"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Hello, Dolly" Carol Channing. Sugar and spice, salt and pepper, Rodgers and Hart. And what happens when you take Channing out of the mix? "Hello, Dolly" works with anyone. Even Betty Grable was serviceable. Lana Turner could probably have staggered through it. The show cannot be destroyed. Well done, Mr. Herman. "Blondes", well, that's a different kettle of fish. The movie has taken over as it was so dramatically changed to suit Marilyn Monroe, and she was fabulous - though I preferred Jane Russell as Dorothy. The updated version, "Lorelei", was a major misstep for everyone, but gave a new audience a chance to see Channing as the gold digger, who didn't know she was one, with a heart. So, is there life in the old girl yet?
Not really. The show is like an elderly relative whom you love because of what she was, not what she is. It is a bright moment in history, with some clever songs, a few that are beautiful, and some that are total duds.Can a young cast bring them to life? God bless them, they try, but the ghosts of the past do them in time after time. Perhaps if the listener is totally unaware of Channing's Lorelei this recording will soar. For those who remember her, this version struggles, takes off now and then, and then crashes with a thud....and rises again. Game cast. So I like having it in my collection, but I hit the button to skip too much to make it a treasure.
Is it worth buying? Depends on your age, I suspect. I'm on the cusp, so I do enjoy it. Younger Broadway fans should become solid fans while older Broadwayites will pass it by, and, for them, nothing will be missed.