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One singular sensation... "One singular sensation..." (Toronto, Canada)

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Miss Spectacular - 2002 Studio
Miss Spectacular - 2002 Studio
Price: CDN$ 11.10
22 used & new from CDN$ 11.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Too bad it was never fully fleshed out...with a new plot and more songs, Dec 19 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"Miss Spectacular" contains some of Jerry Herman's best songs as well as at least two that would be cut somewhere along the way as the show worked its way to Broadway. The performances are terrific with each singer given a terrific solo, except for David Gaines who just doesn't do justice to a merely serviceable song - I'm not sure whose fault that is as Gaines is usually much better. Perhaps it is because his solo, the only ballad, comes too late in the score - probably the fault of a truly bad book that would have been jettisoned quickly had the show been produced.
The best element in this score is the sense of fun and joy that fills it. The worst is that some of the arrangements, those that do not involve the singers, seem to have been worked out by someone with very little understanding of Herman or musicals. They make the piece seem forced and heavy, and the "Exit Music", and possibly the "Finale" would have been better off not being included.
But it is always a pleasure to listen to the songs that pour out of Jerry Herman, and these should most often not be viewed as rejects but undiscovered treasures we can all now enjoy.

Sings The Select Cole Porter
Sings The Select Cole Porter
Offered by dodax-online
Price: CDN$ 5.99
19 used & new from CDN$ 5.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Capital Recycling, but doing it well., Dec 9 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is essentially a collection of Cole Porter songs that Sinatra and Nelson Riddle's orchestra performed on a good many old Capital records.
But they sound great together. I purchased the CD because I disliked the soundtrack of "High Society" - too many wasted musical moments, most of them involving Bing Crosby - but Sinatra's two beautiful and romantic ballads are included here and Porter seldom wrote anything as lovely as "Mind If I Make Love to You?" or "You're Sensational".
Now I have them in my collection and they conclude a lovely time reliving Sinatra singing great songs by a master composer set to great arrangements.
Worth the price anytime.

Coming Home
Coming Home
Price: CDN$ 14.89
25 used & new from CDN$ 13.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You have to love her., Dec 9 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Coming Home (Audio CD)
This isn't my favourite Kristin Chenoweth album, only because though she is a charmer, less talk and more of her wonderful voice singing would have helped. I know it is taken from a television special, and it is special, but some of the songs get a little short-shift. Her weakest performance - and it is still really good - is the first song which is not quite in the right key to demonstrate the lady's perfect voice, and perhaps she takes it too fast and was nervous about being 'home'. But after that - clear the tracks, cause this is a great trip.
But it is time to stop talking about her being shorter than average. She has a very large spirit, huge soul, and gigantic talent.

Somethin' Real Special (Songs of Dorothy Fields)
Somethin' Real Special (Songs of Dorothy Fields)
Price: CDN$ 22.06
26 used & new from CDN$ 13.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Chaffin is, as always, fantastic!, Dec 9 2014
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Dorothy Fields' songs have never sounded better, been presented better, so that this is a CD that belongs in the collection of everyone who loves beautiful music done magnificently.
If you've never heard of Chaffin, please do yourself a favour and buy this CD. There isn't a weak moment. The man's tenor voice is breathtakingly beautiful and capable of quite a range. His sense of style and class is simple, clear, complex, original, flawless.

Put this CD on, sit back, and enjoy one of the best CD's to come along in quite some time.

The Fall [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français)
The Fall [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Lee Pace
Offered by Moviezone
Price: CDN$ 20.99
19 used & new from CDN$ 20.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst recent film!!!!!, Dec 9 2014
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There are two good aspects to this DVD - the blue -ray box has an interesting cover, and Lee Pace gives a good performance - but in a badly underwritten part.

The plot is dreadfully badly written. Much of it is a foolish fairy tale comprised of bad acting, costumes rejected from an Off-Broadway musical, illogal moments, villains that one would laugh at except that they are too stupid, which gives any hero no chance to be one. One major part is performed by an untalented child who reads her lines as though she has been drugged. The true plot was Lee Pace's storyline - but it really isn't here. We get to know nothing about him except that he has a cathartic moment, but true, logical clue. He has no past and no future and all that is clear about his present is that he wants to kill himself because he can't feel his toes.If you cannot care about your main character, no fault of the actor, why bother with a film that presents him as seriously, mysteriously, "we can't think of a reason why" in a hospital where the staff seems almost totally absent.
The director should never be let near another script or camera, and the screenplay is written with all the skill of grade one students who have no true idea of human emotions or interactions.

Spike Jonze, credited with the production, discredited would be more accurate, must have had a juicy tax break with the losses this piece occurred. It was, as a previous reviewer noted, filmed in many countries. It could all have been done in any Southwestern state. I suspect most countries kicked them out when they saw what a mess it was.

Poor Lee Pace. he is one of the most talented and underrated of actors. This movie must have seriously damaged him as a commodity in movie-making. Pity.

Don't buy it. Don't rent it. Avoid it on television. It is an extremely dull, silly, unintelligently made film that will waste your time and raise your blood pressure.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Hugh Jackman
Price: CDN$ 15.49
14 used & new from CDN$ 10.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately I can't give it four and a half stars!, Nov. 23 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
That's a wrap!

This is the perfect conclusion to the X-Men series. All the ends are tied up, the characters have revealed the last of their secrets. The ultimate villain is gone. But in about two years they will find some way of resurrecting it, the temptation being just too great.

And they could have used Halle Berry just a bit more, and used a less obvious body double for Hugh Jackman. Wolverine is not, after all, The Hulk. But having said that, what they have done is bring all of the films together, sometimes quite surprisingly. You thought someone was dead, and you get a surprise, and a nice one at that. And to see the two elder statesmen of the series together is their best scenes together - wonderful.

And if you want special effects, they have them all, so sit back and enjoy an intelligent trip through the future, past, and present of the X-Men. It is a journey well worth taking, and if you have seen any of the previous films, you have to see this one to fit all the pieces of the puzzle into their proper place.

Warm Spring Night
Warm Spring Night
Price: CDN$ 18.59
18 used & new from CDN$ 11.61

5.0 out of 5 stars I love it! It is the perfect blend of new ..., Nov. 23 2014
This review is from: Warm Spring Night (Audio CD)
I love it!

It is the perfect blend of new material, all great, and old standards, done freshly and with Chaffin in charge, sensational.
The man has yet to record an 'average' CD. They are all fantastic. The reconstructed old shows that he often does seldom allow him to let loose. On his CD's, Chaffin is gloriously in charge and his voice is the best tenor out there. The voice alone makes you wish you knew this man; he has to be a terrific person to sing that superbly.
And if you want a little more, the fabulous Rebecca Luker joins him on one terrific number.

Buy this CD only if you want to enjoy the best, most perfectly performed collection of marvellous songs.

Band Wagon [Blu-ray] [Import]
Band Wagon [Blu-ray] [Import]
Price: CDN$ 18.80

5.0 out of 5 stars "The Bandwagon"!! It doesn't get any better!!!, Nov. 23 2014
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"Singing in the Rain" is more lovable. "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" has the best dance sequence. But..."The Bandwagon" is the very best musical ever to come out of Hollywood, no matter what studio one considers! It is sheer perfection. And that is part of the miracle. Almost the entire cast was experiencing some tragedy or grief in their lives at the time it was made, yet, somehow it all came together to be fantastically fabulous. Astaire's wife was dying. Fabray was being treated abysmally by Levant and Minnelli didn't stop it. After this movie, she left Hollywood and went back to Broadway. Jack Buchanan and his dentist were fighting to save his absessed teeth. Charisse was the only one not experiencing trouble, though she had to watch number after number of hers, filmed, get pulled out of the film. Levant had his usual temper tantrums, but accelerated them to major explosions causing his part to get smaller and smaller which resulted in more tantrums.But "That's Entertainment", the only new song in the show, sums up the result, for no matter what the cast went through, the audience is in for the greatest fun and spectacle that a musical ever presented to us. Astaire has his usual fabulous solos, his work with Fabray and Buchanan is sensational, and with Charisse, well, "Dancing in the Dark" is probably the most romantic and beautiful number ever put on film...even without the lyrics, which at this point in the story, would have been wrong. Neither has ever been better, together or apart. Even Rogers stated that she would have given anything to have done that number with Astaire- it really is that great. But so are all the numbers - from "The Girl Hunt", read a Mickey Spillane book first and then watch it and you'll see how brilliantly it captures the sex and danger of that sort of story, and then makes fun of it every step of the way - to the short numbers such as "New Sun in the Sky", which is completely gorgeous in its use of colour and staging. Enjoy Fabray's "Louisiana Hayride" and watch for the prop man at the left wandering on screen and off. MGM's editors missed him, and it just adds to the fun. And then there's "Triplets" - no special effects unless dancing on your knees qualifies - and one of the funniest songs ever put on film. I could keep going on for every song is staged magnificently. Oh, an interesting point; the man who shines Astaire's shoes in "A Shine on Your Shoes" never was in another film. MGM found him shining shoes for a living, and hired him for the job. Who knew he's be able to dance? But he sure can, and it sure adds enjoyment to the number knowing that the guy really had that as his job, and went back to it after because "movies are too hard".
As to the plot, fluff? No. But nobody is dying, nobody is suicidal, nobody hates someone and wants revenge, no cars go racing up and down the streets of San Francisco or New York. Boy meets girl. Boy is terrified that they won't work as a couple in a play that is to be his comeback because she is too tall. Sound familiar? Of course. It's exactly what Fred was doing, a comeback, and what he dreaded, Charisse was too tall for him. But it works out without a fairy godmother or some weird coincidence that we know is false. It works out because of the nature of the people involved. In that sense, it is one of the most realistic musicals ever made.
It doesn't put a foot wrong. It is ENTERTAINMENT in every good sense of the word. Want to smile? Want to feel that there is love in the world? Watch "The Bandwagon". I do, about once every two or three months....for years now.

Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Price: CDN$ 23.56
7 used & new from CDN$ 20.59

3.0 out of 5 stars On Sale, this century only, $1,000.00, Nov. 13 2014
This review is from: Billion Dollar Baby (Audio CD)
Time does strange things to some Broadway shows. A few become better and better as time goes on, and not only because our memories fade of all that was wrong with them. Some, on the other hand, head for the dungeon of musical despair and the mere mention of them is enough to curse one for life. "Billion Dollar Baby" falls somewhere in between, though it would tend toward the latter if not for Kristin Chenoweth who manages not only to keep her head above water while those about her, try as they might to give their all, go down to the depths of musical mire, but also to give a wickedly clever interpretation of her character in her singing.

The lyrics are by Comden and Greene, at the beginning of their association, and just before "On the Town" bounced onto Broadway. "Town" had Leonard Bernstein, not always a guarrantee of success, whereas "Baby" had Morton Gould, who, though a fine composer in the right element, had little emotional connection with the music of a Broadway show. Sadly, for our times at least, it is the dullness of the score that drags this show down more than anything else. It might have been better when first produced, but Broadway has come so far that ten years after this show opened, it was already dreadfully dated.

But for Chenoweth fans - and those who are not should be whipped in public - just once and with an olive branch - this is a CD to add to your collection to give a solid picture of the range of the lady's considerable vocal and performance talents.

Kittys Kisses
Kittys Kisses
Price: CDN$ 17.99
19 used & new from CDN$ 12.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Cotton candy has never tasted better, Nov. 13 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kittys Kisses (Audio CD)
It is nice to have one of the old shows on CD, and though the songs are pleasant enough, a little too much fluff, perhaps, it is the singers that make this a CD that one simply has to own. Each listening will be better than the wonderful first time you sit down and let it wash over you.

Rebecca Luker, a goddess, Kate Baldwin, a genius with a song, and Philip Chaffin, the best male voice out there - and others who are almost as good, but these three are the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top all rolled in one. If you haven't heard Chaffin, you've missed one of music's greatest pleasures. And Luker, listen to her and you'll keep falling in love with her again and again. Kate Baldwin is the sweetest siren Broadway has to offer.

The show is solid from start to finish, but, oh, if there was only one song that touched both the heart and the mind. Kern could have done it. So could Porter. Or Hart. Or Fielding.

The only other review here was a little disturbed by the ending. So we go to Rogers and Astaire - and I'm not sure we do - so what? It just adds an unexpected element of sugar to the candy floss.

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