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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah-MAZ-ing!
This is a review from Christopher Bush that was posted on Betty Buckley's Facebook page. I saw the concert live a few months ago. So excited she's released it on CD. Here goes:

"What did Ella and Sinatra have in common? Besides the fact that both are considered to be two of the most popular and recognizable voices of not only an entire generation, but of an...
Published on August 28, 2012 by Toetappin66

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway
I was slightly disappointed with this CD. Love Betty Buckley and some of the songs were great but others not so much
Published 19 months ago by Barbara A. Scott


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah-MAZ-ing!, August 28, 2012
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This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
This is a review from Christopher Bush that was posted on Betty Buckley's Facebook page. I saw the concert live a few months ago. So excited she's released it on CD. Here goes:

"What did Ella and Sinatra have in common? Besides the fact that both are considered to be two of the most popular and recognizable voices of not only an entire generation, but of an entire genre- they each possessed an unparalleled ability to interpret a lyric. Each could stand alone on stage or in...a recording studio and sing a song you had heard performed by dozens of others and make you feel like you were hearing it not only for the first time, but with the author's true intent. Why do I bring this up? Because today marks the new release of another member of that exclusive club- Betty Buckley.

With "Ah Men, The Boys Of Broadway" we get our first new studio album from Ms. Buckley since 2008. This new album reflects her last engagement at the soon to be closed Feinstein's, a show made up of songs written for male voices but given Ms. Buckley's one of a kind touch. While "Broadway Backwards" is not a new gimmick, Ms. Buckley somehow once again does the impossible- she erases any memory you might have of what you thought these songs sounded like before. Highlights include her take on Jerry Herman's "Song On The Sand", a suite of songs from "Sweeney Todd" and the little gem that is William Finn's "Venice".

What makes this album such a momentous occasion for fans of not only Ms. Buckley's but of musical theater songs in general, is that ability to put her unique stamp on just about anything she chooses to sing. At a stage in her career when her peers in the world of singing actresses voices have thinned or lost a bit of that ability to belt it out- Buckley is in fine voice here. As in previous studio recordings or her sadly out of print live albums, her range of song selection and depth of emotion takes your breath away.

With subtle yet beautiful arrangements mixed with that undeniable voice, this album will take those who were lucky enough to see Ms. Buckley live last fall on a magic trip back to that wonderful room on the Upper East Side. For those who have never experienced Betty Buckley live, this album is a great start as it captures a magical brand of story telling from arguably one of the finest voices to ever emerge from the Musical Theater. The thing that matters most is that whether in a whisper of a voice or in full belt, she still manages to stimulate every nerve and stir your emotions like only a very select few can. We can only hope that this new collaboration with Palmetto Records will be the first of many to come."

"Ah Men, The Boys Of Broadway" is available from Amazon.com, retailers nationwide and can be downloaded via iTunes. Betty Buckley's finale Feinstein's engagement "The Other Woman, The Vixens Of Broadway" kicks off October 2nd and runs through the 27th.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musically speaking...as a guy...Betty Buckley kicks ass!, August 31, 2012
This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
Everything about Betty Buckley's new CD...Ah,Men! The Boys of Broadway is over-the-top gorgeous and brilliant!...in the grand tradition of the British Music Hall's "male impersonators", Betty brings us her superb interpretations of an amazing array of male-centric songs from the musical theatre canon, and "owns" every one as if each had been written just for her...instead of for all those boys! Not only is her musical virtuosity and stylistic intensity so brilliantly embodied in these sparkling gems of testosterone, but the arrangements of Christian Jacob, his lyrical piano artistry on these songs, the fabulous photographs inside, and Betty's very own liner notes for each song...make this CD collection a musical bonanza for all lovers of legendary Broadway music.As Betty says in her virtuoso A Hymn to Her...as a guy...she kicks ass!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Perfect, August 30, 2012
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This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
The song choices, the musicians, that voice... all perfection. Betty Buckley is a treasure. This album is a MUST-GET. And be sure to catch her live in concert whenever you can. I'm hoping her next album will have her in front of a HUGE orchestra! AH, MEN won't be leaving my CD player for a long time... if ever!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Betty, November 11, 2012
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This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
I truly don't understand the negative reviews for this album. This is Betty at her most intimate, sincere, and perhaps even soulful. Add some playful into the mix, and you have an exceptional rendering of pieces reserved for male singers. I also appreciate that she only minimally changed the lyrics so they are "re-gendered" as so many cross-over singers are wont to do, making the original songs seem stilted in the conversion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, September 30, 2012
By 
Kathleen L. (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
If you were looking for a broad survey of some of the finest songs in American musical theatre, or for a collection of beautiful songs full of wit, warmth, romance, and passion, or for a master class in storytelling through song, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better contemporary example of all of the above than Betty Buckley's remarkable new album, Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway, featuring irresistibly engaging arrangements by her musical director, acclaimed jazz pianist Christian Jacob, and the expert support of bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Matt Betton. Don't let the word "jazz" scare you off - the sound and feel here is classic Broadway, and these vibrant arrangements fit comfortably beside their respective Broadway shows, even as they stand up to discerning listeners at a sophisticated jazz club. The balance between staying faithful to the original version -- as these arrangements do -- and the spontaneity and ingenuity of "the sound of surprise" (as the late jazz columnist Whitney Balliett so famously described jazz) is a difficult one to strike, and the naturalness with which Ms. Buckley and her players pull it off gives this studio recording the feel of live performance.

To call the conceit of this album - a woman singing Broadway songs written for male characters -- a "gimmick" is to misunderstand Ms. Buckley's body of work and her purpose here. Her central concern as an artist is to be a storyteller in song, a role that resists artificial barriers based on gender; love and longing and heartbreak are universal. Why then make a point of recording only theatre songs meant for men? The answer comes into focus in "A Hymn To Her," a response to the question posed in "A Hymn To Him" from My Fair Lady: "Why can't a woman be more like a man?" To Buckley, the answer is obvious: "Yeah, why can't she?" Playing upon the wistful chauvinism of the original, "A Hymn To Her" is a comical lament about the limited roles available to women in theatre ("They do write strong women/ I've played them both"), and gives Buckley ample room to show that she can carry the same weight as men by taking on big moments from Les Miserables, Carousel, The Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof. Buckley, working with Eric Kornfeld's smart lyrics, is clearly having fun here, but with a serious point: women's - and more particularly women artists' - claim to the depth, range, and fullness of human experience. By showcasing songs intended for men, Buckley brings into relief the discomfiting fact that it's only on an album like this that women of Buckley's considerable skills can engage some of the most beautiful, deepest, and downright fun explorations of character in theatre. But "A Hymn To Her" is no complaint; it's more the yearning of a thoroughbred itching for the chance to race -- not to prove it can beat the others, but because it's simply in the nature of a thoroughbred to run. The choice to lead off the album with "I Can See It," then, is a shrewd one: a song about (among other things) embracing the biggest possible vision of yourself in the world, it creates the imaginative space for the songs that follow.

The juxtaposition of "Jet Song" and "Maria" from West Side Story, set together early in the album, illustrates well the emotional and musical territory covered in this album. Buckley moves seamlessly from the pulsing, strutting rush of macho posturing and menacing streetwise smackdown in "Jet Song" to the gang member brought to his knees by the first glimpse of love he's ever known, captured in the single word "Maria" -- the mere sound of which fills his precarious world with beauty and meaning, a prayerful moment that anything but the most spare accompaniment would shatter.

There is plenty to lighten the mood here: the charm and playfulness of "My Defenses Are Down" and "I Won't Dance," the adrenaline rush of Sky Masterson's biggest gamble in the infectious "Luck Be A Lady Tonight," the simple wish to find a place of one's own in the world in "Corner of the Sky." But, as with "Maria," the songs that go the deepest explore the landscape of love, with evocative arrangements to match. The most striking of them, "Hey There," is a revelation in Christian Jacob's re-imagining, in which a subtle shift in melodic line opens a whole new dimension of meaning; from the opening piano progression this interpretation feels like finding the key to a room you didn't know existed. Just as compelling is "Come Back To Me," whose insistent, driving energy grabs you by the collar from the start and doesn't let go.

The reminiscence of the moment love began while a romantic song played nearby is exquisitely rendered by Buckley in "Song on the Sand." While its precise lyrics faded long ago, the song's emotional import remains clear as a bell; it's love that we remember ("Though the time tumbles by/There is one thing that I am forever certain of/ I heard La da da da da da da/ Da da da da da da/ And I'm young and in love"). The Sweeney Todd Suite explores passion in several guises: of a child for a mother figure ("Not While I'm Around"), of a young man for the woman he vows to protect from the evil surrounding her (in the extraordinary "Johanna"), and of the title character's chilling devotion to the tools of his revenge ("My Friends"). The agility of Buckley's shift in perspectives here is no studio magic, but the capturing of the thrilling intensity of her live performances.

Buckley's skills as a storyteller are most fully on display in "Venice," from William's Finn's song cycle, "Elegies." A story of the love that weaves through and sustains even the most trying of friendships ("Of guys who liked me least I liked him best"), it is also a moving tribute to a fallen friend who, for all his shortcomings, had a vision of beauty he longed to share ("And then he turned around and he sang to the sky/ My friends, I'm taking you to Venice/ Where everyday life's a work of art and must be seen first hand . . . Breathe deep, the world revolves `round Venice . . . Life ends, but nothing ends in Venice"). Buckley invests this vision with the same transcendent power of an encounter with any great art, as an experience of the divine. The refrain - "Beauty and pleasure is all we can hope to understand" - holds the wisdom of a lifetime, the lasting gift of a difficult man.

"Beauty and pleasure is all we can hope to understand" might well be the true theme of this album, for in the end these are simply beautiful songs Buckley loves, and her joy in singing them is palpable at times. How fitting, then, that she closes the album with a song she has described as akin to an Irish blessing, "More I Cannot Wish You" from Guys and Dolls. When she wishes the listener "your own true love this day . . . and the strong arms to carry you away," there is every reason to believe she means it metaphorically, as a wish that we allow ourselves to be transported by whatever we love, wherever we locate it, as much as these songs transport her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this cd!, September 13, 2012
This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
I was fortunate enough to see Betty do this show in LA and wow does she nail these songs. I have been a big fan of Ms Buckley since Cats. I have seen her at Carnegie Hall to Broadway to The Bottom Line. She always amazes me with her talent! Get this cd!!

j
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CD made of jewels, September 7, 2012
This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
I am a longtime fan of everything Betty Buckley - the voice, the actress, the person - and what I love most about her singing is that it is composed of those three elements - her one-of-a-kind voice, her heartbreakingly good acting, and her wonderful personality. This is a CD of perfectly crafted, stunningly delivered, simply beautiful jewels of every kind created by a smart, impeccable musician who has the singular gift of being able to redefine each song she sings. I was fortunate enough to see MsB do this show at Feinstein's last fall, and this CD brought me right back to that marvelous evening. These songs will take you out and back again - funny, gorgeous, painfully nostalgic and unerringly right on. I don't care for whom the songs were written. A good song gloriously sung by this voice is a pure delight anytime. And Christian Jacob is a superb pianist and accompanist as well as arranger. His fingers are upholstered in silk and he is completely in sync with MsB throughout.
I especially enjoyed the liner notes, since they were the written version of what she said about each piece. Her wry, relaxed, warm sense of humor is a particular joy when she performs.

I forget to breathe when MsB starts singing. Always have. Still one of the finest voices out there, and always will be - and one of the finest people out there as well. Just sayin'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminds Us Why Betty Buckley is Betty Buckley, September 7, 2012
This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
Faulkner said the aim of every artist is to "arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed..." In this way, a true artist's creation can speak to us, touch us, across time. The voice and musical instincts of Betty Buckley, or, rather, what she is able to do with them, pass this test. "Ah Men, The Boys Of Broadway" is a beautifully done collection that underscores her gifts and reminds us why Betty Buckley is Betty Buckley. If you've seen Ms. Buckley perform live, you know how she can infuse a quiet but intensely knowing quality into the lyrics to make each song her own. It is akin to the same magic, I think, that makes her such a fine actress. Of course each song of "Ah Men" was written for a male performer, but you'll forget that two minutes into the CD and become contentedly lost in her beautiful voice. "Come Back to Me" and "Luck Be a Lady" are favorites of mine, but you'll certainly have your own. Stop time, arrest motion today, and give Ms. Buckley's remarkable new CD a listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another bit O' Heaven from BLB!, September 7, 2012
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This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
I remember hearing a uniquely thrilling VOICE ( Hers) in an off- broadway show The Ballad of Johnny Pot; then in 1776, then i met her in Los Angeles, where she concertized what was to be her 1st Wonderful Album BETTY BUCKLEY ( I have it on Vinyl-Rizzoli)...she is a soul searcher, an adventuress, an impeccable musician. Every song is a piece of art, delving into the soul of the song with passion, sometimes humor and Always to the purpose of raising the listeners' Spirit. I have gotten in, thru and sometimes out...of my life lessons with a more than a Little Help of a Friend....and her music. They say the " do-sol" is going to the Heart Chakra- she's always hit MINE!....she and this set of glorious Broadway gems Fills my Heart. Domo-Ar-ee-ga-to Betty Lynn. Thanks for sharing all your..." Baby Ruths".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner From Betty Buckley!, August 31, 2012
By 
Susan Loffredi (Clearfield, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway (Audio CD)
You are going to love this recording! Great song selections and the extreme talent of Betty Buckley add up to her new recording Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway being one terrific musical treat! What fun to hear these great songs, originally written for men, done so well by a woman that you forget about their intended origins! How lucky we are that these numbers, which were originally performed as part of Betty's 2011 show of the same name at Feinstein's, have been recorded for this wonderful new cd. Be good to yourself and order your copy today!
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Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway
Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway by Betty Buckley (Audio CD - 2012)
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