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Do I Hear a Waltz? (Pasadena Playhouse Cast) [Cast Recording]

Richard Rodgers , Stephen Sondheim , Alyson Reed , Steve Orich Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Alyson Reed, Steve Orich
  • Audio CD (December 4, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B00005RZTX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Overture
2. Someone Woke Up
3. This Week Americans
4. What Do We Do? We Fly!
5. Here We Are Again
6. Someone Like You
7. Lezione In Inglese
8. Thinking
9. We're going to The Lido
10. No Understand
11. Take The Moment
12. Moon In My Window
13. We're Gonna Be Alright
14. Do I Hear A Waltz?
15. Stay
16. Perfectly Lovely Couple
17. Everybody Loves Leona
18. Last Week Americans
19. Thank You So Much/Finale

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Alan
Format:Audio CD
I have long loved "Do I Hear a Waltz?" and have hoped that there would be a second recording to supplement the flawed original Broadway cast recording. But that seemed unlikely to occur any time soon.
Here it is, though. This recording represents the revised "chamber" version of the show, cutting back the several locales of the original to essentially one set, as in the source material, Arthur Laurents's "The Time of the Cuckoo." This causes the loss of one good (though not great) song and the revision of another. The second song, "Here We Are Again," is not as effective in the new version, at least outside the context of the show itself. On the other hand, this new version of the show has restored a song that was cut originally, "Everybody Loves Leona." And, of course, the famous original lyric for "We're Gonna Be All Right," unused on Broadway, is restored here (in a fine new orchestration by conductor Steve Orich).
The most important thing to say, however, is that this is a wonderfully vital, touching, alive performance of this terrific score. Also, several sections that were not included on the original Broadway cast recording are included here (including the neat overture), as well as a fair amount of lead-in dialogue, all beautifully performed, and some gorgeous underscoring. The decision to retain Ralph Burns's original orchestrations (except for "We're Gonna Be All Right," where a new orchestration was necessary because of differences in the song) is also something to be grateful for, especially as Steve Orich's conducting makes the most of Burn's rich work on this show, which was in a style very different from what Burns was best known for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise September 27, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After hearing what a dud this was for years, I never bothered to buy the original recording. But after buying this newer version I was surprised how much I liked this! While it doesnt rank as the best of Rodgers or Sondheim, its much better than I was expecting. I even went ahead and bought the original cast recording after buying this one. If I had to choose, I would recommend this one as the better choice. It has an overture, the original lyrics to Its Gonna Be Allright and the song Everybody Loves Leona which isnt in the original. The lead ins and voice overs also help to establish character. But if you can swing it, get the original cast too (its cheap!) for Elizabeth Allen and Sergio Franchi
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So far. February 8, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Here's a perfect example of the fragile brilliance of Sondheim's work. Without perfectly chosen casts (arrived at after rigorous casting sessions), who, after weeks of rehearsal, wholly inhabit their characters, a score like this, so exquisitely made, can founder, as it does whenever these principals sing. Leona, a harsh harridon, beats the hell out of the songs, displaying no yearning, no innocence, unlike the very adequate Elizabeth Allen on the original. The Renato fares even worse: anemic-voiced, reedy; there's none of the essential masculinity to his voice or delivery.
Also, the orhestrations are serviceable, but really could've used the subtlety, the emotional smarts, and the gorgeous musicality of Jonathan Tunick; in particular, in his current no strings 'chamber' phase, he would really have brought out the character textures and the sumptuousness of the music.
On the plus side: the reduction in the Burns orchestration for a smaller theater really helps the score; the faster pacing of the slower ballads, delivered, oddly, as dirges in the orginal, help those songs a lot. Sondheim's lyrics are so incisive and playful, to the point where the playfulness is an art form in itself--high art. The dialogue really helps explain the numbers here, and filling in the numbers that, in the orginal, are fragmentary, really brings out the beauty of this score.
One further qualm: the title number has no emotional impact whatsoever. It's an odd, writerly notion anyway, that she'll hear a waltz when she falls in love. But this one hits us without any preparation, no build up, and she delivers it as if she were trying to jump start an Ethel Merman revival.
Recast...get Tunick..bring to New's a real, genuine, beauty!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Someone Woke Up.....again" July 11, 2006
Format:Audio CD
One of the shows that no-one ever expected to be revived was DO I HEAR A WALTZ?, the 1965 musical version of "Time of the Cuckoo", with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The show crashed and burned during it's original run and was basically relegated to the "fabulous flops" file. Fast forward to 2001 and the Pasadena Playhouse, who decided to dust off the show for a second chance at success.

Alyson Reed, who essayed the role of Cassie in the movie version of "A Chorus Line", played the lovelorn teacher Leona Samish whose holiday in Venice gives way to a whirlwind romance. Veteran Broadway star Carol Lawrence (most famously the original Maria in "West Side Story") plays the ebullient hotelier Signora Fioria, and sings the role's main number "This Week Americans" with all the showmanship and gusto that only a performer of her ilk can provide.

Alyson Reed's powerful and belty mezzo is well-used in her performance as Leona. The role's originator (Elizabeth Allen) had a similar sort of voice and the role really comes to life because of it. The rousing introductory number "Someone Woke Up", a fine combination of Rodgers at his most energetic and Sondheim at his most pragmatic, is indeed a highlight of the complete score.

While the work will never quite acheive the level of greatness that defines the all-time classic Broadway musicals, DO I HEAR A WALTZ? does give some pleasure with Richard Rodgers' most youthful and wondering score.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite scores
The O.B.C.R. is good. I prefer this recording because it has additional dialogue and the original, dark, biting lyrics to 'We're Gonna Be Alright'.
Published 6 months ago by Timothy
5.0 out of 5 stars Considerably better than it's reputation!
To me, Sondheim's occationally cynical lyrics are just what is needed to bring the somewhat lighthearted sound of Rodgers tunes down to earth. Read more
Published on April 28, 2005 by Dvarg
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed revival missing the heart
I am somewhat prejudiced. I was in Boston when the original show was in tryout - an impressionable journalism major at Boston University. Read more
Published on February 25, 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new recording of rarely heard score
Much has been written about the squabbles between Richard Rodgers
and Stephen Sondheim when the musical was first produced. Read more
Published on January 19, 2002 by Dennis J. Pauly
1.0 out of 5 stars Pickles and Ice Cream
Stephen Sondheim's patented ironies sung to Richard Rodger's soaring melodies? Only Oscar Hammerstein thought this was a good idea-- as his protege, Stephen Sondheim, was... Read more
Published on January 10, 2002 by Mahesh Grossman
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Superb!
A great recording of this overlooked gem. I had the fortunate opportunity to see the George St. Playhouse production which was the forerunner of the Pasadena production and was... Read more
Published on December 19, 2001 by Nelson Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing "Waltz" to Life
This brand new recording of the recent Pasadena Playhouse production of "Do I Hear A Waltz" is glorious. Read more
Published on December 9, 2001
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