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Carnival (1961 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, June 8, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

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The 1953 MGM motion picture Lili already seemed like a musical, even though the film contained only two songs, most notably "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo." Perfect, then, to translate the film to the Broadway stage, which is exactly what Michael Stewart (Hello, Dolly) and composer-lyricist Bob Merrill (lyricist for Funny Girl and countless pop tunes, including "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window") did in 1961, winning the N.Y. Critics Circle Award for their efforts. Anna Marie Alberghetti made her Broadway debut in the Lili role (which had been Leslie Caron's film debut), with Jerry Orbach taking over for Mel Ferrer as the lame puppeteer, and Kaye Ballard in Zsa Zsa Gabor's role as the magician's mistress. Of course, the musical needed its own "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo"-- and that came in the form of "Love Makes the World Go Round." Nothing else in this sweet score matches that classic, although Carnival does remain an old-fashioned charmer. The CD release includes previously unreleased tracks, including numbers performed by Merrill himself, as well as covers by Mel Torme and Richard Chamberlain. --Bill Holdship
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Product Details

  • Performer: Mel Tormé, Richard Chamberlain, Paul Smith, James Mitchell, Kaye Ballard, et al.
  • Composer: Bob [Songwriter] Merrill, Bob Merrill
  • Audio CD (June 8, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B000001FPZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,158 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on February 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
CARNIVAL is a gorgeous Broadway musical based on the MGM musical "Lili". "Lili" was adapted by Helen Deutsch from Paul Gallico's story.
The musical CARNIVAL is essentially a showcase for the amazing talents of Anna Maria Alberghetti, as Lili herself. Alberghetti has the most interesting voice I have ever heard, and was a child prodigy with her huge vocal range. Just listen to her soaring voice in "Beautiful Candy" (where she hits a high-C), "A Very Nice Man", "I Hate Him" and "Mira".
The story of CARNIVAL is Lili's tale; the charming orphan happens upon a troupe of performers from a travelling circus, and joins the act. The lame puppeteer Paul (Jerry Orbach) unwittingly hires her, and she ends up performing with his puppets in a charming show that ends up as the circus' star attraction.
Adding to the cast are Kaye Ballard, Henry Lascoe, Pierre Olaf and James Mitchell.
A fantastic under-rated musical which was recently revived in the City Center's Encores! series, starring "The Princess Diaries" Anne Hathaway as Lili.
A charming recording which features bonus tracks from composer Bob Merrill as well as lovely cover-versions from Richard Chamberlain, J. J. Johnson and Mel Torme.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This musical adaptation of the movie "Lili"---itself an adaptation of the dark love story "Love Of Seven Dolls"---is a wonderful tale of unrequited love set in the colorful world of a traveling carnival. The songs are delightful and the cast a very talented group of people. Anna Maria Alberghetti is Lili, the childlike young woman who enchants the bitter puppeteer Paul, adeptly portrayed in this version by Jerry Orbach. Their two voices, hers sweet and clear and his strong and virile, are well-suited to their conflicting roles as the innocent gamine and the cynical and damaged man who cannot show her the love he feels except through his puppets. The shallow and opportunistic magician is charmingly done by James Mitchell, while his world-weary assistant is done by the delightfully brassy Kaye Ballard. One of the best characters is Paul's assistant Jacquot, who functions almost as a conscience to the bitter puppet master. In this original Broadway production, Jacquot is done by the small but very talented Pier Olaf. Add a small group of gifted supporting players and a solid production, and the result is a delightful excursion into a love story that blends reality and fantasy.
The story unfolds in the songs. The listener is introduced to the carnival(Opening), to the magician and his assistant(Direct From Vienna), then to Lili(A Very Nice Man), and Paul and Jacquot(I've Got To Find A Reason). Jacquot, realizing that Lili has a crush on the undeserving magician and that the broken Paul has an attraction to her, begs Lili to leave the carnival and go home. Lili tells him she is too far from home(Mira) and wants to stay near her beloved Marco the Magnificent. Marco keeps up his efforts to seduce Lili but is thwarted(A Sword And A Rose And A Cape).
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Format: Audio CD
A magical creation that both was part of the proud succession of hit Broadway musicals in the 1950s and 1960s and has a special quality all its own, "Carnival" is a memorable show that is too little known today and awaits rediscovery (and a major, full-scale New York revival). Rarely has a musical captured the mystery and enchantment of live performance as movingly and ingeniously as this multifaceted theatrical gem.
Adapted from the film "Lili", "Carnival" goes its source material one better by virtue of Bob Merrill's memorable score, best known for "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" and filled with delightful, often uniquely beautiful songs and numbers, truly without a dud among them. And the story, apparently based in part on the real-life relationship between Burr Tillstrom and Fran Allison of "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" fame, provides the basis for a Broadway book of rare literary merit.
The cast is the stuff of legends.
Fans who know the great Anna Maria Alberghetti only through her delicious comic turn as the Mafia don's wife in the film "Friends and Family" may not be familiar with her accomplishments as a singer. Alberghetti originally made her mark as a child prodigy operatic soprano, and she created the role of Lili on Broadway when still barely out of her teens. Her combination of grit and vulnerability, part woman, part adolescent, combined with her gorgeous singing voice, make her Tony-winning performance a classic.
Suffice it to say that the supporting cast includes Jerry Orbach, in his original glory days as a musical theater leading man, and the marvelous all-around entertainer Kaye Ballard, and you'll get some idea of the depth of talent on display here.
For the score, the touching story and Anna Maria Alberghetti's indelible performance, "Carnival" is a must for everyone who cares about musical theater.
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By A Customer on May 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I had a chance to become familiar with Carnival last summer, and this consistently melodic, varied, and interesting soundtrack never grows old. Especially (but certainly not exclusively) if one sees the stage production, this music has an incredible capacity for combining fantasy and poignancy in ways that allow me to lose myself in the music. From lush, rich songs like "I've Got to Find a Reason" and "Mira" to colorful numbers such as "A Sword and a Rose and a Cape" and "Humming," this album does not contain a single weak link. Particularly catchy tunes include "Yum Ticky Ticky Tum" as well as "A Very Nice Man," and the centerpiece of the show, "Love Makes the World Go Round," is utterly sweet and touching. Anna Marie Alberghetti brings both fluidity and precision to the role of Lili, and is well matched by the surrounding cast in terms of artistic merit. The aural quality of this CD is quite clean and rich for its age, and the bonus tracks are worth hearing as well. Anyone should give Carnival a chance, it is a beauty.
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