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Reviews Written by
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood)

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Come On-A My House
Come On-A My House
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Price: CDN$ 83.80
3 used & new from CDN$ 57.41

4.0 out of 5 stars fine collection of Rosemary Clooney greats, Jan. 27 2004
This review is from: Come On-A My House (Audio CD)
This collection from UK label Prism includes 28 classic tracks from the legendary Rosemary Clooney.
Of course, included are Clooney standards like "Come On-a My House", "Tenderly", "Half As Much", "Botch-a-Me" and "Blues in the Night". Clooney also teamed with Marlene Dietrich for two chart-topping duets, and both are featured here - "Too Old to Cut the Mustard" and "Good for Nothin'".
"Sisters", the duet first introduced by Clooney in WHITE CHRISTMAS (with a dubbed Vera-Ellen), is sung here with Clooney's real-life sister Betty.
And, like them or loathe them, included are a selection of novelty tunes that were forced on Clooney by the then-president of Columbia Records, Mitch Miller: "Willie the Whistling Giraffe" and "I Wish I Wuz". Faring much better are the cover versions of 4 tunes from Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Clooney's rendition of "All in the Golden Afternoon" is a particular delight.
A good collection, at a bargain price. [PRISM PLATCD-923]

Sings Rosemary Clooney
Sings Rosemary Clooney
Offered by MusicShoppingParty
Price: CDN$ 3.54
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Bette pays tribute to the First Lady of Song - Rosie Clooney, Jan. 27 2004
This review is from: Sings Rosemary Clooney (Audio CD)
This lovely album from Bette Midler is one of her best yet. Miss Midler pays loving tribute to legendary song stylist Rosemary Clooney in this collection of songs, produced by Barry Manilow.
Midler tackles Clooney standards like "This Ole House", "Tenderly", "Come On-a My House" and "Memories of You" with great skill. If there is one singer who has the chops to do these songs justice, it's Miss Midler.
Midler also does a beautiful rendition of THE PAJAMA GAME's ballad "Hey There", and joins Barry Manilow for the duet "On a Slow Boat to China". Linda Ronstadt joins Bette for "Sisters", the comical duet first introduced by Clooney in WHITE CHRISTMAS. Also from that memorable movie is the Title Song, sung by Midler in such a fashion that it makes the song new again.
Perhaps the one wrong number is "Mambo Italiano", which seems too overheated. And, at just over 30 minutes, the disc is a little brief.
However, this heartfelt tribute to the late Miss Rosemary Clooney is a delight, pure and simple. [COLUMBIA 5125062000]

Price: CDN$ 16.00
32 used & new from CDN$ 3.89

4.0 out of 5 stars fine Liza Minnelli vehicle, Jan. 27 2004
THE ACT was written for the talents of Liza Minnelli by her logtime friends and collaborators John Kander and Fred Ebb. It earned Miss Minnelli a Tony Award, though quickly began to flounder when she became ill and started missing performances.
THE ACT was built for Liza, so we're not going to see a revival of this show. The score is second-rate when you compare it to other Kander-Ebb scores like CABARET, CHICAGO and even THE RINK.
Liza Minnelli is the only reason to buy this cast album, where she belts out numbers like "Shine It On", "There When I Need Him", "Walking Papers" and the gorgeous ballad "It's the Strangest Thing".
A fine testament to Miss Minnelli's talents. [DRG CDRG6101]

70 Girls 70
70 Girls 70
Offered by gabysbookscanada
Price: CDN$ 38.00
5 used & new from CDN$ 29.04

4.0 out of 5 stars a peculiar-yet beguiling Broadway musical, Jan. 27 2004
This review is from: 70 Girls 70 (Audio CD)
70 GIRLS 70 was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, best-remembered for their firecracker CABARET and CHICAGO scores. This 1971 offering was based on the British play BREATH OF SPRING (later turned into the film MAKE MINE MINK) about a motley group of seniors who steal furs and money from young people, in order to help the elderly and less-fortunate.
The show featured an amazing lineup of regal old-timers headed by Mildred Natwick, Hans Conried and Lillian Roth, and also featured Henrietta Jacobson, Lillian Hayman, Dorothea Freitag and Lucie Lancaster. 70 GIRLS 70 shuttered after 35 performances.
The score yielded at least one hit: "Yes", which became a staple in Liza Minnelli's repertoire for years. Other great numbers include "Go Visit" (a showstopping turn for Henrietta Jacobson and young Tommy Breslin); "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup"; "Broadway, My Street" and "The Elephant Song".
Still, a must-own for Broadway enthusiasts. [SONY SK-30589]

Finians Rainbow (Rm) (W/1 Prev
Finians Rainbow (Rm) (W/1 Prev
Offered by MusicShoppingParty
Price: CDN$ 27.99
5 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Ella Logan and the classic Lane-Harburg score, Jan. 27 2004
This lovely reissue of FINIAN'S RAINBOW is a real treat. The Burton Lane-E.Y. Harburg score includes classic numbers like "Look to the Rainbow", "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?", "Something Sort of Grandish" and "That Old Devil Moon".
It catapulted the beguiling Ella Logan to Broadway stardom, in the plum lead role of Sharon; and also featured a commanding performance by David Wayne as the leprechaun Og.
This new reissue of the peerless 1947 original cast album has been remastered from the original, almost-pristine acetate master discs, which had remained untouched since the recording was originally made. These acetate discs contained alternate 'takes' of the numbers as well as additional music cues and dialogue. Presented here for the first time is the complete "That Great Come-and-Get-It Day". There are also demos of 3 songs performed by E.Y. Harburg himself.
Highly-recommended. [SONY SK-89208]

Greatest Musicals
Greatest Musicals
6 used & new from CDN$ 2.90

5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic collection of tracks, Jan. 27 2004
This review is from: Greatest Musicals (Audio CD)
This lovely 3-disc set comprises many wonderful selections from the musicals, many from rare and deleted recordings. They are mostly drawn from the original London cast albums, though there are also many enjoyable cover versions and instrumentals.
Highlights include "I Feel Pretty" and "Maria" from WEST SIDE STORY (Marlys Watters and Don McKay from the London cast); "Rose Marie" and "Indian Lovecall" from ROSE MARIE (a great studio album with Barbara Leigh and David Hughes); "Always True to You in My Fashion" and "So in Love" from KISS ME KATE (the London cast with Patricia Morison, Julie Wilson and Bill Johnson); "Hernando's Hideaway" and "Small Talk" from THE PAJAMA GAME (Joy Nichols, Edmund Hockridge and Elizabeth Seal from the London cast).
Other delights include "I'll See You Again" from BITTER SWEET (from a lovely studio album with Roberto Cardinali and Vanessa Lee); two selections from BLESS THE BRIDE with Georges Guetary and Lizbeth Webb; three tracks from the Noel Coward-Mary Ellis album of THE DANCING YEARS; Eve Boswell's rendition of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" from PAL JOEY; to Howard Keel singing "The Music of the Night" from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
One of the biggest surprises is the inclusion of 2 songs from the London cast of BLITZ!, which are "Leave It to the Ladies" and "Far Away", performed heartbreakingly by Grazina Frame.
Hopefully, now EMI might want to release some of these cast albums in their entirety on disc. This collection is pure heaven for show music collecters!

Nick & Nora
Nick & Nora
4 used & new from CDN$ 87.91

4.0 out of 5 stars one of the big cult-flops of the 90's, Jan. 26 2004
This review is from: Nick & Nora (Audio CD)
NICK & NORA was one of the big cult-flops of the 90's. It closed after little more than a week's worth of performances. The show had a lot riding with it: it was Joanna Gleason's followup to her Tony-winning performance in 1987's INTO THE WOODS, and it featured an up-and-comer called Faith Prince...
There are a few good numbers in this otherwise-lackluster score. Barry Bostwick and Joanna Gleason make good with the charming "Is There Anything Better Than Dancing?", Christine Baranski (TV's 'Cybill' and 'Welcome to New York') is the perfect comical soubrette in "Everybody Wants to Do a Musical" and Joanna Gleason is plaintive and romantic in the 11 o'clock number "Let's Go Home".
The musical also starred Remak Ramsay, Michael Lombard, Debra Monk, Yvette Lawrence, Kip Niven, Jeff Brooks (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Thom Sesma and Chris Sarandon.
Of course, a few good things came out of this huge failure; the biggest thing being the discovery of Faith Prince. Less than 2 years later she was starring as Miss Adelaide in a lavish revival of GUYS AND DOLLS, and won a Tony for her portrayal.
NICK & NORA is a must-have for fans of Broadway musicals, and fans of the delightful Joanna Gleason.

1957 Annie Get Your Gun
1957 Annie Get Your Gun
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Price: CDN$ 40.73
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mary Martin as the indomitable Annie Oakley, Jan. 21 2004
This review is from: 1957 Annie Get Your Gun (Audio CD)
ANNIE GET YOUR GUN came to the small screen in 1957, after completing a sell-out touring season. Mary Martin (PETER PAN, THE SOUND OF MUSIC) played the title role with John Raitt (THE PAJAMA GAME, CAROUSEL) as Frank Butler.
Mary Martin originated the role of Annie in the original national tour of the musical in 1948. This small-screen incarnation was part of a series of live presentations on NBC that also featured SATINS AND SPURS starring Betty Hutton and PETER PAN with Mary Martin and the original Broadway cast.
This cast album was recorded on the Capitol label a few days before the broadcast. Mary Martin is superb in the lead role, and John Raitt's booming, resonant voice is perfect for the role of Frank.
Highly-recommended. [ANGEL/BROADWAY ZDM 0777 7 64765 2 0]

Camelot: Highlights from the 1982 London Cast Production
Camelot: Highlights from the 1982 London Cast Production
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Price: CDN$ 29.01
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3.0 out of 5 stars good recording; Fiona Fullerton is a thrilling Guenevere, Jan. 21 2004
CAMELOT was revived in London in 1982 with Richard Harris reprising his role of Arthur from the 1967 movie version of the musical. Fiona Fullerton played the troubled Guenevere and Robert Meadmore essayed the role of the dashing Lancelot.
This album presents 'highlights' from the 1982 London revival (there is a higher-priced album on the JAY label, but I have never heard it). What you get here is all the main numbers from the show, with some fantastic performances from the leads.
Richard Harris had honed and refined his performance as Arthur since appearing in the movie version, and seems more comfortable with the songs here. Fiona Fullerton perfectly brings to life the flirty, naive Guenevere of the early scenes though copes less well with the shattered character of the final scene.
Robert Meadmore brings a thrilling voice to Lancelot, and the cast also features Claire Moore (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) as Nimue, Robin Bailey as Pellinore, Michael Howe as Mordred and William Squire as Merlyn.
A fine addition to your collection. [MADACY/SHOWTIME M-2-0763]

Oh Captain - Original Broadway
Oh Captain - Original Broadway
2 used & new from CDN$ 33.49

4.0 out of 5 stars colorful, tuneful late-50's Broadway score, Jan. 21 2004
OH CAPTAIN! is a delightful musical with Tony Randall, the underrated belter Susan Johnson (DONNYBROOK!, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA), Jacquelyn McKeever (the television version of WONDERFUL TOWN), Edward Platt, Paul Valentine and Stanley Carlson.
However, the musical is still best-remembered for a dance number featuring Alexandra Danilova and Randall. The zippy score is from Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Standout numbers include Susan Johnson's delicious belt in "Give It All You Got/Love is Hell", and the lovely "You're So Right for Me".
Abbe Lane also starred as Bobo in the musical, but was signed to another label and couldn't record her role for the Columbia cast album. On disc the role is played by Eileen Rodgers (FIORELLO!, ANYTHING GOES), and Lane was later replaced on Broadway by Dorothy Lamour, making her Broadway debut. [DRG 19030]

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