All the brash, sass and great big brassy-belt of Momma Rose is back this time in the form of Patti LuPone.
It's not often I feel exhausted after listening to a CD, but such is the case with this one LuPone's "Rose's Turn" must be utterly exhausting for her every single night. I'm still not sure how an actress conjures up quite so much angst and heartbreak eight times a week.
The role has been a good one for actresses brave enough to tackle it: Momma Rose has received the most nominations in Tony Award history five nominations and three winners (interestingly enough, Ethel Merman, who created the role, lost out in 1959 to Chita Rivera, "Redhead.")
The new 2008 Broadway cast recording will be in stores on Tuesday. Billed as the most complete recording of the musical theater staple, this CD has seven never-before-recorded songs that were cut from the original Broadway production and also includes a brief description of where the song was intended to go and why it was cut. The reasons run the gamut from delaying the story to an actress afraid of heights to an actor who couldn't really sing.
Some of the standouts from the long-lost songs include a duet turned quartet: "Small World," sung by Rose and Herbie, joined by young June and Louise with "Momma's Talkin' Soft."
"Nice She Ain't" is a great midtempo song (could be a great audition song, men) sung by Herbie. With lines like, "that lady has friends that she ain't even used," too bad Jack Klugman (the original Herbie) didn't feel up to the challenge.
As the first four notes of the overture begin, building to the great "Everything's Coming Up Roses," it's easy to see why this is considered by many to be one of theater's truly great overtures. And, with more than 30 musicians playing, the sound is wonderful.
For "Gypsy" enthusiasts, fans of Ms. LuPone or anyone who likes good ol' classic musical theater, this is a great cast recording to add to your collection. But I wouldn't recommend listening at work, as it's impossible not to sing along.
Here are the rest of Broadway's happenings:
Bravo Beckham: Yes, that Beckham David Beckham, international soccer superstar. Talk abounds of turning the life of the athlete/model into, what else, a musical! But this isn't the first time. Earlier this year, there was buzz about a musical comedy that would be called "MacBecks," with his wife, Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham), portrayed "as a Lady Macbeth figure." Ugh!
Ozian Birthday Bash: Believe it or not, in October it will have been five years since "Wicked" opened on Broadway. So it's time for a celebration. "The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken," a one-night only, all-star benefit performance, has been planned at the Gershwin Theatre, "Wicked's" home. The evening will include never-before-seen material once included in the musical's many drafts. No word who the stars of the all-star evening will be.
Mi mi mi mi: Just warming up for the new "Mamma Mia" sing-along edition! Universal Pictures is going to release a special sing-along edition of the hit movie musical. It'll show up in theaters on Friday. Of course, it'll only be in specially selected theaters (still looking into Salt Lake City) but the sing-along version will have lyrics to every musical number. Pleeeease come to Salt Lake City (if for no other reason than Pierce Brosnan could use a little help!). Oh, and audiences will be invited to dance, too!