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Reprise Musical Repertory Theater Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, September 26, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: September 26, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00004XN1K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,938 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Finian's Rainbow: Overture - Orchestra
2. Finian's Rainbow: This Time Of The Year - The Hi-Lo's
3. Finian's Rainbow: How Are Things In Glocco Morra? - Rosemary Clooney
4. Finian's Rainbow: If This Isn't Love - Dean Martin
5. Finian's Rainbow: Look To The Rainbow - Rosemary Clooney
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Kiss Me Kate: Overture - Orchestra
2. Kiss Me Kate: Another Op'nin, Another Show - The Hi-Lo's
3. Kiss Me Kate: Why Can't You Behave - Jo Stafford
4. Kiss Me Kate: We Open In Venice - Frank Sinatra
5. Kiss Me Kate: So In Love - Johnny Prophet
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. South Pacific: Overture - Orchestra
2. South Pacific: Dites-Moi - The McGuire Sisters
3. South Pacific: A Cock-Eyed Optimist - Jo Stafford
4. South Pacific: Twin Soliloquies - Frank Sinatra
5. South Pacific: Some Enchanted Evening - Frank Sinatra
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Guys And Dolls: Overture - Orchestra
2. Guys And Dolls: Fugue For Tinhorns - Frank Sinatra
3. Guys And Dolls: I'll Know - Jo Stafford
4. Guys And Dolls: The Oldest Established (Permanent Floating Crap Game In New York) - Frank Sinatra
5. Guys And Dolls: A Bushel And A Peck - The McGuire Sisters
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


By the time he'd turned his own Reprise Records label into a going concern in 1963, Frank Sinatra could happily stub out his cigarette on Tradition, then douse the ashes with the slurry of his double bourbon on the rocks. It's not that Sinatra didn't respect the Broadway musical; indeed, he'd done quite well by its ballads over the course of his storied career. But that haughty Tradition--well, she was just another dame who had to go. So Sinatra swiftly showed her the door. Teaming up with musical director Morris Stoloff, a Murderer's Row of the top arrangers in the business (Riddle, May, Martin, Paich, Fielding, Van Cleave, et al.), and a motley assortment of his Rat Pack buddies and label mates, Frank and company turned the core of post-war Broadway (Finian's Rainbow, Kiss Me, Kate, South Pacific, and Guys and Dolls) into the recorded equivalent of Culture Night at the Sands. And if the lively, swingin' results had contemporary Broadway critics spitting their hot toddies through their proper, powdered noses, so much the better.

There are moments here--Sinatra, Dean Martin, and honorary Rat Bing Crosby tearing up Guys and Dolls' "Fugue for Tinhorns"; Frank, Dino, and Sammy Davis Jr. turning "We Open in Venice" from Kiss Me, Kate into a virtual Vegas free-for-all--where you can almost hear the ice tinkling in their tumblers. And yet it works, even in its weirdest, most perverse moments. What kind of demented genius teams Debbie Reynolds with Allan Sherman (on Kate's "Sue Me") or has the foursquare McGuire Sisters harmonize the naughty "The Begat" from Finian's Rainbow? Happily, the same one who turned Dinah Shore and Rosemary Clooney loose on sublime versions of, respectively, South Pacific's "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" This is Frank Sinatra's take on Broadway--alive, kicking, and in your face, Jack; be advised not to wait for an apology. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
What a rare mood I'm in after listening to this marvelous music.
john keehn
I'd give it a dozen stars if I could, that's one for each great artist represented here.
This is an essential album for fans of Sinatra, and the great American songbook!
Stephen D. Geller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jon Warshawsky on November 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's great to have all four of these albums available again -- Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Keely Smith and of course Sinatra, all in one collaboration. While not all of the music is exactly timeless (Debbie Reynolds' performances as Adelaide on 'Guys and Dolls' are excruciating, and the Hi-Lo's, though fun to listen to, sound like, well, 1963...), there are some real treasures here. If you can take the ride from novelty to classic and back again, you will enjoy all four albums.
'Guys and Dolls' may be the best of the four sets, but from the overtures (the orchestra is magnificent) through the reprises each album has its highlights. Sinatra's 'Luck Be a Lady' is definitive, Davis shines on 'Too Darn Hot' and Jo Stafford's performances are all flawless. Keely Smith performs on several tracks, all of which are excellent -- 'Always True to You in My Fashion' is especially fine, with lyrics that she delivers with the right balance of coyness and honesty. Smith's duets with Sinatra are a treat.
Other highlights: the ensemble performances with Crosby, Martin and Sinatra are fun in a wiseguy kind of way. Bing wasn't a kid in 1963, but his voice aged well, and it is rewarding to hear Sinatra work with the guy who inspired him to be a singer.
Shortcomings? While I did not hear the discrepancies between the Martin and Sinatra tracks mentioned in other reviews, the sound quality is just okay. Reprise in the early 1960s could not compare to Columbia or Capitol, so even these stereo recordings suffer from exaggerated channel separation (Sinatra sounds like he's in the next room on one track) and some loss of depth.
But, it is difficult or impossible to remaster quality that wasn't there to begin. If you really love the music, the performers and the era, sometimes you must take what you can get.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Giovanni M. on October 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
About 8 years ago, when a revival of "Guys And Dolls" was sweeping the Great White Way, Reprise re-issued the 4th disc of this set on its own. Since then, the search has been on by music lovers everywhere for the other three volumes devised by Ol' Blue Eyes of some of Broadway's most beloved musicals. Here they are, presented in cd format at long last. Frank commissioned fellow pallies Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin among other label mates to put across their spin on these great musicals, and the results are incredible. Already owning the "Guys And Dolls" disc for many years, I went directly to the "Kiss Me Kate" disc, which, in this reviewer's humble opinion, holds the best of this entire wonderful set. Dean Martin's "Bianca" is nothing short of sensuous, tender, and even more emotion-filled than how the immortal Cole Porter ever dreamed of penning it. Dean is abetted by a fine Skip Martin arrangement. Not to be missed. And while you're on the way to that track, stop by Keely Smith's "Always True To You In My Fashion" (also arranged by Skip Martin, who's Riddle-like sound is no stranger to anyone at Reprise or Capitol for that matter) And for a laugh or two, the always comical Lou Monte asks the rhetorical question "Where Is The Life That Late I Led?", along with Billy May and orchestra, another bunch of comics, per se. The "Finian's Rainbow" sides are equally well performed, although I'm not a fan of the Hi-Lo's; they seem to cramp Dino on "If This Isn't Love" and seem over exuberant on any tracks they touch. Rosie Clooney's "Look To The Rainbow" is wonderful, and the reprise of "How Are Things In Glocca Morra" will astound you.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "marleyscott" on September 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Forget all the Rat Pack nonsense, this collection represents some of the brightest recording stars of the sixties under the Reprise umbrella and headed up by the Chairman of the Board himself, Francis Albert Sinatra. Yes these are serious interpetations of four of the all-time biggest Broadway Hits, Finian's Rainbow, Kiss Me Kate, South Pacific amd Guys and Dolls.
The highlights are too numerous to list, but for starters there's....How Are Things In Glocca Morra beautifully sung by Rosemary Clooney and Old Devil Moon by Frank, both from Finian's Rainbow. If you've enjoyed the recent Broadway revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, as I have then you'll love Frank, Dean and Sammy's version of We Open In Venice. Sammy's Too Darn Hot is just that and Keely Smith, who would sound great doing the weather report, does a beautiful rendition of Always True To You In My Fashion. Also the lovely Jo Stafford shines on Why Can't You Behave. From Rogers and Hamerstein's South Pacific we get Sammy belting it out on There Is Nothing Like a Dame and Dinah Shore's delightful reading of I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair. The real topper of this set goes to Frank Loesser's masterpiece Guys and Dolls. This material suits the boys to a T. There's Frank, Bing and Dean hamming it up on The Oldest Floating Crap Game and Frank's stellar rendition of Luck Be A Lady. Dinah Shore is positively charming on the perennial If I Were A Bell and I love Sammy's swinging, Sit Down You're Rockin The Boat.
With beautifl packaging, inteligent liner notes and exclusive photos, this boxed set is a must-have for both broadway afficiandos and newcommers alike. I'd give it a dozen stars if I could, that's one for each great artist represented here.
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