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Bring Back Birdie Cast Recording

3.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, August 17, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 17, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B0000014TO
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,132 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Although not a musical masterpiece, you can't deny Charles Strouse and Lee Adams can certainly whip up an exciting, catchy, and most of all fun score for Broadway's first Sequel, BRING BACK BIRDIE. Chita Rivera received a Tony nomination for recreating 'Rosie' a role she played in Broadway's 1960 Smash Hit BYE-BYE BIRDIE penned by the same authors. Tap sensation, and comedic actor, Donald O'Connor of "Singin' In The Rain" movie fame makes his Broadway debut in the role of "Albert".
Other Broadway notables include 1964 Tony Winner ('Golde'/Fiddler on the Roof) MARIA KARNILOVA in the role of 'Mama' and MAURICE HINES of 'Hines, Hines & Dad' fame as 'Mtobe'. These entertainment greats are backed-up up by an equally talented ensemble two of whom, making their Broadway debuts, are now film actors VANESSA (Coming To America/Crimson Tide) BELL CALLOWAY and MICHAEL (Chaplin/A Chorus Line) BLEVINS.
A must for every collector and certainly for theatre groups planning to produce this cult classic originally conceived, directed & choreographed by Tony winner JOE LAYTON with a frivilously-kooky yet entertaining book by legendary script writer MICHAEL STEWART. At the time an un-heard-of amount of money ($2 million - mere pocket change by today's standards) went into this historic 1981 production that had no out-of-town tryout yet previewed for 7 weeks on Broadway, opened to mixed reviews and closed after 3 days and 4 performances.
Theatre lovers and Broadway enthuastists will adore this rare and unlikely recording featuring top-notch, first-class talent! .....
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A sequel to "Bye Bye Birdie" is as unnecessary as garlic in ice cream, but there you have it, and there it was for only a week run on Broadway. It managed to get recorded, and with Chita Rivera repeating her role as the lovable "Spanish Rose" (who only on occasion gets fiery) , it seemed a sure curious incident of the nighttime of the diva returning to Broadway. But unfortunately, her Albert (Donald O'Connor) wasn't as memorable as Dick Van Dyke, lacking in chemistry with the legendary Rivera. The Strouse and Adams score is actually pretty good, but the story is poor, the supporting cast unmemorable (Maria Karnilova, great in "Fiddler" and "Zorba", given poor material and made to be utterly obnoxious as Albert's banished mother returned from obscurity), and the character of Birdie nowhere close to even the older, fat Elvis in style. Rivera's declaration of "Twenty Happy Years" is a great opening, and O'Connor manages to score with "Middle Age Blues", but overall, this show just didn't have what it took to get audiences excited, well, not those looking for a hit anyway. Those who did see it were mainly flop followers, and for them, this CD is a treasure of what shouldn't have been.
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Format: Audio CD
I have had the CD of this album in my library for years. In fact, I can't remember when I bought it. But after listening to (and reviewing) two or three versions of BYE BYE BIRDIE, I discovered this forgotten gem and started listening to it. OK, so it's not the 100% brilliant gem that the original BIRDIE was. (Very few musicals can boast a score in which there is no deadwood whatsoever.) But one can certainly not say that this is without its merits. There's a lot of fun music, spanning all kinds of genres. And Lee Adams wrote some delightful, amusing and at time knee-slapping/laugh-out-loud lyrics. It's truly a shame that the show folded after four performances. From listening to the cast album (and thank the gods of show-biz that it was even recorded!), one can't get a clear picture why it bombed. It deserves to be hauled out and brushed off and remounted.

My favorite songs are "The Middle Age Blues" (brilliant!), "Well I'm Not!" (delightful!), and "When Will Grown-Ups Grow Up?" (the kids' answer to the original show's "Kids!")-- but there are many others that certainly are very good. What a shame a vocal selections folio was never published. (I'm assuming there wasn't one. If the show closed that quickly, no publisher would have bothered with one...another reason this album is so unprecedented and welcome.)

As for performances on the album, Chita Rivera is at the height of her powers. This and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN probably show off her range best. Donald O'Connor sounds tired. He doesn't have the spark that Dick Van Dyke had in the original show (and that others who played the part didn't have, either). Robin Morse as Jenny, Albert and Rosie's rebellious daughter, is wonderful on record. She should have played Kim McAfee in the TV movie version of BYE BYE BIRDIE.
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Format: Audio CD
Actually this is NOT the first Broadway musical sequel written, but the point is it is one of the WORST show on Earth. The staging is inadequate, the book is silly, funny, but with many ideas which dull the audiences. The set is excessive and overblown...etc. But then, the score, which is the only thing we can experience from a cast recording, is nice if not excellent.

With a bunch of (10) orchestrators in line, one can expect that this musical has varied musical styles which include pop, rock-and-roll (of coz), classical theatre, western, gospel, 20s jazz and so on. The tunes written by Charles Strouse (who is a prolific composer whom sequels suck) are catchy with witty/funny/entertaining lyrics written by Lee Adams. As for the performers, Chita is irreplaceable, while Donald O'Connor proved that he can really sing. Maria Karnilova, Maurice Hines and Marcel Forestieri are doing a very good job in this recording.

So, for those who are searching for lost gems of musical SCORES, this is one of the choice here. For the show, well, let's just say it's a total bore.
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