Most helpful positive review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
altogether a fine cast album
on December 25, 2006
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, the cheerfully-mindless musical by the Sherman Brothers, was mounted for the West End stage in 2002, opened at the London Palladium and enjoyed a run of nearly three and-a-half years (the subsequent Broadway production fared less well). The Sherman Brothers score sparks either rapture or revulsion depending on whom you ask, but the musical does offer some quaint charms.
The stage version of CHITTY operates almost like a glorified pantomime, the story remains the same but the score has been re-jigged and altered. In this cast album of the original 2002 London Palladium cast, Michael Ball adds his own special touch to the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, with newcomer Emma Williams as Truly Scrumptious. Ball is at his best with the plaintive lullaby of "Hushabye Mountain". Emma Williams doesn't get all that much to warble as Truly (her big movie number "Lovely Lonely Man" was mercilessly cut from the stage score), however Williams has a charming way with "Doll on a Music Box".
Brian Blessed and Nichola McAuliffe push the 'camp' gear into overdrive with their performances as Vulgaria's hideous Baron and Baroness ("Bombie Samba", one of the additions to the stage score, has to be heard to be believed). Richard O'Brien of ROCKY HORROR fame plays the equally-odious Child Catcher with yet another bland addition, "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies". Carrie Fletcher and George Gillies play Jeremy and Jemima. Stage veteran Anton Rodgers is wonderful as Grandpa Potts.
Happily though, all the best movie songs ("Me Ol' Bamboo", "Toot Sweets", "Posh", "The Roses of Success" and the Oscar-nominated title song) are all here, making the new additions to the score even more inferior by their presence.
[Sony Music/Chitty Records MRBB001]