some songs are interesting but fall a little short (The "Shaft" style version of "Light of the World" gets old quickly).

All in all, it's a good CD, and still somewhat faithful to the original. If you're looking for a slightly more upbeat version of Godspell with some nice voices, you should like this. If you really want to hear a "modernized" version, try the 2001 CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth owning!
I read all the worst reviews about this CD before buying it and I must disagree with them. I have been in Godspell and am currently directing it and this CD is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a recording that wasn't 20-30 years old but still kept the show accessible to the masses and this version is it. I also own the 2001 Touring as well as the original Broadway and Movie Soundtrack. This recording is actually quite good. The things that I like best is the band and the arrangements of the songs. They are fresh and new but still use an orchestration that can be reproduced by a community theatre. The 2001 was so far out there and "techno" that it is next to impossible to duplicate that in a smaller theatre without major sequencing. This CD feels new and updated without destroying the music that Schwartz wrote. I like it a lot. It is perfect for a director trying to get a feel for the music and wanting someonething new at the same time. ... Read more

13. The Rocky Horror Show (2000 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Asin: B00005B605
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Sales Rank: 16252
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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The movie version of The Rocky Horror Show has turned into such an enduring cult success that it has pretty much obliterated the fact that it all started with a stage show. And now Richard O'Brien's musical is back on stage, where some say it truly belongs (it was nominated for the category Best Revival of a Musical in the 2001 Tony Awards). With a great cast that includes Dick Cavett, Alice Ripley (Janet), Tom Hewitt (Frank 'N' Furter), and Daphne Rubin-Vega (Magenta), the revival fires on all cylinders. Note that while Joan Jett was in the cast as Columbia, she's not on the CD (Kristen Lee Kelly is). But Lea DeLaria, last seen stealing the show in On the Town, more than compensates by playing both Eddie (Meat Loaf in the movie!) and Dr. Scott--and doing great by both. As a bonus, the song "Once in a While" is back after being cut from the movie. Bursting with energy, this recording brings the rock back in Rocky. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars The DEFINITIVE 'Rocky'
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is terrific in it's own right (and I was one of thousands who frequented the midnight screenings). Still, I've always thought it worked better as a stage show, where it all began (minus the word 'Picture' in the title.) I can say without a doubt that this is by far the BEST recording of ROCKY I have ever heard, and I've listened to several. Even without seeing this production live, I was blown away.

In the 2000 Broadway revival, the music has been re-orchestrated to sound more like a rock album than ever before. The chintzy, campy B-movie sounds of the film are gone, and this music pulsates with a revitalized energy.

The cast is, in one word, flawless. One beef I had with the film is that the cast was primarily made of non-singers. This has been corrected with gusto. Just some highlights:

As Frank, Tom Hewitt pays enough homage to Tim Curry without sounding like a copycat. Broadway vets Jarrod Emick and Alice Ripley (Brad and Janet) have rich voices that suit their naive characters and don't distract from the rock album feel. Kristen Lee Kelly replaces Joan Jett as Columbia on the album, and she does a fine job.

Raul Esparza emits piercing rock riffs as Riff Raff, and in a gender-bending twist, Lea DeLaria plays the dual (male) roles of Eddie and Dr. Scott. She tears through the signature "Hot-Patootie", and her Dr. Scott is a devilish delight.

This revival infused new life into ROCKY. Sadly, it went under with the Broadway slump right after 9/11 and closed all-too-soon. But this CD is pure gold, and the way these killer songs were meant to be heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars All lacking this CD should be shivering in antici...PATION!
The Rocky Horror Show phenomenon catapults itself into the new millenium with this brilliantly charismatic revival cast. It is truly a treat to listen to this CD!

Alice Ripley and Jarrod Emick are absolutely wonderful as Janet and Brad, the squares brought into the of the Transylvanians. Both voices are beautiful and very smooth sounding, which works well with the rock-sounding voices of the rest of the cast. Raúl Esparza and Daphne Rubin-Vega are frightfully delightful as Riff-Raff and Magenta. And Mr. Tom Hewitt...WHOA! I truly think the PERFECT Frank 'N' Furter has been discovered; even better than Tim Curry. Sweet Transvestite is absolutely brilliant in its own rite, which is very much enhanced by Hewitt's magnificent vocal talent.

Another treat that this CD encases is Brad's lament Once in a While, which was cut from the film version. Jarrod Emick is especially in this!

Overall, this is, I believe, the best Rocky Horror Show recording ever done! All of us humans should own it and revel in this story of the Transexuals! Enjoy!


4-0 out of 5 stars Echoing the midnight madness of so many years ago
The revival of "The Rocky Horror Show" on Broadway at Circle in the Square in 2000 was treated with some skepticism. After all, the film version is a cult classic and the epitome of the midnight movie. But this is a revival that is fully aware of what the source material is and who would be coming to see it or, in this case, listen to the cast album. After all, those of us who brought our lighters, squirt guns, newspapers, hot dogs, and (at least in my case) a bell, are twice as old and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the madness of our misspent youths. Watching the movie, especially without the company of a theater full of fanatics and all are assorted props, is rather unfulfilling these days. But listening to this 2000 Broadway Revival Cast album of "The Rocky Horror Show" brings back a sense of the fun.

The production in general and the performers for the most part are not interesting in the art of imitation. The aesthetic here is clearly one of camp, perhaps down to excess, but the rules say you cannot do anything to excess in the realm of "Rocky Horror." From the start with "Opening/Science Fiction Double Feature" it is clearly everybody knows what is going on; the audience is encouraged to spell out "R-O-C-K-Y" just like it was another midnight showing. When "Science Fiction Double Feature" turns into a duet you not only think that it makes sense since it is about a "double" feature, but you also realize that the goal here is to make things sound different (if not fresher) than what we recall from the movie.

So there is more energy throughout, as is appropriate to a stage production. Of the cast Alice Ripley as Janet Veiss (Weiss) does the best job. As Dr. Frank N. Furter you will notice that Tom Hewitt tries to sing around Tim Curry's definitive performance trying to come up with something different without straying too far, an approach that proves problematic. Jarrod Emick plays Brad Majors and gets the joy of singing "Once in a While," which was cut from the film but is a prime track from the original Roxy cast album. Dick Cavett pops up as the Narrator, but you never get the sense that he gets the point of the festivities (the joke of his being in the show is over before he opens his mouth). But Lea DeLaria, known for her performance in "On the Town," gets to play both Eddie and Dr. Scott, thereby providing the best representation of the insanity associated with enjoying the movie with your friends. Sebastian LaCause sounds pretty good as Rocky, but the monster often seemed like it was a throw away part in the various casts.

It would seem with all these complains that I would not like this particular cast album, but the success of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was always because it embraced its faults. These songs are serviceable and it is what you do with them more than the original material that matters. Richard O'Brien's musical always was more fun than the sum of its parts, and it should be pointed out that this production was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical in the 2001 Tony Awards). Granted, my memories of taking unsuspecting neophytes to midnight showings so they could be shocked out of their gourds might be affecting my hearing, or the fact that I am growing noticeably death, but I think this album reminds us of the need to give ourselves over to absolute pleasure.

2-0 out of 5 stars Is it Grease?
I feel that this recording goes for broke. It tries to make everything a slick production number with too many added background parts. It begins to sound as if the "audience participation" the show has come to know was integrated into the music for this revival. As someone who has read the original stage show script and the re-vamped script for this production I can say that they did this as well in the script - taking away some of the flow and charm of the original.
What is nice about the original cast recordings - especially the Roxy Cast - is that is was a rock and roll show with the emphasis on the music and not the slick production.
If you want a true rocked up version of The Rocky Horror Show that gives the music a sound for today - try The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ick...
I love broadway. I love RHPS. I thought, therefore, that I would love this soundtrack, but I guess I just fell in love with the vocals from the movie version, because the songs from this album seemed all wrong to me. Despite the impressive performances of this cast, I found myself sorely missing the accents, inflections, and tones from the movie characters - particularly those of Little Nell, Susan Sarandon, and, most of all, Tim Curry. Call me old-fashioned, but I liked Columbia with that squeaky, cockney voice, Janet soft and high, and the way Frank belted out those strong, smoky notes with his amusing accent, and I just didn't enjoy the music nearly as much without these specific factors. In short, if you liked the music of Rocky Horror because of the instrumentals and lyrics, then this album may be fine for you, but if, like me, your enjoyment came as much from the actors' individual performances as from the songs themselves, I'd look elsewhere for my Rocky fix. ... Read more

14. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1993 Los Angeles Cast)
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Asin: B000001E34
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6867
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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If you were to think this 1993 Los Angeles revival cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat sounds a lot like the 1991 London revival cast and the 1992 Canadian revival cast, you'd be right. All three use the glitzy version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's school-cantata-turned-musical based on the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, which debuted with the London revival in 1991 and became the basis for most subsequent productions, as well as the video version. Yes, the "Joseph Megamix" is here, along with the witty lyrics and catchy melodies that borrow freely from country, calypso, French cafés, and Elvis--as well as favorites "Any Dream Will Do," "Close Every Door," and "Go, Go, Go Joseph." And orchestral credits, cover art, and running time are almost exactly the same, leading one to believe that the various casts recorded their vocals over the same prerecorded orchestral tracks.

So is there any difference between the three? Yes, the singers, most notably the role of the narrator and the title character. The London production starred Linzi Hateley as the narrator and Australian pop singer Jason Donovan as Joseph. For the 1992 Canadian cast, former teen pop sensation Donny Osmond took over the title role, with Janet Metz as the narrator. For this 1993 Los Angeles cast, Michael Damian was Joseph and Kelli Rabke the narrator. All the narrators are solid, though Hateley is probably the best overall. The biggest difference is Osmond, the clear winner with a terrific voice and irresistible warmth, contrasted with Donovan's somewhat thick and heavy singing and Damian's rather deliberate pronunciation. You really don't need more than one of these Josephs, and the Canadian cast is the one to have. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (41)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Recording Cast but Michael Damian ruins it . . .
I've watched the video (outstanding!) and I've listened to the Canadian cast recording (excellent!) and now I've heard the L.A. cast recording and when I first started listening to it, Kelli Rabke just blew me away with her excellent and powerful voice as the narrator. WOW!...I was thinking, this is going to be an excellent CD. THen, Michael Damian started singing and my ears almost started hurting from his terrible recording on Joseph's Part. Don't get me wrong, I've never seen him perform on stage (maybe he's a good actor!) but his voice is just terrible. He has the ability to sing the part but it just sounds fake and emotionless. It sounds more like sustained talking rather than singing and it just ruined the whole thing for me. I was rather dissappointed because Kelli Rabke does an awesome job, Robert Torti is perfect as Pharoah and all the other voices are excellent (even the Butler & Baker!) but whenever Michael Damian sings it makes me almost cover my ears and it distracts from the rest of the cast. Donny Osmond is the best Joseph in my opinion. If only there was only a recording with Donny Osmond as Joseph & Kelli Rabke as the Narrator then there would be the perfect recording. I only recommend this recording if you like the powerful Narrator part of the musical. If you rather have the stronger Joseph vocals then buy the CANADIAN CAST RECORDING. But if you want a combination of "the Perfect cast" then just buy the video tape or DVD version where Maria Friedman as the narrator also does an oustanding job and Donny Osmond shows his strong vocals and much emotion in his acting interpritation as Joseph.

5-0 out of 5 stars personal preferences
I have the LA cast and the Canadian cast for this soundtrack. Personally, I like the LA cast better because of the narrator. Joseph is weak, but liveable. In the Canadian cast, the narrator is uttererly annoying by trying to prove what a great singer she is. It just doesn't work. On the other hand, Donny Osmond is the best Joseph I have ever heard. The best of both worlds is Maria Friedman and Osmond in the video. But, which recording to get depends on whether you prefer a strong narrator (LA) or a strong Joseph (Canadian).

4-0 out of 5 stars Kelli Rabke and Donny Osmond!
This CD is great because of Kelli Rabke. She is BY FAR the best Narrator on any "Joseph" recording. Michael Damian makes this recording weak. I seriously tend to skip his tracks. If you want to hear a GREAT Joseph, get the Candian version with Donny Osmond. He's amazing! It's too bad Osmond and Rabke couldn't be paired on a recording together. If you're looking for a good female voice to sing to, though - a good Narrator - look no further than this CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Show, Almost As-Amazing Album
I recently saw a production of Joseph at high school in my area, and I was blown away. The production was outstanding, but I was equally amazed at the music genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The very next day, I ran out and purchased this album (along with the movie of the production of Joseph, starring Donny Osmond). Upon listening to it, I was blown out of the water again. Kelli Rabke is amazing, Robert Torti outstanding. Michael Damian is a little weak, I will have to say, but it really is not that much of a low-point.

This album is an amazing reproduction of the show. If you could just replace Michael Damian with Donny Osmond, it would be perfect, because in the movie, Osmond's singing skills were outstanding. This album is a must have, even with Michael Damian. Kelli Rabke makes this album a must-have.

By the way, I highly recommend the movie as well. At times it was a little corny, but then again, isn't Broadway a little corny as well?

5-0 out of 5 stars you won't regret it
I have several recordings of Joseph - this one is by far my favorite. Kelli Rabke is amazing. Robert Torti's awesome. Michael Damien is great too. I first listened to the London recording, then went to see Joseph on stage, and immediately bought this recording when it came out. It's my favorite version of the musical. I wish Kelli Rabke played the narrator in the DVD version of it...*wistful look* ... Read more

15. How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying: The New Broadway Cast Recording (1995 Revival)
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Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Just as new producers had done to Broadway's 1992 revival ofFrank Loesser's Guys andDolls, this Tony-winning revival of Loesser & Burrows's 1961Pulitzer Prize winner has been transformed into a cartoon-like fantasy,featuring even more satire than was originally intended. Which, afterall, is the only way numbers like "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm" or "ASecretary Is Not a Toy" can be played in the post-feminist late '90s.And yet, the original 1961 period piece still remains the bettermusical recording--because it had both Robert Morse (who, with all duerespect to Matthew Broderick, owns the role of Finch) and Rudy Vallee;and because some aficionados are mighty unhappy with the changes madein the orchestration of the vehicle's much beloved showstopper,"Brotherhood of Man." --Bill Holdship ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Such an excellent show!
What an absolutely wonderful recording! I recently acquired this CD from a friend and was blown away! The cantor and comedy of the music keep me laughing, but are well counterweighted by the slightly more serious pieces. Megan Mullally shines as Rosemary, her voice is perfect for the role. "Paris Original", her parts in "Rosemary", and especially the "I Believe in You" reprise showcase just how wonderful she is. Cutie Matthew Broderick is also wonderful, and the supporting cast is excellent! Victoria Clark in "Been a Long Day" is absolutely awesome! The company numbers just excite me. Even if you haven't seen the show, this is an EXCELLENT recording.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loesser's most adventurous score in a first-rate revival
Every song in HOW TO SUCCEED is a winner, even though there's hardly a standard in the whole show. How many musicals can you say that about? Asked to do the show, Frank Loesser truned it down and finally reconsidered: he came through with what is probably the most ambitious score of his career. How do you explain a song like "Coffee Break" or "A Secretary is Not a Toy"?--and yet both songs work beautifully, and are hilarious and still timely send-ups of office caffeine addiction and sexual politcs (respectively).

Although Matthew Broderick (while still quite fine) may not be as ingratiating or sexy as Finch as Robert Morse was, the rest of the cast is just about ideal. The real standout, as someone mentioned before, is the marvelous Victoria Clark as Smitty, but almost the whole cast shines. Before "Will and Grace" was a hit Megan Mullaly made me listen very carefully to her terrific renditions of "Happy to Keep his Dinner Warm" and (especially) "Paris Original," and Luba Mason is VERY funny as Hedy LaRue.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bigger is not always better... but also not always worse
The transformation of HTSIBWRT (the acronym by which the original was known) to H2$ (the acronym for this major revival) was not a simple one, even though (surprisingly) the show proved so timely when revived its book didn't need to be greatly rewritten. Its orchestrations, however, were enormously revamped and expanded, sometimes to the show's detriment (the reworking of the big finale, "the Brotherhood of Man," doesn't have the same kind of impact the original did, for example). And despite the fineness of Matthew Broderick in the lead role, he doesn't project the kind of ingratiating sexiness that made such a star out of Robert Morse. But everyone else in this re-do is superb, from Ronn Carroll as Mr. Biggley to Megan Mullaly playing the ingenue very charmingly years before she would stumble across the TV studio set as Karen Walker. (She's very charming in the great "Paris Original" number.) Best of all is Victoria Clark as Smitty, the heroine's best friend: her singing and speaking voice are so perfectly clear and memorable that you may never be able to get her pronunciation of the name "Rosemary" in the beginning of the show's second act completely out of your head.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful energy in this recording!
I recently purchased this recording to fill out my Broadway collection even more and I absolutely fell in love with the performances.

When this cast recording first came out, I was skeptical-thinking that it could never supercede the 1961 original. I was intrigued when The New York Times had Broderick on its front page with an in depth article on how an actor can infuse a popular song into something meaningful and how the current crop of opera singers could learn a thing or two from listening to MB's way with a lyric. Well...that article provoked quite a reaction from opera fans. Listening to this recording years later, I cannot help but agree with The New York Times. Broderick sings each song in a lilting voice, delivering the lyrics with intent. He sings the characterization and presents a guileful, cunning rogue.

Megan Mullally is a wonderful Rosemary who sings with just the right touch of irony to keep one from gagging on the sexist perception of women. Love Walter Cronkite's contributions and the additional dialogue added to the intro. and exit of songs aids the the characterizations as well. The sound production is top-notch and the whole cast performs on high octane. Recommended highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
A true gem of a revival, the most notable performance given by Victoria Clark as Smitty. Fresh orchestrations, nice contemporary vocal styles leave you toe tapping through to curtain call music. ... Read more

16. The Who's Tommy: Original Cast Recording (1992 Broadway Revival)
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Asin: B000003FLC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11356
Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm of two minds here...
The Broadway version of "Tommy" is both an improvement and a step down from the concept album by the Who. The concept album features fantastic music and performances, but the plot was a mess, and thus the concept album failed as a rock "opera". The Broadway version (unlike the benighted movie) represented a successful attempt to mold the material on the concept album into a coherent storyline. In fact, structurally speaking, the Broadway version of "Tommy" is pretty much perfect.

The downside of this album is the performances. As other reviewers have pointed out, every time a rock opera gets near Broadway, the music loses its edge (other examples include "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Chess"). The singers on this album don't bring much grit to their songs - in short, their voices sound too trained (the Acid Queen being an exception). Oh, and the British accents really, really suck.

"We're not gonna TOIKE it!".... Dear lord.

Hopefully some day some real rock singers will record an album of the Broadway version of "Tommy". In the meantime, we're stuck between an album that fails as an opera (the Who's concept album), an album that fails as rock (this album), and an album that fails, period (the movie).

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Sensation"!
This album is a must for any and all Who fans and broadway goers alike. The fact that it is a musical scares some but you must remember that this isn't an ordinary musical, it's THE WHO! I have seen the show and also have heard the original concept album. True they are different but only really how the music is performed and erranged. Electric guitars are more prominant in the show adding an extra punch parts were added to add to the intensity of scenes ("court room". "sally simpson".) Turn the volume up and open your mind, this is a rock and roll ride that you will never forget.
PS. If the show ever travels or is performed locally or even better, makes a revival in New york, I HIGHLY reccomend that you see it, hearing is only half the fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Journey for music lovers
This album is incredible! I am only 21 and the orignal album by the Who was released when my mother was in high school, and she was a big fan of the Who. She had the record and played it a lot back in the 80's when I was a kid. I recently checked this CD out at my local library and I was blown away. I listen to it while I'm driving and I get goose bumps every time. Best songs are: Amazing Journey, Go to the Mirror, Pinball Wizard, Sensation, Acid Queen. I can hardly wait to see this show live (if I ever get the chance, which isn't likely because I've been checking for months and it seems nobody's performing it anymore).

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Better Musical
First, I would like to make the point that this is not your ordinary Broadway musical. It is actually considered to be a Rock Opera. This is because there is no dialouge at all that is not backed by music, which is traditional of operas. This is a great show, and an amazing album. The story, if you follow it, is very poignant and deep, not comedic at all. It is truly one of my favorite broadway shows, and although im only 17, I love all classic rock, especially The Who.

2-0 out of 5 stars MUCH ADO
If you can imagine The Who's "Tommy" as performed by a Broadway musical cast, well then there's no surprises here. The Who's original "Tommy" album was a success due to it's innovative music but it's very thin storyline and simple themes of worldly gain and loss glare akwardly in this original Broadway cast recording. Peter Townsend's original work compared itself to traditional opera in that it's story was secondary, indeed only a backdrop to the music, but Broadway takies it oh so seriously with nary a drop of humility and restraint. It amounts to the sound of a loud parade passing by, in tune but colorless. For a better transition, see Ken Russell's 1975 film, "Tommy". ... Read more

17. Company - A Musical Comedy (1995 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Asin: B000002SM6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 15472
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Expectations ran high for this 25th anniversary revival of Company. Boyd Gaines's Robert was surrounded by a solid cast, though once again the women particularly shone: on "Barcelona" Jane Krakowski shows why she was a respected Broadway actress way before television discovered her in Ally McBeal, while Veanne Cox navigates the treacherous rapids of "Getting Married Today" with the assurance of a true New Yorker for whom singing fast is routine (does she even breathe?). Debra Monk won't make us forget Elaine Stritch on "The Ladies Who Lunch," but she's more than adequate as she roars down this ultimate showstopper. "Marry Me a Little," not in the 1970 version, is included. Of the three Company recordings that are widely available, this is the only one to include the complete lyrics. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Newer Company CD has highs and lows
This 1995 revival recording has had some musical rearranging from the original 1970 cast album. Generally, it captures all of the sondheim magic as it was intended, although the electronically enhanced "orchestra" occassionally leaves something to be desired - sounding oh so thin at times. As lead singers go, Boyd Gaines is no Larry Kert, but who is? I heard more than a couple of notes under pitch and his range is better suited to less demading material. His character's big number, "Being Alive," was prefunctory and unmoving. Best stuff: Veanne Cox's incomparable "Getting Married Today," and anything the ensemble does. Worst moment: the screeching of Debra Monk on "The Ladies Who Lunch." One of the great show-stoppers of all time, the tune is murdered! True, she can act her socks off, but that is a musical folks. It is hard to top Elaine Stritch's original or Carol Burnett's recent interpretation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great Sondheim revival
The 1995 revival of Company may not be as well known as the original, and often gets compared to the original for not being as great a piece, but they must really be treated as two different shows. For example, the long time comparison between Debra Monk's Joanne, and Elaine Stritche's Joanne. Debra Monk makes a phenomonal Joanne and gives "The Ladies Who Lunch" a tone it has never had before. It goes beyond drunken rage into sadness, anger, jealousy, bitterness, and a great ending. Also, Cox's rendition of "Getting Married Today" has to be the best version to date. The tempo has not been slowed at all, but every word is so clearly heard and the listener really feels Amy's frantic last minute jitters. I have found myself laughing out loud. Some versions in the revival have even changed my feelings about characters. For example, I disliked Harry enough that I never listened fully to "Sorry-Greatful" and it has now become one of my favorite songs in the revival. It is just the way the actors bring out the characters. It is saying quite a lot that that can be felt in the recording without seeing the revival live. Finally, the addition of "Marry Me A Little" is almost reason enough to buy this album. A must for Sondheim fans. However, don't miss out on the original. Elaine Stritch outdoes herself!

4-0 out of 5 stars A different side of Sondheim
If you want to see a new side to sondheim then I truly suggest this CD. It is different from his touching and more profound musicals. Bobby is the only person who is single amongst a group of friends, and each of these friends are giving him advice and trying to get him married. The score includes great musical numbers from a variety of well-knowns including Jane Krakowski, Robert Westenberg, and LaChanze. Highlights on this CD as opposed to the one from the 70's version are the addition of Bobby's number Marry Me A Little. Also Getting Married Today is a hilarious number done with in a deadpan style reminiscent of Madeleine Kahn. I promise that you will not be dissappointed. The only thing that could make this CD better would be the presence of Elaine Stritch, just because she is amazing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all!
Though the Original B Cast of Company is legendary, this is recording will be a wonderful addition to anyone's Sondheim collection. In my humble opinion the original is somewhat disturbed by the constant reprises of the Bobby-Bubi theme and some unpleasant (but nevertheless interresting) spoken parts. In addition this recording features the wonderful Marry Me A Little. Get the OBC immediately, but don't hesitate to buy this one as well!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim Fan Forever
I just got this CD after seeing a school production and after hearing some of the Original Cast. This is an excellent version, especially since the lyrics are included!. Could've had more pictures of the production, but oh well. All the vocals are excellent and sing with passion and feeling. The quality is much better than the original, but both are neck and neck in vocal talent. A must own. ... Read more

18. Godspell (2001 National Touring Cast)
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Asin: B000055T3P
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 48866
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair are often named as the two best "rock musicals," but Stephen Schwartz's Godspell--which opened off-Broadway in 1971 and on Broadway five years later--is, for many people, a sentimental favorite. The musical style involves consistently catchy pop and is inspirational without being preachy. Instead of presenting a linear narrative, the book is made up of a succession of vignettes illustrating biblical parables through a hippy prism--making it particularly easy to adapt and update. Directed by Schwartz's son Scott, this touring production (including new lyrics by Schwartz senior) is set in a hi-tech environment and incorporates references to video monitors and computers (which form an electronic crucifix). This revival is sometimes marred by weird arrangements (new orchestrations have been made by Alex Lacamoire)--as with the quasi drum & bass beat on "Tower of Babble" or the metallish guitar licks on "Save the People." Still, the performance presents an exuberantly youthful cast and is highly energetic. To hear an equally upbeat but less aggressive update of the show, you might want to check out the 2000 Off-Broadway cast recording. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, Pop Updating of this Musical
I've been a fan of "Godspell" for about 10 year now. Not too long after I first saw it, I bought the Original Cast Recording, and I've been enjoying it ever since. So I was very hesitant to buy this version. Boy, am I ever glad I did.

Without changing the songs in any significant way, the producers make the show feel contemporary with new arrangements and orchestration, not like it's stuck in the 1970's. I was able to sing along the first time through, while experiencing the musical in a whole new way. It's actually changed my opinion on several songs, most noticeably "Beautiful City" and "Turn Back, O Man."

I was also glad to get the "Prologue" and "Tower of Babble" songs. As far as I know, this is the only recording of these songs, and it's nice to have all the songs for this musical. I was also glad to see "We Beseech Thee" since it's one of my favorites.

This CD hasn't replaced my Original Cast Recording CD. But it's a great addition, and I'm glad I've added it to my collection. If you're a fan of this musical, buy this CD today and enjoy a classic with a modern feel.

5-0 out of 5 stars new and inviting music
This is a wonderful start for new people coming into the musical theatre scene. I am a friend of one of the persons on this cd and having him tell me stories of them on tour is a pure treat. along with listening to it is truly a great experience and a wonderufl way to get hooked on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific soundtrack!
I had the pleasure of seeing Godspell for the first time last month when it was performed by my daughter's high school theater troupe ( Shades Valley High School troupe #398.) It was wonderful and for the most part their performance was modeled after this particular version of the musical. The songs on this CD are full of life and energy. Especially enjoyable are "Tower of Babble" and "All for the Best." We did purchase one other version from the seventies but it had more of a folksy air to it and was basically very bland. This version will have you singing along and tapping your feet long after the music has stopped!

4-0 out of 5 stars a good look
being very familiar with this show - i've seen it a few times and just finished performing it (as "jeffrey") - i was pleased to see another revival of godspell out on the market. i have to admit, at first it didn't strongly catch my attention. the opening is cool - it blends instrumentals from "day by day" with "finale" and a couple of other things. "tower of babble" falters - the techno/dance beat just didn't do it for me. from there on, though, the reworking is nearly perfect. an interesting approach on "bless the lord", where they chose to tone it down a bit and make it groove a little more (compare that to the original), and it came out sounding great. "light of the world" has a sort of funk-bass groove to it, and the harmonies on the chorus ("so let your light...") are excellent. they chose to put "beautiful city" at the beginning of the second act (great place for it), as well as make it rock out a lot more and add in the entire cast (when i did it, it was slow, almost remorseful, with just jesus, and was put right before the last supper). that changed my view of that song altogether. "we beseech thee" is done to a gospel-type style, and it works perfectly (compare that to the hoedown-ish original and 2000's reggae mix). and as always, "finale" is energetic and emotional.

seriously, my only complaint is "tower of babble". besides that, the cast and musicians managed to update "godspell" to rock out, while still preserving all the meaning of the text. i'd recommend buying the 2000 version alongside this one, especially if you're as obsessed with this show as i am! good work, guys.

5-0 out of 5 stars An update with freshness and power
This version of Godspell really shows that it is more than a classic musical in the sense of Oklahoma, but a timeless work of art that can be stylistically reworked and still carry astonishing power. For the most part, this version stays true to the original where needed ("All for the Best") while bringing some of the songs fully into the 21st century with the wonderful work of an outstanding band ("Bless the Lord", "All Good Gifts", "Light of the World"). Even in the songs that exhibited little change benefit from the outstanding backing musicians. The arrangement of "We Beseech Thee" as a revival style number is stunning as well. The only dissapointment is with the updated version of "Turn Back O Man" which really should be done in the style of the original.

I highly recommend this CD to anyone who loves Godspell and wants to hear it brought up to date. ... Read more

19. Grease: The New Broadway Cast Recording (1994 Revival)
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Asin: B000003FRJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 27249
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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The 1978 film has become such a fixture in Grease lore that any subsequent recording of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's '50s tuner needs clear disclaimers, this 1994 Broadway revival cast included.What it doesn't have: "Grease," "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Sandy," "You're the One That I Want," and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. What it does have: "Those Magic Changes" winningly delivered by former Star Search champion Sam Harris; "Alone at the Drive-in Movie" in vocal, not instrumental form; striking choral arrangements (including the a cappella opener); Broadway's most famous fan, Rosie O'Donnell, appearing as Rizzo; and an energetic and suitably young cast led by Ricky Paull Goldin (Danny) and Susan Wood (Sandy). All in all, it's an enjoyable conception of the show as realized by Tommy Tune. Note that when Brooke Shields replaced O'Donnell in 1995, a new recording was issued, exactly the same as this one except with new tracks by Shields replacing O'Donnell's. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars Disastrous
I saw the revival on Broadway and a friend later gave me the cast recording. Both were tremendous disappointments--were I the most avid hater of Grease, I could not have done the show or its music a greater disservice.

First of all, let's start with the fact that this is supposed to be music from the 50s, yet barely any of it sounds like it is. Moreover, the arrangements are bland and unimagitive, as if done by anemic musicians who, not having had their shots of hemoglobin and exhausted by 4:00PM, simply wanted to get it over with. And some of the best songs are simply destroyed; consider, for exemple, the muddled medly towards the end, which, with its overdone tempo and graceless tone, is hardly a substitute for the "All Choked Up" number from the original Broadway version that it substitutes.

If you're a fan either of Grease or of Broadway shows in general, steer clear from this one--it is a huge disappointment. On the other hand, I do recommend the original cast recording: it is fun, lively, energetic, and arranged and sung by far more competent musicians and singers.

3-0 out of 5 stars A weak version
This is a fairly unimpressive recording. But I don't know if it's the recordings fault or whoever decided to dumb down Grease. Songs have been removed, others inserted and the whole show just seems really silly and unimpressive. The lead vocals are ok, but some of the others (like Rosie O'Donnell) are a joke. If you're a die hard Grease fan then you might enjoy this CD, I myself don't care for it too much

3-0 out of 5 stars not the best revival
the original (not movie version) is so much better. they add and get rid of some songs. and personally rosie is not that impressive. we did this at my high school and the house was packed and our rizzo and kenickie rocked! anyway, if you liek broadway, get the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grease is the word...again...and again...and again.
Everyone loves Grease, myself included. It's practically an American tradition. However, it's also one of the most overdone musicals. This CD added so much excitement to the show, and reminded me of why I loved Grease in the first place. (Before I saw it and heard it 900 times) Rosie O'Donell doesn't have the best voice in the world, but it's certainly charming and not even slightly painful. Susan Wood has a fabulous voice as Sandy. Some standout songs are "Those Magic Changes", "Since I Don't Have You", and "Freddy My Love". Marty is played and sung by Megan Mulally who many know from Will and Grace. Get this CD: if you love Rosie O'Donell or Megan Mulally, if you want to know the real version of Grease, or if you want an upbeat fun to listen to Broadway CD. Don't get this CD: if you aren't a musical lover and just like Grease, or if you are expecting an amazingly profound story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great recording!
This recording is much better than the movie version that everyone knows. The movie's soundtrack is good, i will admit that. But this recording sounds so much more energized for the new generation of music lovers! The cast is great and they DO NOT sound like "chippettes"! They sound like teenagers, and they should, they are supposed to be seniors in high school. This cd also has a great deal more music than the movie did. Rosie O'Donnel may not be able to sing, but she does know how to make people laugh at her jokes. She is perfectly cast as Rizzo. The supporting cast is impressive. Especially Billy Porter's(teen angel) gospel version of Beauty School Dropout. Enjoy this cd as i did! P.S.---i am proud to be the first person to review this cd with more than 2 sentences! ... Read more

20. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1991 London Revival Cast)
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Asin: B000001DUI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5477
Average Customer Review: 3.42 out of 5 stars
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If you were to think this 1991 London revival cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat sounds a lot like the 1992 Canadian revival cast and the 1993 Los Angeles revival cast, you'd be right. All three use the glitzy version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's school-cantata-turned-musical based on the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, which debuted with this London revival in 1991 and became the basis for most subsequent productions, as well as the video version. Yes, the "Joseph Megamix" is here, along with the witty lyrics and catchy melodies that borrow freely from country, calypso, French cafés, and Elvis--as well as favorites "Any Dream Will Do," "Close Every Door," and "Go, Go, Go Joseph." And orchestral credits, cover art, and running time are almost exactly the same, leading one to believe that the various casts recorded their vocals over the same prerecorded orchestral tracks.

So is there any difference between the three? Yes, the singers, most notably the role of the narrator and the title character. This London production starred Linzi Hateley as the narrator and Australian pop singer Jason Donovan as Joseph. For the 1992 Canadian cast, former teen pop sensation Donny Osmond took over the title role, with Janet Metz as the narrator. In Los Angeles in 1993, Michael Damian was Joseph and Kelli Rabke the narrator. All the narrators are solid, though Hateley is probably the best overall. The biggest difference is Osmond, the clear winner with a terrific voice and irresistible warmth, contrasted with Donovan's somewhat thick and heavy singing and Damian's rather deliberate pronunciation. You really don't need more than one of these Josephs, and the Canadian cast is the one to have. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A JOSEPH soundtrack that sweeps the board perfectly.
I have heard no less than FIVE official English JOSEPH cast recordings, and I feel compelled to say that this version with Jason Donovan in the eponymous title character is the best of all I've heard. Jason Donovan brings a level of emotion into his portrayal that seems to be missing from Donny Osmond's (a little) and Michael Damian's (a lot) portrayals. He really understands the essence of his songs, and he never fails to incorporate this into his glossy polished performance. The fact that he performs the role with a sense of being naive gives him an edge over his contendors. Linzi Hateley's portrayal of the Narrator is, like Kelli Rabke's and Janet Metz of the American revival soundtracks, and Laurie Beechman's of the first professional American version, a real treat for the ears. The things that she shares with them is her charisma, immediate presence and love for telling the story. Her voice is lively and energetic, and her performance is enough to count her as another defining highlight, like Donovan. Perhaps the most impressive part of this performance is David Easter's portrayal of the Elviessque Pharaoh. Not only does he give an authentic Elvis accent, but he really makes the part his own and includes a few touches of humour into his "Seven Fat Cows" song, turning it into the most ticklish number on this CD. The brothers, though they are more human on this recording than others, deliver powerful choral backings and make the most of their songs. Nicolas Colicos's "One More Angel," Philip Cox's "Canaan Days" and Johnny Amobi's "Benjamin Calypso" all resonate for an extremely long time in the memory. Johnny Amobi's "Calypso,", I should say, is the best rendition of all those I've heard. The supporting chorus contribute superlative quality performances, though you can't hear them on some numbers, resulting from the slightly poor mixing job, that does not affect the high quality of the recorded sound. This doesn't matter as you can make out what they are singing. As for Aubrey Woods, he makes the parts of Jacob and Potiphar his own, and delivers an extremely fierce and powerful roar towards the end of Potiphar's song. The orchestrations are well done and well-characterised, and the Elizabethan-ballad-styled "Go, Go, Go, Joseph" is extremely telling. This is not as cheesy as some may think, as only two synthesizers were used. Overall, I can safely say that because of the highest quality performance presented on this recording, if you want to buy just one record of this entertaining musical, you should make it this one. It is miles better than the seemingly-dated Original Broadway version, or the American revivals, (I have no bias against the American recordings, but it is just that the high quality of this version is not there. Nevertheless, the Americans make the musical their own and do their best at it despite the lack of justice they do to the show.)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Definitive recording of Joseph and the ......
Of the more recent recordings of Joseph, this London revival recording is by far the most superior! Nothing against Michael Damian or Donny Osmond, but Jason Donovan really brings an emotional level to this production that I've not seen before. Once upon a time a hugely popular daytime drama actor in Austrailia, Donovan and fellow soap actor Kylie Minogue hit it big in the recording industry. While neither of their talents we really marketed properly (they we force fed songs from same outfit that produced Rick Astley), their voices are really quite remarkable. Donovan's voice is superb and Joseph really let's us hear that. Get this recording and you'll never need another of this, Lloyd Webber's one and only really really great musical!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Musical Forecast
My parents should have known that I would become a musical theatre actress because at age 8, I walked down to the record shop on the corner and aclmly chose this cd. it was mainly because I thought the cover was pretty, but hey, it still counts, right?

I was hooked from Hately's first, breathy yet powerful words . . . Some folks dream of the wonders they'll do before their time on this planet is through . . .

My entire family knows Joseph inside and out, backwards and forwards, and I love it still, at age 20. That original copy was worn out, and so were my two subsequent copies. I have heard other ecordings and seen the dvd as well as participated in a few productions myself, but in my mind, none can compare to this, the definitive Joseph.

Hately screams out the high g's and belts the low f's. She rocks with emotion and swirls with despair along with Donovan, who aside from being great looking can also sing incredibly. He is really the only Joseph I have heard or seen who captures both the innocence of the 18 year old boy at the beginning and the wise, knowledgable man Jseph becomes at the end. Donovan's best song is the unforgettable any Dream will do, while Close Every Door and joseph's Deams are teriffic as well. Hately's best would be her Prologue and Pharaoh Story, which is the best song in the entire show.

Forget Donny Osmond, Philip Scholfield and Michael Damian! Jason Donovan is THE Joseph. Hear him, and bow before his awesome vocal talents. Hey, I'm exaggerating, but at least listen to the recording that changed my like, okay?

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Jason Donovan and the vivacious Liz Hately do this classic a great service I just love the opening and the megamix at the end

3-0 out of 5 stars Well...
As you listen to the music of this version of one of Sir Webber's highest accomplishments, the natural wonder of the music sweeps over you. I love the music from this play and the story with it as well, it is all very original. However, I feal that the people whom took part in making this revival presentation were not the best qualified. The woman whom portrays the narrator I think would pull off a higher singing part much better. But nothing could completely destory the Music of JATATD. But I am also very displeased with the sleve of the cover of this CD. Come on, I as an artist could come up with something much better than just the words arranged as a coat on a hanger. ... Read more

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