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on July 4, 2004
I have seen the "The Boy From Oz" twice on Broadway and believe it is definitely the most fabulous Broadway show in years. Hugh Jackman's performance in the role of the late Peter Allen (songwriter, cabaret singer and recording artist) is clearly one of the most outstanding in Broadway history. Part of that performance is captured on this CD (ie, the vocal part). So, I bought the CD. While the CD brings back great memories of the show, I have learned to value the CD for its own merits. Firstly, the music of Peter Allen is incredible (the most amazing feat of this show is that the late Peter Allen's music is used to tell the story of his life). Each song on this CD is either moving, rhythmic, melodic and/or plain fun to listen to. Secondly, Hugh Jackman and the other cast members all give competent performances of the many classics contained on the CD. Thirdly, the arrangers outdid themselves refreshing and modifying some of the old arrangements (some are totally reinvented). As the song goes, everything old is new again.
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on December 9, 2003
Since getting my hands on this CD the day it was released, I have listened to it at least a hundred times and love it each and every time. Having been privileged to see the Broadway musical several times, I must say that Hugh Jackman is pure magic on that stage. He puts his heart and soul into his performance as Peter Allen, and it comes through on this recording. Particularly in "Once Before I Go", which is a real tear-jerker.
I must heartily disagree with the assessment by the Aussie "reviewer" from Perth. I own the Aussie cast CD of "The Boy From Oz" and now that I have the Broadway recording, I doubt that I will ever listen to the Aussie one again. From the start I have disliked McKenney but listened to the CD to familiarize myself with Allen's music. On the Broadway recording, Hugh Jackman gives highly emotional renditions of "The Lives of Me", "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage", "Love Don't Need A Reason", the afore-mentioned "Once Before I Go", "I Still Call Australia Home" --- and has such fun with numbers like "Love Crazy" and "I Go to Rio". Hugh is an incredible performer, on stage, in movies, and it certainly shows on this recording. Not only do I recommend this CD, but I strongly urge you to get to NYC in 2004 to see this show, starring the most dynamic star to hit Broadway in years.
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on November 20, 2003
Peter Allen was perhaps the most under rated performers of our time. On stage he was electric, he could make a concert hall feel like a living room. His real gift however, was his songwriting ability. He was a brilliant song writer. At one time he said "My songs are my biography". This CD features Allen's life in words and music. Hugh Jackman is magnificent in his portrayal of the complicated Allen. He has caputered Peter's charm and energy and brought his own unique style to the role. As a long time Peter Allen fan, I feel so lucky that Mr. Jackman took this role. Now Peter's music will once more be in the spotlight... and because of Hugh Jackman, a new generation will learn about the entertainer Peter Allen.
I find the Amazon review on the cd rather negative. Mr. Allen was not in the closet until his death. On stage he might have been flamboyant and dynamic, but behind the scenes he was private. Peter's depth is obvious when one listens to the words and music he wrote. Music that stands the test of time.
For all of us Peter Allen fans that are still out there.. ENJOY
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VINE VOICEon September 6, 2004
I got this CD as part of membership package in a music club simply because I liked Hugh Jackman's rendition of "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage." I'm glad I did! I've heard Jackman sing before when I caught his performance of "Oklahoma!" on PBS, and while he is not as good in this performance, it's still fantastic. I have to admit that I knew little of Peter Allen and the only song of his I remembered was "I Go To Rio." On the performances, Jackman is great as Peter Allen, but Isabel Keating as Judy Garland and Stephanie J. Block as Liza Minnelli are the real stars of this CD; and I wholeheartedly disagree with Amazon's reviewer that their imitations of Judy and Liza's vocal styles are distracting. If anything, it adds to passion of their songs. Keating on "All I Wanted Was The Dream" and "Only an Older Woman" is just wonderful. Block really shines on "She Loves to Hear the Music" and sounds so much like Liza it's uncanny. As to Jackman, he's great, but his rendition of some songs just doesn't sound right -- almost like they were out of his range. He really shines on three songs: "Quiet Please, There's A Lady on Stage," a loving tribute to Judy Garland, as well as "I Still Call Australia Home" and "I Go To Rio." This CD also includes a bonus track "Tenterfield Saddler," which really highlights Jackman's talent. I you like a good Broadway musical and Peter Allen songs, this is a must-have.
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on November 23, 2003
As a longtime fan of Peter Allen's music, and someone lucky to have experienced the legendary stage performer in person three times, I was ecstatic when "The Boy From Oz" came to Broadway. The show itself is a basic pain-by-numbers affair that never fully mines the pathos and brilliance of its subject, with shoddy sets and awkward designs that feel better suited to a high school production than a stage on the Great White Way. But all of the incidentals of this show are completely forgotten and take a much needed back seat to Allen's inspired music and the glorious star-making performance of Hugh Jackman in the title role. I haven't experienced anything quite like the feelings that came up for me as I watched this talented Aussie pin-up and actor literally transcend definition and BECOME Peter Allen - mind, body and spirit. Whereas supporting cast members are given fine opportunities to embody the likes of Liza Minelli (Allen's ex wife) and Judy Garland - and do so admirably despite the obvious challenges that come with playing a well known entertainer - it's Jackman who astonishes in a role that ideally suits his tenuous but forceful voice and his gentle, though complete grasp of character. Watching Jackman on stage was at times like watching the original Allen, who whipped his audiences (and myself) into a frenzy with boundless stage energy, costumes galore and a quick witted manner that was both adorable and dismissive at once. Funny, light, abrasive and ultimately sad, Jackman captures the human qualities of the late great singer-songwriter, whose "DOn't Cry Out Loud" and "I Honestly Love You" became staples for the brokenhearted. This cast recording seems blessed - if that's possible - by Allen's spirit. It's a fitting tribute to a vocalist whose singing ability was secondary to his phrasing and showmanship, and an eerie reminder that when you find huge new musical theater talent like Hugh Jackman, you RUN (do not pass GO, do not stop at the light) to get tickets. A stratling once-in-a-lifetime stage performance, reserved here for eternity. Let's all pray for an eventual DVD of the show! Jackman is TONY and GRAMMY bound!
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on March 19, 2006
I read the reviews before I listened to the music "samples" and was really puzzled. Bear with me please. I'm a mom whose kids think (know?) she's totally out of touch.

My son just happened to be flying in from Oz and I hadn't seen him since his last Christmas break and so I was channel surfing (i.e., waiting nervously and checking CNN for you-know-what)and was so surprised to see this Aussie guy on Charlie Rose. He was charming, cute and then CR ran a clip of him singing a song from "Oklahoma," a play and a song which I almost can't stand anymore because it's become such a cliche.

But when this Aussie started singing I got goosebumps and the hair that I do have on my arms and head stood up and my mouth literally dropped open-something I've maybe done only once or twice in my life. When my son finally got home, only about ten minutes after CR's show was over, and the whole family piled into my room, I, of course, couldn't remember the Aussie's name. He's an Aussie, Nick. Vicki tells me half of Hollywood is from Oz (yes, I do know that, kids). Andrew remind me of when I got Sinead O'Connor and Shikeal O'Neil (spelling is wrong, I know!) mixed up many years ago and many others since then. I tell them he sings...real tall...good looking. (That discribes half of the men in Oz, mom - you've been there!) My poor son wants to go to sleep since he had to take two planes before he even got to Sydney and then another from LA but I have to tell every story that this Hugh guy...was it Hugh Grant? No...that's not right...said on the air because I'll forget by tomorrow; besides, I really just want to talk with my son-sort-of-from-Oz. Finally, we figured out it was Hugh Jackman (not JackSon) and I was reminded he was in that cute movie with Meg Ryan.

I now listen to "I Still Call Australia Home" each night on my iPod(well, only for the last three weeks, since I've figured out how to use it) and remember how Hugh told CR how he saw his dad cry the one and only time in his life at a game or some such when the song was played, and then I hope that my son won't stay in Oz after his studies are done, but love the song because it makes me feel closer to my son.

And yet every night I think, Hugh Jackman does sound a bit different than he did in "Oklahoma." His voice is not as smooth and not as powerful or rich. I don't get the goosebumps, etc. It's soothing, not stirring as in "wow! this is one of the greatest singers I've ever heard!"

And I think I've figured it out, finally. I think Hugh Jackman is holding back. I think he is trying to sing more like Peter Allan. I heard him sing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma" and he had a voice that came out that just knocked you out but looked as if it was effortless, though he looked joyful. So, my theory/conclusion is that since Peter Allan didn't have that sort of full-out voice, Hugh Jackman wasn't going to give it out to the audience because it wasn't appropriate. I didn't see the play, but from what I've heard, he did give out Peter Allan's flamboyant style and so forth. I wish I had had the opportunity to see the play. At least we have the CD.

Now if we could only get the Hugh Jackman "Oklahoma" CD. It might be available through Amazon's Great Britain location.
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on July 15, 2004
Hugh Jackman has truly outdone himself with the hit Broadway show, 'The Boy From Oz'. This CD is proof of that.
It includes the 26 broadway songs, all of them sung wonderfully. Those songs include--The Lives of Me--My Name in Lights--Love Crazy--All I Wanted was a Dream--Older Woman--The Best That You Can Do--Don't Wish too Hard--Come Save Me--Continental American--I Love to Hear the Music--Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage--I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love--Not the Boy Next Door--Bi-Costal--If You Were Wondering--Everything Old is New Again--Love Don't Need a Reason--I Honestly Love You-- You and Me--I Still Call Australia Home--Don't Cry Out Loud--Once Before I Go--Rio--Tenterfield Saddler.
Hugh Jackman is refreshingly different from his previous roles [X-Men (Wolverine) and Van Helsing], and puts his heart and soul into every note he sings. I recently saw the Broadway Show, and his performance was truly hilarious. He would interact wth the crowd and get everyone riled up for the next scene. Every motion he did was part of his character, and truly made it a worthwhile experiance. I highly reccomend seeing the show and buying this CD.
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on December 19, 2003
You have to have seen the show to put this cast recording into the full emotional context of how Peter Allen's life and music have been portrayed on stage! Hugh Jackman's highly acclaimed performance ( conceded now as frontrunning for the 2003 Tony awards) brings to life the story of Peter - and he does it with great acting, appealing singing, solid dancing skills, and sheer charisma. His rapport and engaging manner with the audience wins him fans, from the show's critics and audience alike.
The songs in the album are presented in the context of the rewritten book of the musical, brought to life by wonderful emotive and vocal performances by Hugh and his amazing supporting cast. He brings such tenderness to the bonus track Tenterfield Saddler ( cut from the show but for good reasons), brings the audience to an emotional high with Once Before I Go ( often ended by a rare standing ovation before the end of a show), delights with the joyous or poignant displays in his duets with Judy, Liza, and Greg. His I Go to Rio is such an awesome spectacle you feel like doing the latin dance it evokes. Sadly, the BI-COASTAL number on the disc does not include the now famous audience interaction scenes which have become one the show's most enjoyable moments. Neither does the album fully capture the joyous spirit of Not The Boy Next Door and Everything Old Is New Again. But that is not the fault of this well-conceived album - you simply have to view the performance to capture the visual and vocal appeal of the musical score and its settings... Stephanie Block also delivers impressively in her numbers and Jarrod Emick imbues I Honestly Love You with such honest emotions...But my favourite song is turning out to be ALL THE LIVES OF ME - sung by Hugh with such a wry and poignant expression, one can almost feel the regrets and the joys which marked the life of Peter Allen.
Get the cast album - even better, save like mad and go to New York for that evening of pure entertainment. I have done it - no less than 6 times!
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on December 3, 2003
I saw Peter Allen perform several times and he remains one of the best performers I have ever seen, simply in terms of pure entertainment. He completely connected with his audience and one always left the concert feeling totally elated. I saw the Boy from Oz in previews in late September so I have not seen the final version of it, but from the moment Hugh Jackman appeared on stage (in the preview he began on top the piano singing Not the Boy Next Door), I felt I was seeing Peter again. It was just uncanny. Hugh Jackman's performance is nothing short of brilliant and this man can do it all - act, sing, dance, flirt with the audience - and may I say look great doing it. By the end of the show, I was simultaneously crying and laughing; my hands were shaking, and as we exited the theatre, I said to my companion, "Peter Lives." He does indeed, and if you are a fan of Peter you must have this CD and see the play. And if you are not already a fan of Hugh Jackman, after this you will be. Peter Allen's great dream was to be a hit on Broadway, and now he finally is. Long live Peter.
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on December 19, 2012
I like Peter Allen's music, and I like Hugh Jackman. After reading the reviews of this recording, I had high expectations. Perhaps that was my problem.

The songs are great, and well chosen. There are a few little known ones, and some signature tunes. No doubt the selection was made to further the plot of the Broadway show. I didn't see the show, so I can't speak to that. And, if this is your first exposure to the music, or you're looking for a souvenir to help you remember the show, I think you'll like this. But, without the memory of the show, viewed strictly as a compilation of Peter Allen songs, I found it lacking.

The songs lack the intimacy of the original performances. They sound like they're being belted to the balcony, not to the listener. Peter Allen wasn't so much a singer as an interpreter, and you knew where he was coming from when he sang these songs. And I'm not saying that he's the only one who can sing his songs well -- far from true. I think the Pablo Cruise version of "I Go To Rio" is by far the best. Melissa Manchester owns "Don't Cry Out Loud" and Olivia Newton John "I Honestly Love You."

I guess I expected a sampling of Peter Allen tunes interpreted by others. I got a memory of a show I didn't see. I'm rating this on the performance of these songs. If you're a fan of the show, no doubt your opinion will be different than mine.
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