on June 8, 2004
There is a sort of taboo amongst the theatrical elite in speaking ill of the original cast recording of a show. It is considered holier, as it were, to extohl the virtues of, for example, Richard Burton's King Arthur over Richard Harris in the film version (Referring of course to "Camelot"). However if I have learned anything from my somewhat limited career as an afficianado of musical theatre and all that it implies, it's that some shows desperately needed a do-over. One such show is "Bye Bye Birdie" which, if you know anything about the Broadway version of, is completely flawed in its conception. The plot makes no sense, the relationships are vague and what the hell are they dong putting Chita Rivera in that role? For these reasons I give you the soundtrack to the film version which, though both Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynde were displeased with it, solves most of the originals' problems. The addition of a domineering mother for Albert, the redefinition of his relationship to Rosie, indeed the only inferior element of the film is the insane subplot involving Albert's creation of a drug which is, essentially, Speed. So do what I'm doing: sell your copy of the Broadway soundtrack and buy the movie version. If for no other reason than it eliminates bad songs like "An English Teacher," "What Did I Ever See In Him" and the completley out of left field "Spanish Rose."