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Posted October 1, 2010
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The first thing to be said about this CD is that Mike Eldred's performance as Tony is simply awe-inspiring. His style is the perfect blend of operatic power and broadway punch. Granted, he can't quite deliver the Sinatra swing that "Something's Coming" demands, but that's partly due to the unusually slow tempo for that number. His "Maria" is certainly the best I've ever heard that song.
Betsi Morrison plays a charming Maria. Her rendition of "I Feel Pretty" has a sparkle that many Marias lack (it tends to be in sort of an awkward range for sopranos). She can hold her own alongside Eldred's Tony, which is saying something.
As a whole, this recording adeptly highlights all of the out-of-control energy and heart-wrenching emotion that make West Side Story an unforgettable musical and Leonard Berstein a brilliant, if slightly insane, composer. In particular, the Act I closer, "Tonight" sends chills down my spine every time, and "Gee, Officer Krupke" has just the right vaudevillian charm. The cast and orchestra alike deliver a quality performance that deserves a place in anyone's CD library, as a first copy, or alongside the original.
Being a fan of Leonard Bernstein and the music of west side story, I figured I would give this version a try. It lacks in energy. I would stick with the original broadway score and look forward to a verson of the new broadway cast.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.