Thursday, August 25, 2011

cd review ANYTHING GOES, the New Broadway Cast Recording

If you read my review of the current Broadway revival of Anything Goes you know I had an excellent time seeing this production.  Even though there are numerous cast recordings from the many previous productions that musical has had, a cast album of this Broadway revival was made and it has just been released as a digital download with the cd release coming out in September.  

The recording is just as fun and colorful as the Broadway revival, with expert musical direction and playing by the orchestra, full, rich orchestrations and a simply de-lovely cast.  Sutton Foster, who won a Tony for her performance as "Reno Sweeney" sounds just as good as she did on stage.  She expertly handles the belting required but just as easily excels at the comical moments of the duets she has with her two male co-stars, Joel Grey and Colin Donnell.  Her performance perfectly captures the range required for the Cole Porter score, whether it be the comical, quick timing of some of the lyrics, the more bawdy moments of some of the songs or the more quiet and intimate moments.  She clearly shows why she deserved the Tony for her performance.  And, unlike a certain star of the last Broadway revival of this show, you can also clearly understand every lyric she sings.

Grey is in fine form on his songs and Donnell sings like a bird.  While there would be no question that Grey would be able to deliver on the same level as Sutton on their comical duet "Friendship," it is nice to see the relatively unknown Donnell pair beautifully with Foster on "You're the Top."  It is a nice bonus that the recording includes the extended version of that song that is heard in this production with the reprise added on to the end of the song.

The supporting cast has their moments to shine as well.  John McMartin is allowed to display his comical line readings on the dialogue around his song "I Want to Row on the Crew" and Laura Osnes sounds splendid on her songs, especially her second act solo, "Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye."  Osnes and Donnell are also simply heaven on "All Through the Night" which has a beautiful arrangement including a very romantic sounding rich vocal support from the ensemble.  Adam Godley, who got a Tony nom for his performance, sounds even better on his solo, "The Gypsy in Me" then I remember he sounded live on stage.

It is no question while this musical receives so many productions and recordings.  The Cole Porter score is one with so many classic songs, and having them delivered by this cast  make this recording a winner.  My only complaint, the title song "Anything Goes" is a slightly edited down version then what's heard in the theatre.  The dance breaks that build the song into a frenzy on stage have been slightly cut back for the recording.  Fortunately, "Blow Gabriel Blow" has the full version heard on stage, including the jazzy new orchestrations, which are simply divine.

The revival is already doing blockbuster business, and if anyone who hasn't seen the show yet listens to this superb recording it should only steer more people to the box office.  A highly recommended recording.

2011 Tony Award's Performance -

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