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Miss Spectacular: The Concept Album Cast Recording

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, June 11, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

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It's a testament to the clout of artist Jerry Herman (Mame, Hello, Dolly!, La Cage aux Folles) that he can get Faith Prince, Christine Baranski, Michael Feinstein, Debbie Gravitte, Karen Morrow, and Steve Lawrence to sing on a "concept album" of his unproduced show Miss Spectacular. Not only that, but the singers are backed by a huge orchestra instead of the usual small ensemble that so often makes this type of recording sound cheap. But while Larry Blank's orchestrations are luscious as can be, the synopsis is inane even by musical-theater standards (Midwest girl goes to Vegas looking for fame and fortune), and the songs feel as if they could have been written in 1952, 1988, or anytime in between. Whether you'll call them dated or timeless depends on your mood. The "Finale" even feels like a Simpsons parody of a Broadway show's take on Vegas. The recording's saving grace is that the pros in the cast could sing the yellow pages and still make you want to buy an orchestra seat. --Elisabeth Vincentelli


Product Details

  • Performer: Jerry Herman, Michael Feinstein, Faith Prince, Christine Baranski, Davis Gaines, et al.
  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Drg
  • ASIN: B000066RKW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jim Jr on June 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There is a very mistaken idea in all the reviews for this concept album that it is for a potential BROADWAY show. It was written for a Las Vagas casino show. It was to be a huge spectacular (as is suggested by the title) musical with gigantic production numbers. However, the hotel that comissioned it was sold and the new owners decided not to produce the show.
This fact will explain the types of songs, the manner in which they were written and the fact that they are not the subtle really lovely songs Jerry Herman is capable of. If a person is writing a song for a show that will overwhelm the audience with breathtaking sets, costumes and effects, that person will not write something subtle and intimate.
Note that in the write up of the show, it is stated that a number of the songs are inspired by the sound of gambling winnings and then go into a production number. Each song is meant to create an instant IMPACT on an audience that might have seen a show with the sinking of the Titanic or an erupting volcano the night before.
Jerry Herman is incapable of writing a bad song. Some may not be as wonderful as others, but none are bad, even his Broadway failures have terrific scores. Mr. Herman has always known exactly how to write for a spacific situation. Here he wrote exactly the type of show that the producers wanted for "Miss Spectacular". Instead of finding fault and complaining about it we should be thankful that the score is available and not consigened to some file cabinet where it would never be heard.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By robertak on June 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As the composer and lyricist for the Broadway musicals "Hello, Dolly!", "Mame" and "La Cage Aux Folles" and others, Jerry Herman is known for his optimistic, memorable, hummable songs that become instantly familiar and part of Broadway culture. His new work, "Miss Spectacular" follows in that tradition. In this concept album, Mr. Herman has assembled an oustanding cast of Broadway and musical stars (Debbie Gravitte, Steve Lawrence, Karen Morrow, Faith Prince and others)to perform his new score for a production that has not yet been produced.
The recording is excellent - a blend of nostalgia ("Ziegfeld Girl"), hysterical lyrics "Where Is My Prince?" optimism "I Wanna Live Each Night" and warm,romantic songs "No Other Music" and "My Great Dream."
Mr. Herman has given those of us who love good music a reason to smile again.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Jerry Herman I'm gonna give you a big hug dude. What an album!!What music! What lyrics!
When that orchestra opens up and sends out that strong, powerful overture you just know you are in the hands of a PRO.The music lights up the room and the words that are combined bring a cresendo of joy to your heart.Yes, you are right. We all want to be a "Miss Spectacular" and descend that staircase of life into a world filled with glamour and joy.We sure do need it now! You have given us that opportunity with this recording.I cant stop playing it. Especially the song "I Wanna Live Each Night". And haven't we all asked ourselves "Where In The World Is My Prince".Jerry you really put it all together this time. It came from your heart.This is a show that belongs right on Broadway with all your other great hits. Your idea of sending this album out as a concept album was wonderful- now its with me for my pleasure. (May I suggest this show be brought in with men playing all the roles).It's ready made for this type of performance).Well people I've said my piece.Now it's up to you.You will not be disappointed-Jerry Herman has never let you down. Enjoy the album- and all the fantasy that goes with it. I am sure you will have a smile on your face as you listen.God Bless America!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ruthie Tzipora on November 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Miss Spectacular is absolutely spectacular! Jerry Herman makes a fabulous comeback into the world of musical theater with hilarious songs like "Where in the world is my prince?" to his traditionally beautiful ballads like "No other music". Miss Spectacular wins all around, and leaves you satisfied. Mr. Herman is an absolute genius.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album has the types of songs Jerry Herman lovers know and love; the slow ballads, the peppy upbeat numbers, much like La Cage Aux Folles. Too bad he doesn't write for Broadway anymore. He'd be wining the Tony over Urinetown in a heart beat.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elaine S. on July 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Jerry Herman has given us yet another wonderfully melodic, lyrically sharp score to love and listen to over and over. Although the score was written for a show to be produced at a Las Vegas mega-hotel, Mr. Herman has not forgotten his roots in the Broadway musical theater. As always, he has written a score filled with songs that can light up a stage. The orchestrations are lush and rich. The strong ensemble of performers deliver every note and every lyric prescisely. And you will be humming those melodies! We need more scores like this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Herbert E. Paradis Jr. on June 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'm impressed! This should become solid material for the next Broadway show by Jerry Herman. It would be potentially a strong contender for Tony next year. The songs are memorable and possess melody and pizazz. Move over Dolly, here comes Sarah Jane. It seems to lend itself to the type of show Broadway needs to lift the spirit. Realizing that this is only a concept album, it is assumed that more songs would be added to a full Broadway presentation. Looking forward to hearing more.
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Miss Spectacular: The Concept Album
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