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Posted October 1, 2010
Quite possibly the better of the two major English CATS recordings
Between the original London cast and this Broadway cast album of CATS, I find this version to be the better of the two. Not to do a disservice to Elaine Paige and the original London Cast, but there is more theatricality and energy in this version, helped by the beneficial revisions that have served to improve the score. The cast is uniformly excellent, with Buckley's melancholic hues lending themselves perfectly to the role of Grizabella, and Ken Page a benevolent Old Deuteronomy. Terrence Mann's Tugger and Harry Groener's Munkustrap complete the superb cast, lending character to their portrayals of the Jellicle cats. Although this recording still has cuts in the dance sections, and does not include the Pekes and the Pollicles sequence, this remastered issue allows the recording to sound much better than on the original Geffen and Polydor CDs that had horrid sound quality. I know it may sound less sinewy than the London cast version, but the musical arrangements are much livelier and perhaps more alert. The set now comes with an improved libretto booklet that offers the lyrics in better font, but yet still contains some typo errors and does not utilise the page space. But ultimately the music is more important, so I would greatly recommend this version over the London cast version.
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Posted December 1, 2008
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