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wonderful town recordings

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Pippin
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joined:8/3/05
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wonderful town recordings#0
Posted: 12/19/05 at 4:51pm
I have the 1958 cbs telecast recording with rosalind russell. how does it compare with the original broadway and other recordings?
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
Gothampc
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re: wonderful town recordings#1
Posted: 12/19/05 at 4:54pm
The show was written with Roz Russell's talents in mind, so I have always thought that she was the best to perform it.

The Studio recording with Rebecca Luker and Karen Mason has the complete music, but their performances are rather bland.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Yankeefan007
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re: wonderful town recordings#2
Posted: 12/19/05 at 4:55pm
Brooke Shields is the best.
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Horton
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re: wonderful town recordings#3
Posted: 12/19/05 at 5:02pm
I personally like the Donna M. one, in my opinion she is just the best!
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ray-andallthatjazz86
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re: wonderful town recordings#4
Posted: 12/19/05 at 5:06pm
I absolutely loved Brooke Shields on the show but the Donna Murphy recording is the best in my opinion, her One Hundred Easy Ways makes me laugh so hard every time I listen to it. Russell's Conga is the best in my opinion though.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Isabella2
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re: wonderful town recordings#5
Posted: 12/19/05 at 5:13pm
there seems to be an ongoing feud with brrok sheilds and Donna Murphy fans. I personally think Donna is much better that brooke. Donna animates the role so well, every line is said with feeling and precision that just makes it work better. Brooke didn't really try to make her ruth original. Sounded like to me that she was just copying the way Russel did it. Also she was very boring. In a way, she just sang the notes.. and not very well mind you. It's almost like you could hear her struggling for some emotion. It's also really interesting to go on brodway.com and check out the opening nights of both donna murphy and brooke for wonderful town. The cast describes donna as being a hardworker, extremely hysterical, the reason why the show started and "lucille ball and ethell merman in one person" The only thing they said about brooke is that she's nice and down to earth.

So get both versions and see which one you'd prefer.
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ljay889
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re: wonderful town recordings#6
Posted: 12/19/05 at 5:18pm
Um. The role of Ruth was written for a woman with a VERY limited singing ability and range. The amazing Roz Russell successfuly speak/sang through the role.

The role was NOT written for a big belter/amazing singer like Donna. Though she sounds great belting through the songs - the songs were NOT meant to be sung that way.

Brooke is actually closer to the original vision of Ruth than Donna is. Brooke even took optional notes that Roz didn't sing, but Brooke still kept true to the original vision of the character, in my opinion.

Anyway, all the top critics agreed, Brooke Shields was GREAT in WT, and was not to be missed. And some agreed that she was better for the role than Donna.

The end.
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frontrowcentre2
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re: wonderful town recordings#7
Posted: 12/20/05 at 12:05am
The OBC (Decca) captures the best performances BUT has two drawbacks: 1.) Sound quality as on all of old Decca albums is flat and boxy and 2.) To fit on 78 RPM records the songs had to be trimmed. The full album plays barely 45 minutes.

The TV Cast album (it is not from the soundtrack of the telecast: it was done in studio in advance of the telecast so the record would be on sale in stores the day after the broadcast) has better sound and is more complete, including the dialogue insertes in "Christopher Street" and the full Overture. Some of the cast (Jacqueline McKeever, Sydney Chaplin) are far inferior to their original cast counterparts.

Elaine Stritch starred in a 1967 revival. Too bad it wasn't recorded: I can just hear Elaine doing full justice to "100 easy Ways."

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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Smaxie
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re: wonderful town recordings#8
Posted: 12/20/05 at 4:00am
Another virtue of the '58 TV cast recording: the orchestra is on fire. I find it the most exciting recording of the score, and the Overture and dance music just explode. McKeever is inferior to Edie Adams on the original Broadway cast recording, but she still sounds sweet. Chaplin is an acquired taste, I guess, but there's something charming about him, whereas I've never quite warmed to mealy mouthed George Gaynes on the original recording.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
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Pippin
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re: wonderful town recordings#9
Posted: 12/20/05 at 10:50am
smaxie, you are so right, the orchestra is fantastic!!! the overture is so fun to listen to and the wrong note rag is great!!
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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BwayLover
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re: wonderful town recordings#10
Posted: 12/20/05 at 11:30am
ljay889 - if we're talking pure enjoyment of the recording, not the performance.....I think you'd agree with me that Donna's voice is more pleasant to listen to. At least I think so.
Plus, what does it matter who the songs were written for? A song, by definition, benefits from a good voice singing it. The songs were written to allow a limited voice to shine, so if a great voice sings them...all the better, cause it shines even brighter! It doesn't mean that only limited-voiced singers do these songs justice.
"Years from now, when you talk about this - And you will - Be kind. "
bwayondabrain
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re: wonderful town recordings#11
Posted: 12/20/05 at 11:32am
do they still even sell the recording with brooke? if they do, where can you get it? i want it badly! I LOVE BROOKE! :)
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children&art
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re: wonderful town recordings#12
Posted: 12/20/05 at 11:37am
My fave is the 1999 London studio recording with Brent Barrett as Wreck, Audra McDonald as Eileen, and Kim Criswell as Ruth.

And can you believe that "Wonderful Town" is the ONLY Bernstein score to win a Tony (not "Candide", not "West Side Story").
Don't f*ck with me fellas. This ain't my first time at the rodeo.
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Pippin
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re: wonderful town recordings#13
Posted: 12/20/05 at 11:40am
I'm always all for a pleasant voice, but it is also what is behind the voice. Linda Eder's is pleasant, but there is nothing else working except for her vocal chords. Now we all now Elaine Stritch doesn't have the best singing voice, but there is no one else that I would want to hear sing Ladies who lunch or Broadway baby. I would say the same applies here, though I have never heard the Donna murphy version.
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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BwayLover
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re: wonderful town recordings#14
Posted: 12/20/05 at 11:47am
Pippin, I absolutely agree with you! But, I was only talking about one aspect.. The great thing about Murphy is that on top of having a wonderful voice, she's a wonderful actress...so it's the combo of both.
"Years from now, when you talk about this - And you will - Be kind. "
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Pippin
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re: wonderful town recordings#15
Posted: 12/20/05 at 11:53am
very true, Bway, and I respect your opinion. Murphy is wonderful, and I would like to listen to her version of Wonderful town.
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."