The Best of Broadway: The American Musical

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
No one is going to witness theatrical legends like Al Jolson, Ethel Merman, Alfred Drake, Mary Martin, and Zero Mostel (or, most likely, such contemporary vocal giants as Barbra Streisand or Julie Andrews) on a Broadway stage ever again, but thankfully, great performances from all of these stars, and more, have been captured. This captivating disc returns the magic of their unique artistry to us, as well as examples of such talented followers as Andrea McArdie, Betty Buckley, and Michael Crawford. Drawing from such beloved musicals as My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Funny Girl and West Side Story, as well as such present-day favorites as Phantom of the Opera, Wicked ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
No one is going to witness theatrical legends like Al Jolson, Ethel Merman, Alfred Drake, Mary Martin, and Zero Mostel (or, most likely, such contemporary vocal giants as Barbra Streisand or Julie Andrews) on a Broadway stage ever again, but thankfully, great performances from all of these stars, and more, have been captured. This captivating disc returns the magic of their unique artistry to us, as well as examples of such talented followers as Andrea McArdie, Betty Buckley, and Michael Crawford. Drawing from such beloved musicals as My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Funny Girl and West Side Story, as well as such present-day favorites as Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Hairspray, Best of Broadway gives us a delicious taste of just that. With a representative song from over 20 different shows, we are presented with a capsule history of the genre, its evolution and its artistic highpoints. The Great White Way, from its fabled classic era to today's renewed glory days, has never shone more brightly!
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
By now, the merchandising program is always in place when PBS sponsors another documentary series, whether one of Ken Burns' historical efforts or the films grouped under the heading The Blues in 2003, organized by Martin Scorsese: among other keepsakes, there is the coffee-table companion book, the DVD set, and, for the musical programs, the CD box set. All of these were rolled out in connection with Broadway: The American Musical, a six-part documentary broadcast in October 2004. And this single-disc CD is the cheapest item in the bunch unless, perhaps, there's also a coffee mug, much less expensive than the box set of five CDs. Although it is called The Best of Broadway: The American Musical, it is not exactly a reduction of that set. The compilers have taken the opportunity to make alternate choices of material one song per show in several instances. Here, the title song from Oklahoma! is picked instead of "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "America" from West Side Story replaces "Tonight," and the title song from Cabaret is employed instead of "Willkommen." The other 18 tracks all appear on the box set. Even at nearly 77 minutes, of course, this sort of collection is nothing more than a sampler, but since there are many similar compilations in the marketplace, it's worth noting that this one ranges across record labels and presents the original Broadway cast recordings wherever possible in excellent sound quality. Tracks like "Swanee" and "You're the Top" date from before the era of original-cast recordings that began in the 1940s, but do feature the original stage performers. Taking the Broadway musical from the 1910s to the 2000s in such a short length of time naturally makes for the occasional odd juxtaposition, but then that gives a sense of the variety of kinds of music subsumed under the term "show music." When Hair's "Let the Sunshine In" as it is called here; actually, the correct title is "The Flesh Failures" gives way to "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music, you can't help thinking that there's room on Broadway for some very different musical sensibilities, a notion only reinforced by the appearance of the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber "Memory," "The Music of the Night" toward the end. This also means that, no matter what Broadway fan listens to this disc, there will be some music likely not to appeal, which may indicate that the compilers have gotten it just about right. Not so impressive are Laurence Maslon's liner notes, which would have benefited from a more careful editor and proofreader, but even so are needlessly pretentious. Readers are likely to be sent to the dictionary after reading that "You're the Top" is a "bit of stichomythia" or that Michael Crawford is "gracefully crepuscular," only to discover that Maslon could have used simpler words to greater effect.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/5/2004
  • Label: Decca Broadway
  • UPC: 602498635360
  • Catalog Number: 000329502
  • Sales rank: 23,284

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 There's No Business Like Show Business - Ensemble (3:10)
  2. 2 Swanee, song (for Capital Revue, by various composers) (2:36)
  3. 3 Ol' Man River (4:07)
  4. 4 You're the Top - Johnny Green & His Orchestra (2:54)
  5. 5 Oklahoma! - Chorus (2:31)
  6. 6 Luck Be a Lady - The Guys (3:00)
  7. 7 I Could Have Danced All Night - Julie Andrews (3:31)
  8. 8 America - Shark Girls (4:34)
  9. 9 My Favorite Things - Mary Martin (2:47)
  10. 10 People (3:26)
  11. 11 If I Were a Rich Man (4:56)
  12. 12 The Impossible Dream (2:22)
  13. 13 Cabaret (4:30)
  14. 14 Let the Sunshine In - Cast (3:37)
  15. 15 Send in the Clowns (3:27)
  16. 16 One - Cast (4:45)
  17. 17 Tomorrow - Andrea McArdle (2:06)
  18. 18 Memory (3:37)
  19. 19 The Music of the Night - Michael Crawford (5:12)
  20. 20 Good Morning Baltimore - Marissa Jaret Winokur (3:42)
  21. 21 Defying Gravity (5:55)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ethel Merman Vocals
Paul Robeson Vocals
Barbra Streisand Vocals
Melba Moore Vocals
Al Jolson Vocals
Michael Crawford Vocals
Julie Andrews Vocals
Mary Martin Vocals
Robert Alda Vocals
Galt MacDermot Conductor
Betty Buckley Vocals
Alfred Drake Vocals
Don Pippin Conductor
Franz Allers Conductor
Johnny Green Conductor
Peter Howard Conductor
Zero Mostel Vocals
Milton Rosenstock Conductor
Victor Young Conductor
Marilyn Cooper Vocals
Andrea McArdle Vocals
Lynn Kellogg Vocals
James Rado Vocals
Richard Kiley Vocals
Johnny Green & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Victor Young & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Max Goberman Conductor
Milton Greene Conductor
Frederick Dvonch Conductor
Chita Rivera Vocals
Rene Wiegert Conductor
Harold Hastings Conductor
Jay Blackton Conductor
Irving Actman Conductor
Jill Haworth Vocals
Neil Warner Conductor
Idina Menzel Vocals
Kristin Chenoweth Vocals
Glynis Johns Vocals
Stephen Oremus Conductor
Marissa Jaret Winokur Vocals
A Chorus Line Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Annie Get Your Gun Cast Ensemble cast
Man of La Mancha pit orchestra Performing Ensemble
Hairspray Cast Ensemble cast
Donald Pippin Conductor
Funny Girl Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Guys and Dolls Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Annie Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Sinbad Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Cabaret Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Guys & Dolls Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Oklahoma! Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
West Side Story Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
A Chorus Line Cast Ensemble cast
Fiddler on the Roof Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Michael Reed Conductor
My Fair Lady Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Annie Get Your Gun Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Wicked: A Musical Play Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Hairspray Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Cats Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Hair Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
West Side Story Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Oklahoma Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Sound of Music Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Phantom of the Opera Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Lon Hoyt Conductor
A Little Night Music Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Composer
George Gershwin Composer
A. L. Webber Producer
Stephen Sondheim Composer, Lyricist
Irving Berlin Composer, Lyricist
Richard Rodgers Composer
Julie Andrews Contributor
Marvin Hamlisch Composer
Sheldon Harnick Composer, Lyricist
Kander Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Frank Loesser Composer, Lyricist
J. Bock Composer
Irving Caesar Composer
Joe Darion Composer, Lyricist
Teese Gohl Music Direction
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer, Lyricist
Charles Hart Composer, Lyricist
Dick Jones Producer
Jack Kapp Producer
Edward Kleban Composer, Lyricist
Mitch Leigh Composer
Alan Jay Lerner Lyricist
Martin Levan Producer
Goddard Lieberson Producer
Cole Porter Composer, Lyricist
Marc Shaiman Composer, Lyricist, Producer
Charles Strouse Composer, Producer
Jule Styne Composer
Andy Wiswell Producer
David Horn Executive Producer
Michael Kapp Producer
Frederick Loewe Composer
George R. Marek Producer
Martin Charnin Composer, Lyricist
Bob Merrill Composer, Lyricist
Larry Morton Producer
James Rado Composer, Lyricist
Gerome Ragni Composer
Darcy Proper Mastering
Martha Swope Cover Photo
Fred Ebb Composer, Lyricist
Jac Venza Executive Producer
Scott Wittman Composer, Lyricist
Sam Rosenthal Producer
Trevor Nunn Composer, Lyric Adaptations
T.S. Eliot Lyricist
Stephen Schwartz Lyricist, Producer
Martin Starger Concept
Paul Kolnik Cover Photo
Peter Kszan Packaging Manager
Michael Kantor Liner Notes
Dick Jones Producer
Laurence Maslon Liner Notes
Laurence Maslon Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2010

    Great selection of music

    I was treated to this while I was having an MRI. They asked what kind of music I liked and I said "show tunes" and this is what they had and played for me. I have some of these on various CDs, but not all on one like this one is. She made a copy of the cover for me so that I could see if I could find it and purchase it---very glad you had it.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews