Weill: Lady in the Dark / Risë Stevens, Adolph Green, Lehman Engel, Danny Kaye Soundtrack
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Top Customer Reviews
This sumptuous reissue on the Columbia 'Masterworks Heritage' label presents the recording in creamy stereo, with the orchestra under the baton of Lehman Engel. Rise Stevens is perhaps the best singer to have played Liza on any recording of LADY IN THE DARK. The trained opera singer lets her hair down for the manic "Saga of Jenny", and yields glowing versions of "My Ship" and "One Life to Live". Also featured among the cast are John Reardon and Stephanie Augustine.
My only qualm about the release is the horrid packaging. The disc is enclosed in a cardboard sleeve at the back of a booklet-style slipcase, leaving the CD vulnerable to scratches and dust (I remedied the problem by putting the CD in a separate plastic jewel case and filing it on the shelf next to the empty booklet case). However this should not deter collectors and musical theatre fans from seeking out this lovely recording.
FOR the collector - get all three recordings currently available - the 1997 London version is the most complete, the Gertrude Lawrence? It's more of a Star Vehicle for Miss Lawrence - lots of dialogue - with really only the two "Liza' numbers - "Saga of Jenmny" and "My Ship" intact - but also well worth the journey.
AS A BONUS - Miss Stevens recording contains the Danny Kaye contribution missing from the Gertrude Lawrence recording - plus his versions of "My Ship" and "The Saga of Jenny".
But the bulk of the CD is the Rise Stevens version of the show, and they went to great lengths, back in the early '60s, to get this (studio) revival right. A few cuts, but most of the music is here. And it's a reminder how inventive Kurt Weill was. Ira Gershwin's lyrics often coast along, or submerge into cuteness. But Weill is always thinking, thinking thinking about how to get the song or the situation right. A solid addition to anyone's library.
Risë Stevens plays Liza Elliot, a fashion magazine editor, who is undergoing psychoanalysis because she has been suffering from depression. Liza presents her dreams to her analyst, and the musical numbers spring forth from these dreams.
I prefer this recording to the more complete recording with Maria Friedman Lady In The Dark (1997 Original London Cast).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy the performances. It's what I was seeking. Despite having been recorded many years ago, the CD is delightful.Published on July 17, 2013 by Harriet Levy
I am usually not a fan of opera stars singing musicals. Rise Stevens' performance, however, is one for the ages. Her performance is definitive and simply cannot be bettered. Read morePublished on October 31, 2011 by Coco Pazzo
With the only possible exception of SHOW BOAT, Ira Gershwin's and Kurt Weill's LADY IN THE DARK is probably the single most complex and sophisticated musical before OKLAHOMA! Read morePublished on January 13, 2008 by Jay Dickson
This recording is terrific, but for a more complete recording with much better quality, look for the Original Cast Recording from the Royal National Theatre Production. Read morePublished on December 5, 2000 by Steven Kruger