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This is identical to the 2002 remaster, except that it is packaged in a cardboard digipak instead of a jewel case. It is the 1956 Original Broadway Cast recording, in mono, with additional interviews with the cast at the end, which most reviewers seem to prefer the to the later 1959 London Cast Stereo version. I'm a My Fair Lady fan, and I have both recordings, and as far as I am concerned they are both great, and different enough to justify having both. The major difference is in Rex Harrsion's performances. In the London version he uses a mixed singing and talking in the major songs, whereas in Brwy it was pure singing. London seems to reflect his evolution in terms of what would get the audience going. Both work well IMO. Enjoy! PS: I'm not a big fan of the movie soundtrack, because it doesn't have Julie Andrews.
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on August 31, 2010
Can you imagine an 11 year old with a small record player listening almost every day in 1956 to this original cast recording? That was me. Most New Yorkers after the show's opening and the broadcast of the music, caught My Fair Ladyitis. The album was featured in the window showcase of my neighborhood record store. It sold like hotcakes. Julie Andrews became an overnight sensation. "Sexy Rexie" Harrison created a men's fashion vogue with his tweed hat. The sheer exhilaration that Lerner & Lowe created a musical masterpiece is captured in this and only this recording. The 1959 London stereo recording finds the cast members having lost the enthusiasm and energy that so informs the 1956 recording. Although not stereo, this is still a high fidelty recording and the remastering is excellent. This is a cornerstone of the American Musical Theatre. A must have.
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HALL OF FAMEon April 6, 2010
Firstly, please be aware that this is the exact same disc and contents as the previous 2002 Broadway Masterworks pressing, but in a new eco-pack cardboard sleeve (natch).

The original 1956 Broadway cast album of MY FAIR LADY is a mandatory disc in every self-respecting musical fan's collection. It captures the cast at the top of their game, and Julie Andrews at the peak of her Broadway career. Her voice is sparkling and effervescent, with Rex Harrison as a thrilling Higgins and Stanley Holloway a delight as Eliza's erstwhile father Alfred P. Doolittle. The monaural sound is warm and lush in Columbia's best style. This newest remaster of the album sounds better than ever. By the time the London cast album was recorded three years later (to take advantage of the new stereo format), a tired feeling had crept into Julie Andrews' singing (or perhaps boredom), so the Broadway edition is the format of choice, despite the technical limitations of the mono mix.
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on September 5, 2006
Okay. Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews will always be the definitive Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolitle. But if there's one recording that might make you reconsider, it's this recording of the 20th Anniversary Broadway Revival. "Bravo" to Sony/BMG for this excellent, first-time-on-CD release.

Even though George Rose received a well-deserved Tony for his turn as Alfred P. Doolittle (his performance is truly remarkable), it is Ian Richardson and Christine Andreas who make this recording as special as it is. First of all, as wonderful as Julie Andrews was in the role of Eliza, her real-life personna was just a little too refined, too lady-like for me to truly believe her as a gutter snipe. Not so with Ms. Andreas. Her cockney may not be as good, but there is a degree of course-ness to her flower girl that makes her transformation really special. I wish I had been in the audience to experience the moment. Teetering betweeen two worlds, it's not jarring when Andreas/Eliza reverts to her former speech patterns during "Show Me" and "Without You." Very believable characterization.

Richardson's take on his character is a revelation. Yes, he's an upper-class snob, and yes, he sees himself superior to Eliza and everyone she represents, but he's also terribly conceited and honestly believes that he doesn't need anyone in his life. When he says, "Why can't a woman be like me," he truly believes it. Therefore, "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is a true cathartic moment for him, and I guarantee you'll get a lump in your throat - to match the on in Richardson's - when he delivers the final lines of the show: "Eliza? Where the devil are my slippers?" It's one of those magic moments every theater-goer prays for.

Added bonuses are Jerry Lanning's excellently sung Freddie, and an extremely well-played and beautifully-recorded "Embassy Waltz."

Masterworks/Broadway engineers have done a superlative job of remastering, achieving the same three-dimensional multi-layered effect as on THE KING AND I. Not only does it enable one to pick out individual instruments and follow each vocal or instrumental line, but it also helps us to appreciate better the outstanding Robert Russell Bennett & Phil Lang orchestrations and the choral arrangements by Gino Smart. Theodore Saidenberg's tempi are sometimes more brisk than Franz Allers', but everything works overall.

VERY highly recommended.

PS. If you want to hear another interesting version of MY FAIR LADY, I recommend the Original Israeli Cast recording. After all, they had " . . . to learn it backwards, which is absolutely frightening."
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HALL OF FAMEon September 3, 2006
In 1976, MY FAIR LADY returned to Broadway, in a revival touted as the "20th Anniversary" production. Perhaps most famously, this particular revival was the first big professional splash of a young soprano called Christine Andreas...

At long last, this much sought-after cast album gets its CD premiere. Christine Andreas is one of the best Eliza's ever captured on disc, and Ian Richardson's performance as beleaguered tutor Higgins is full of wit and humour. George Rose (in a Tony-winning turn as Eliza's dustman father) is very enjoyable in his main numbers "With a Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me to the Church on Time". Jerry Lanning also makes for a fine Freddy, with the winsome "On the Street Where You Live". This recording also features the "Embassy Waltz" sequence, which was never included on the OBC, and only featured as a bonus track on the reissue of the OLC.

The production itself heavily recreated the original production, complete with Oliver Smith's sets and Cecil Beaton's costumes. Hanya Holm's choreography was revived thanks to original dance captain Crandall Diehl. Christine Andreas picked up a Theatre World Award for her breakthrough performance. The show opened at the St. James Theatre on March 25th 1976, but later moved to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre where it closed the following year after 377 performances.

The following year, Andreas returned to Broadway in another important revival, the 1978 production of "Oklahoma!" in which she made a thrilling Laurey (cast album available on RCA); before cememting her position as Broadway's ingenue of choice, with the role of Frankie Frayne in the 1983 revival of "On Your Toes" (cast album available on Jay/TER). More recently, she played Marguerite St. Just, in the original company of Frank Wildhorn's flawed "Scarlet Pimpernel" (cast album available on Atlantic).

I heartily recommend this particular MY FAIR LADY.
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on August 31, 2010
Thank God - this made it to be a fully re-vitalised CD Original Broadway Cast album. I had a CD version of this for years that was all crackly and clearly just transfered from the LP with no 'work done' to revitalize it! Ho beautiful to hear it in it's full glory here - The impact, the fullness, the sheer intensity that this cast album has - as a current of energy rivals that of any other Broadway Original Cast Album I have heard. Recorded within 10 days of the Broadway opening night - the orchestra and the cast sound as if they are riding a wave that is beyond even themselves. Any other version of this score is, and always will be, compared to the brilliance of this Cast album.

The interview on the final track is amazing to hear. Rex and Julie are on SUCH a high after just finishing recording it - and it truly must have been an incredible moment in the history of the Broadway genre all in all.

If you are consider yourself and kind of self-respecting Broadway afficionado - GET THIS!
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on November 29, 2011
1956 No recoding of My Fair Lady since matches the freshnes and sincerity of this recording. Of course I was much younger then and probably more impressionable, but none since has ever struck quite the right note (no pun) of this first time around. It came when money was short and represented a splurge buy, certainly never regretted and endlessly enjoyed. Good to have in a scratchless CD version. And it sounds just as damn good as in 1956, when we didn't know yet what a treasure the musical would become.
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One listen to this original Broadway cast recording of My Fair Lady and you'll know why this CD still sells. The recording sounds fresh, clear and crisp. There is no background noise! Moreover, the songs by Lerner and Loewe are brilliantly composed and the lyrics are clever, witty and poignant. This CD proves it. As others have noted, this is the same album as the 2002 Broadway Masterworks CD but now it comes in an "eco-friendly packaging" cardboard sleeve instead of a jewel case.

The CD opens with the overture to the musical stage play and then goes right into the first song entitled "Why Can't the English?" "Why Can't the English" fleshes out Rex Harrison's character's (Henry Higgins) lament that too many British people don't speak English well. The melody is catchy and the lyrics are funny at times, too.

The lesser educated British have their say in the next number, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly." In this song, sung by Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle with male backup singers and a chorus of whistlers, demonstrates how these persons really do want to lead a much more sophisticated life with more luxuries.

Other great songs on this CD include the rousing "Get Me To The Church On Time" sung by the memorable Stanley Holloway with backup; the beautiful love ballad "On The Street Where You Live" performed by John Michael King; "I Could Have Danced All Night" which is performed flawlessly by Julie Andrews who belts out those incredibly high notes; and "The Rain In Spain" delivered by Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison and Robert Coote with a chorus. Excellent!

One especially amusing song is entitled "A Hymn to Him" performed mostly by Rex Harrison with some assistance from Robert Coote. The violins at the beginning of this number are beautiful in the musical arrangement.

"I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" couldn't have been performed any better than what we get here from Rex Harrison. The violins play so sweetly and then the orchestra fleshes out the ending music flawlessly--so don't be surprised if you get the urge to play the CD all over again from the very beginning and enjoy it once more.

The musical arrangements are carefully planned and executed throughout; only Lerner and Loewe were capable of producing such a fine score to go with this stage play. Rex Harrison (mostly) sings his songs while in the London production Rex mixed singing and actual talking during his key musical numbers.

We even get 2 bonus tracks: There is commentary from Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

The music and lyrics to the original Broadway cast recording of My Fair Lady are superb. Even today, more than 5 decades later, the soundtrack still sells well; My Fair Lady will remain a classic musical. May you enjoy this soundtrack as much as I did!
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on June 24, 2010
It had been awhile since I had listen to the music from My Fair Lady but it was so much fun to hear the score again. I am glad I bought this particular recording - am very pleased with it.
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on February 9, 2015
Recorded after ten performances of the play in 1956, this record gives you the freshness of a new Broadway play. Julie Andrews, of course, is excellent. Rex Harrison is listening to himself as he finds the part. Stanley Holloway sounds as if he were on stage before an audience.. Bonus tracks added onto old LPs often annoy me but here we have the cast talking after the day in 1956 that they recorded the album--a fascinating 5 minutes of them being themselves (but how many times will I want to hear them talking?). The record also includes a priceless 5 minutes (1961) of Lerner and Lowe talking about how they write together (not to be missed!).
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