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RAGS Original London Cast Recording

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CATSNYrevival
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joined:3/1/04
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#1
Posted: 5/15/20 at 12:20am

Is anyone else listening?

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CATSNYrevival
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#2
Posted: 5/15/20 at 9:26am
The album is up on iTunes today. I finished listening this morning. I enjoyed it but I missed the voices from the original cast. The title song is not the same without Judy Kuhn. There are a few new songs that I like quite a bit including “Edge of a Knife” which seems to take the place of “Children of the Wind” now that “Children of the Wind” has been moved to the end of the show rather than the beginning. It’s definitely worth a listen if anyone here is interested. I’m curious to know what others think of it.
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Demitri2
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#3
Posted: 5/15/20 at 1:57pm

Thanks for the report CatsNYrevival. Could you please  tell me if the recording is with a full orchestra or just piano accompaniment? Thanks. If it's just piano, I would truly miss the clarinet in "Blame It On The  Summer Night."

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CATSNYrevival
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#4
Posted: 5/15/20 at 3:05pm

It is a reduced orchestration of 7 players I believe, but it's more than just piano.

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markypoo
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#5
Posted: 5/15/20 at 7:47pm
Nothing could surpass the sublime, short lived original production.
Or Teresa Stratas.
Nothing.
Jarethan
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#6
Posted: 5/16/20 at 8:05pm

I never saw the show, but  I think the score is magnificent.  I have always wished that someone would try to rework the book (in a post years ago, someone said the problem was that the book tried to cover too much ground).  I have to admit that I loved the orchestrations the original OCR, loved the performers, and don't see any reason to purchase a scaled down version.  The lushness of the orchestrations was one of the great things about the OCR.

I have to acknowledge that, other than Follies, I have rarely purchased additional cast recordings, if i thought the original was great, and I rarely thought the newer version was as good as the original: exceptions: IMO the recent Oklahoma is significantly better than the dowdy original one; the Donna Murphy TKAI was much better than the original (if Gertrude Lawrence ever really had a good voice, it was long gone by the OCR); and, sacrilege, I prefer the Lansbury Gypsy to the Merman one, because I guess I just never loved Merman's voice.

bryan2
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#7
Posted: 5/17/20 at 9:28am

Having seen RAGS in Boston with both Teresa Stratus (other wordly) and Christine Andreas who was excellent . I never thought the music was the problem. The Cast album was a great cd...beautiful orchestrations very lush and captured most of the original cast. I personally love the cd. This new cd has to many changes that do not work for me...The changing Blame it on a Summer Night to a duet (and no clarinet????) this was so beautiful and to me is kind of nothing on the new cd.and to change RAGS to a Rebecca/bella duet just doesn't work Judy Kuhn just blew it out of the park and on this the duet segments just sound noisy...again the book needed work...the songs didn't ..just very disappointed...

matt1982
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#8
Posted: 5/17/20 at 10:14am

The score of Rags is gorgeous.  I saw the show at Walnut Street Theatre around 2000.  I remember enjoying it immensely.  I wonder if a reworked, well cast version could work now?

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CATSNYrevival
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#9
Posted: 5/17/20 at 11:23am

matt1982 said: "The score of Rags is gorgeous. I saw the show at Walnut Street Theatre around 2000. I remember enjoying it immensely. I wonder if a reworked, well castversion could work now?"

There’s a song called “Take Our City Back” that sounds as if Schwartz is trying to make it work for now.

LarryD2
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#10
Posted: 5/17/20 at 11:54am

The show has never really worked, but the score is glorious. I saw the original production. Stratas was underwhelming, to be honest, though she had a very sympathetic quality that worked for the character. I have loved her as an opera singer since I was a kid, but it just wasn't a seamless transition to the musical theater idiom. The rest of the cast was virtually perfect. Kuhn, Mann, Latessa and Lewis all should have been Tony-nominated. I've dipped into the new recording, and it's impressive -- Carolyn Maitland is especially good as Rebecca.

ImaginaryManticore
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#11
Posted: 5/21/20 at 5:45pm

I still need to give the recording a listen, but I saw this production at the Park Theatre. I enjoyed it a lot and was surprised at how well the book worked for me. There were parts that could still be improved, especially in the second act. But Schwartz has suggested that they consider it the new finished version that's going to be licensed.

I don't know much about the original so can't say how much has changed, but there's no question they're looking at the story from today's perspective. It touches upon xenophobia and antisemitism in America, and looks at individual success vs collective empowerment. Did the original cover this? The new version isn't subtle about today's parallels, but overall they manage to be moving. In the Ellis Island scene there's a moment when an official tries to pull Rebecca's son away from her.

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markypoo
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#12
Posted: 5/21/20 at 8:10pm
Is the CD available for sale now?
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CATSNYrevival
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RAGS Original London Cast Recording#13
Posted: 5/21/20 at 9:12pm

markypoo said: "Is the CD available for sale now?"

The CD is out July 17th.