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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Stokes Mitchell's "Simply Broadway" is simply superb
Brian Stokes Mitchell, the 55-year-old Broadway baritone, has (finally!) released his second solo CD. It's one that fans will devour. Everything connected with this Tony-winning singer screams Broadway in the best sense of the word. And Mitchell has a new project that speaks well for his sense of respect and generosity-a series of concerts, the profits of which will be...
Published on November 10, 2012 by Alan W. Petrucelli

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's just OK
Brian Stokes Mitchell has one of the best voices on Broadway and I never miss a live performance when he appears locally. I expected this album to be terrific but didn't find it at all satisfying mainly because of the choice of material. To me, it didn't suit his voice. Some albums you listen to the first time and think how great they are This one I thought was just...
Published 16 months ago by Thomas E. Lawson


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Stokes Mitchell's "Simply Broadway" is simply superb, November 10, 2012
By 
Alan W. Petrucelli (THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT (ALAN W. PETRUCELLI)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
Brian Stokes Mitchell, the 55-year-old Broadway baritone, has (finally!) released his second solo CD. It's one that fans will devour. Everything connected with this Tony-winning singer screams Broadway in the best sense of the word. And Mitchell has a new project that speaks well for his sense of respect and generosity-a series of concerts, the profits of which will be split evenly between The Actors Fund (he's chairman of their board) and non-profit concert sites. These concerts are tagged to the CD.
As well they should be.
The CD is simply titled Simply Broadway (CD Baby).
And "simply" is the key here. With just a pianist-arranger Tedd Firth, a fan can close their eyes and think they've landed in that Great Piano Bar in heaven.
By "simply" using a piano rather than an orchestra, some lyrical rare gems are exposed. The big, show-stopping numbers, Feeling Good (The Roar of the Greasepaint . . .) and "Stars" from Les Miserables, are blasted.
As well they should be.
"The Impossible Dream" is a very possible dream with this talent's voice. And against this orgy of show-biz anthems, we have "How to Handle a Woman" (Camelot) and "Some Other Time" (On the Town) that are as tender and warm as can be, and sung just for the singer and the listener.
However, "Soliloquy" (Carousel) is the reason to grab this CD. As good as any recording of this impossibly difficult piece, Mitchell's acting is so immediate and real he makes you listen to the piece as if it were brand new. You're gonna need a big handkerchief here, and most likely it sends you back to listen to the whole show, wishing some genius producer would mount a revial of the show for Mitchell before, well, let's face it . . . Billy is of a certain age and can only be stretched so far.
Blessings on Mitchell for giving us this and the other treats on this CD. A grand concert with a philharmonic orchestra is wonderful, but, sometimes, you just gotta love a piano. Inspired by the Bill Evans-Tony Bennett recordings of just piano and vocal, this is the place for a quiet concentration on the talent of the singer and the musician-arranger. Firth is a very economical player, almost like Jimmy Lyon, allowing the theme to bleed effortlessly through, under and around Mitchell's extraordinary instrument. The piano break in "Sorry-Grateful" (Company) has a wit, charm and wistfulness that's wonderful. This is the ultimate highwire act for any singer, just a piano isn't much of a safety net. Yet for following the shape and taste of a song, sometimes simplicity is best.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RUN, DON'T WALK TO GET THIS CD!, November 5, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
Mr. Mitchell's new CD Simply Broadway is anything but simple! Yes, it's one piano, one voice. It's songs you've heard before but not in this way. As is his custom, this is an artist who always stretches, always finding fresh, new ways to interpret what you thought was familiar. With his inimitable delivery Stokes molds each tune as would a sculptor. I particularly like his interpretation of What Kind of Fool Am I. I typically think of Sammy Davis Junior when I hear it, but with Mr. Mitchell's interpretation I learned a lot that was new!

Run, don't walk to get several copies! And, now your Holiday gift list has just been made easier!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ordered the instant I learned of the album, November 8, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
I've been on the edge of my keyboard waiting for this album ever since his wonderful 2006 release. Stokes internalizes songs and brings them to life. To hear this album, one would think they had discovered a series of brief one-man musicals - each song delivered so strong as to make you believe in the role portrayed. It's also worth mentioning Stokes has mentioned the inspiration for the album arose from the Bill Evans/Tony Bennett recordings also notable for the sparce combination piano and voice. In every way, Stokes has exceeded the expectations that such a comparision suggests. Stunning!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broadway's quintessential musical leading man hits the bullseye once more!, December 7, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (MP3 Music)
Brian Stokes Mitchell, whom I have seen in Kiss Me, Kate, Man of La Mancha, and the Encores! production of Kismet, as well as in concert with Martin Short and the Pittsburgh Pops conducted by the late Marvin Hamlisch, proves once and for all that he is the heir to the Broadway musical leading-man tradition established by such legends as Alfred Drake, John Raitt (Bonnie's father), Howard Keel, and Gordon MacRae. Accompanied only by the sympathetic pianist Tedd Firth, Mitchell guides his audience through a collection of show tunes ranging from the Gershwins' "It Ain't Necessarily So" (from Porgy and Bess) to Boublil, Kretzmer, and Schonberg's "Stars" (from Les Miserables), with a particularly climactic version of the "Soliloquy" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. On Lerner and Loewe's "How to Handle a Woman" (from Camelot), Mitchell pays tribute to Richard Burton and Richard Harris, both of whom portrayed King Arthur to great distinction, and suggests that he could easily fill their shoes in a future production. Mitchell reprises two selections from productions in which he has starred: Man of La Mancha's "The Impossible Dream", and "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific, in which he appeared in a Carnegie Hall concert version in 2005. This introspective Broadway tour ends on a subdued note with Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time" from On the Town, in which Mitchell adapts Betty Comden and Adolph Green's lyrics to "Haven't sung half the songs I want to," and hopefully this hints at more to come from this Broadway titan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something wonderful!, December 9, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
Nah. Mr. Stokes doesn't perform the beautiful ballad mentioned in my headline. But he really should. In fact, he should perform every ballad ever written for the Broadway musical stage. Until he does, this album certainly will suffice, which indeed it does most magnificently. "Sorry Grateful" (from Sondheim's "Company") literally brought a tear to my eye, and is the standout performance on this outstanding album IMHO. But the other songs are equally beautiful, each in its own way. Mr. Stokes has a fantastic and beautiful voice, and it's always a pleasure to hear him perform, whatever the medium.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It IS Necessarily So!, December 13, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
This by far the most outstanding recording I've heard from a singer in years - Babs notwithstanding! Each selection is presented with Stokes' trademark voice and what is referred to as 'vocal stylings'. Stokes doesn't just ride the music, he moves through it like a dancer. The interpretations of each song - both vocally and pianistically, a true dialog here - are individual jewels. Ranging from utmost tenderness [How to Handle a Woman] through wry humor [Ain't Necessarily So; If I Were a Rich Man] through subtle, deeper spins on the classics [Some Enchanted Evening; What Kind of Fool Am I] to more contemporary views [Finishing the Hat; Sorry Grateful] - the album is packed with memorable and addictive performances. Particularly enticing is listening to these tunes for the nuances from both performers in interpreting the material, and the dialog between them. Even if you're sure these classics are stale for you, give a listen and be prepared to smile - grin even - and maybe quietly bask in the sunshine of this offering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENCORE! ENCORE!!, November 19, 2013
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Sunstorm (TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
This is the album I hoped Brian Stokes Mitchell would release. With his mellifluous baritone he delves into his Broadway history and puts his own spin on classics and some less-familiar pieces. He moves from tender to sassy with ease. The arrangements are simple and lush and his accompianist is brilliant.
Take a bow and give us more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A TREAT!, December 18, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
As a fan of Brian Stokes Mitchell I was really looking forward to this album. It far exceeded y expectations. The voice is just amazing and this is a wonderful album, especially for any Broadway lover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOST talented entertainer, December 14, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
Would recommend this to anyone that is a little older and appreciates GOOD singing rather than the screaming you hear so much of today
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Vocalist, February 6, 2014
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This review is from: Simply Broadway (Audio CD)
Brian Stokes Mitchell is one of my favorite singers. He has an amazing baritone voice. This recording is all show tunes, and I am enjoying it. I look forward to a Christmas album or a love songs album (if they are made).
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Simply Broadway
Simply Broadway by Brian Stokes Mitchell (Audio CD - 2012)
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