Wonderful Town [2003 Broadway Revival Replacement Cast]

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Generally speaking, the original cast members of Broadway musical productions get all the glory. Although long-running shows necessarily become peopled with replacement performers over time, only the originals are eligible for Tony Awards, and usually only they appear on cast recordings. But as Broadway producers have looked for ways to reinvigorate those long runs, they have increasingly employed "stunt" casting of replacements, often bringing in well-known names from the movies and television who will be recognizable to the tourists who keep shows on the boards year after year. Producers Barry and Fran Weissler are past masters at this practice, so it is no surprise ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Generally speaking, the original cast members of Broadway musical productions get all the glory. Although long-running shows necessarily become peopled with replacement performers over time, only the originals are eligible for Tony Awards, and usually only they appear on cast recordings. But as Broadway producers have looked for ways to reinvigorate those long runs, they have increasingly employed "stunt" casting of replacements, often bringing in well-known names from the movies and television who will be recognizable to the tourists who keep shows on the boards year after year. Producers Barry and Fran Weissler are past masters at this practice, so it is no surprise that, when their contract with Broadway veteran Donna Murphy, appearing in their 2003 revival of the 1953 musical Wonderful Town, ran out after a year, they replaced her with film and TV star Brooke Shields. They had previously brought Shields into their 1994 revival of the 1972 musical Grease. And, as they did with Grease, they have reissued the Wonderful Town cast recording in a version featuring Shields as a souvenir for patrons attracted by her non-stage stardom. Actually, a listen indicates that this is for the most part the same recording as that issued previously, except that through the magic of modern multi-tracking Murphy and her co-star, Jennifer Westfeldt, have been erased and replaced by Shields and the only other credited newcomer, Jennifer Hope Wills. That, however, constitutes a more extensive re-recording effort than when Shields replaced Rosie O'Donnell in the featured role of Rizzo in Grease. The two stars of Wonderful Town have the lion's share of the songs, including "Ohio," "One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man," "A Little Bit in Love," "Conga!," and "Wrong Note Rag," so there is plenty here that's new, vocally at least. At the same time, Shields and Wills are somewhat straitjacketed fitting their performances into the preexisting tracks which is analogous to what a replacement cast member has to do on-stage, come to think of it. They manage fine. Wills has an excellent soprano voice that gets her through, and Shields, like Murphy before her, plays the role of Ruth Sherwood as more of a character part than a starring role. The dialogue segments come off a bit wooden, but there is nothing here that will disappoint audiences who have thrilled to seeing a movie star live on-stage. Shields is no Murphy, but then Murphy was no Rosalind Russell the show's initial star, and the original Broadway cast recording of this show from the '50s remains the one to own. Like its predecessor, this album concludes with two tracks featuring lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green performing demo versions of some of the show's songs.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/7/2004
  • Label: Drg
  • UPC: 021471477627
  • Catalog Number: 94776
  • Sales rank: 249,305

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Broadway Musical Cast Primary Artist
Martin Agee Violin
Diane Barere Cello
Peter Benson Vocals
Betty Comden Vocals
David Gale Trumpet
Jack Gale Trombone
Crystal Garner Violin, Viola
Adolph Green Vocals
Jill Jaffe Violin, Viola
Rebekah Johnson Violin
Mark Price Vocals, cast
Dave Ratajczak Percussion, Drums
Marilyn Reynolds Violin, Concert Mistress
Jack Schatz Trombone
Ron Tooley Trumpet
John Winder Woodwind
Masako Yanagita Violin
Lanny Paykin Cello
Christoph Franzgrote Violin
Lino Gomez Woodwind
Lisa Mayer Vocals, cast
Maura Giannini Violin
Jack Schantz Trombone
Nancy Anderson Vocals, cast
Robert Fisher Conductor
Stu Satalof Trumpet
Belinda Whitney Violin
Rick Faugno Vocals, cast
Steve Kenyon Woodwind
David Margulies Vocals, cast
Dave Trigg Trumpet
Michael McGrath Vocals
Laurie Williamson Vocals, cast
Erik Charleston Percussion
Gregg Edelman Vocals, cast
Lisa Matricardi Violin
Timothy Shew Vocals, cast
Stanley Wayne Mathis Vocals, cast
Brooke Shields Vocals, cast
Linda Mugleston Vocals, cast
Vince Pesce Vocals, cast
Jason Jackson Trombone
Joyce Chittick Vocals, cast
Dave Eggers Vocals, cast
Ken Barnett Vocals, cast
Lou Bruno Bass
Megan Sikora Vocals, cast
Rob Fisher Conductor
Randy Donaldson Vocals, cast
Ray Wills Vocals, cast
Matthew Shepard Vocals, cast
Lorin Latarro Vocals, cast
Peter Benson cast
Devin Richards Vocals, cast
J.D. Webster Vocals, cast
Tina Ou Vocals
Raymond Jaramillo McLeod Vocals
Edward Salkin Woodwind
Randy Danson Vocals
Susan Derry Vocals
Joshua Rosenblum Piano
Stephanie Fredricks Vocals
Rojo Pérez Claves
Mineko Yahi-ma Percussion
Jennifer Hope Wills Vocals
David Trigg Trumpet
Wonderful Town Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Fred Dechristofaro Woodwind
Technical Credits
Betty Comden Composer, Lyricist
Hugh Fordin Producer, Audio Production
Adolph Green Composer, Lyricist
Alan Silverman Mastering
Jack Viertel Liner Notes
Cynthia Daniels Engineer, Engineering
Andrew Eccles Cover Photo
Alecia Parker Executive Producer
John Lee Beatty Scenic Design
Kathleen Marshall Director, Choreographer
Martin Pakledinaz Costume Design
Vince Pesce Associate Choreographer
Tim Olmstead Digital Editing
Don Walker Orchestration
Rob Fisher Director, Vocal Arrangements
Joseph Fields Book
Jerome Chodorov Book
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brooke Shields makes a Wonderful Town!

    Brooke Shields is a marvel! She brings a sweetness and naivety to the role of a wise-cracking dame who thinks that she's street-smart enough not to let her guard down. Her jazzy rendition of many numbers are a treat, and she shows us what a great phraser of lyrics she is!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews