What a great thread! Thought I'd revive it.
10. Ethel Merman - Mr. Goldstone I Love You
9. Ken Page - Let There Be
8. Julie Andrews - I Could Have Danced All Night
7. Ezio Pinza - Some Enchanted Evening
6. Alfred Drake - Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
5. Jerry Orbach - Try to Remember
4. Angela Lansbury - I Don't Want to Know
3. Barbara Cook - Glitter and Be Gay
2. Ethel Merman - Rose's Turn
1. Larry Kert - Something's Coming (he's actually pretty fantastic throughout the whole album)
I can't believe I missed this thread the first time through. I've added performances I've seen, even if they're not, to my knowledge, on a recording (except possibly a You Tube bootleg). In no particular order:
1) Gaylea Byrne in Man of La Mancha, singing the cynical song about how she is not Dulcinea but "Aldonza the whore." Her vocal power and raw emotion made her performance searing.
2) Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (London, NY, and film), in Why Can't a Woman be more like a Man and Let a Woman in Your Life. He couldn't sing a note, which is why he spoke the songs in time to the music. However, he was so convincing that he came across as a cynical misogynist instead of the often-married "Sexy Rexy."
3) Norm Lewis in The Phantom of the Opera, performing Music of the Night and the final lair scene. Not only is his voice incredible, but his version of MOTN is one of the most seductive things I've scene on stage. His final lair humanized the Phantom to an incredible degree.
4) Don't laugh, but Gerard Butler's performance of Music of the Night on the POTO soundtrack. Obviously, his voice leaves a lot to be desired, especially when compared to the stage Phantoms' voices. However, thanks to his catlike movements as the Phantom and his facial expressions, his version of MOTN is one of the most seductive performances of MOTN I've seen, and one of the most seductive scenes I've ever seen on film. I felt as if he were singing to me.
5) Zero Mostel's and Herschel Bernardi's performances in Fiddler on the Roof of "If I were a Rich Man." They perfectly captured the longing of a simple man in a humorous, but moving way.
6) Idina Menzel's performance of "Let it Go" in Frozen. Let's hear it for kick-ass queens as a role model for little girls.
7) Idina Menzel's performance of "I Hate You" in If/Then perfectly captures the character's emotional agony.
The company's performance of "The Moment Explodes" in If/Then. Let's just say it didn't do anything to help me get over my fear of flying.
9) Richard Burton's and Julie Andrews' performances of "What do the Simple Folk Do?" on the Camelot original cast album. They perfectly bring out the emotions of two characters spiraling into despair but trying desperately to save themselves and each other.
10) Colm Wilkinson's performance of just about anything from "Les Miz." Now that's a character who knows how to make lemonade from lemons!
THE BOOK OF MORMON
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
THE LION KING
THE KING AND I
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ART - Art News: Andrea Rosen Gallery Presents Three-Part Exhibition of Works by FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES, Thru 6/18
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MUSIC - VIDEO: Exclusive First Listen: Steven Davis' New Album 'The Way You Look Tonight'; Out 6/17
CLASSICAL - Opera Review: Oh, To Be Abducted from This SERAGLIO at the Met
OPERA - Review: Superb Sub in WNO's THE VALKYRIE
DANCE - Dance Review: Ballez's SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at La MaMa Moves!
COMEDY - Photo Flash: Comedians Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan and More in The 52nd Street Project's LAUGHING MATTERS Benefit