Girl Crazy 1990 Studio Cast
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1990 recording, the first complete version, with Lorna Luft. Extensive liner notes with photos & song lyrics.
Widely known for its (very loose) 1943 Hollywood adaptation with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, this musical is among the Gershwins' very best. Originally a star vehicle for Bert Lahr, the original 1930 production also featured Ginger Rogers and Ethel Merman. This new complete recording includes pros like Lorna Luft, Judy Blazer, Vicki Lewis, and David Carroll, and all of them do a bang-up job. The book is a mere pretext: most of the songs are self-contained and could be used in just about any story, and many quickly became classics ("Embraceable You," "But Not for Me," "I Got Rhythm," "Bidin' My Time.") The upbeat score--the original pit orchestra included Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, and Benny Goodman--sees George Gershwin in complete sync with his jazz-crazed times. There's barely a wrinkle on this 70-year-old show. -- Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Using the orchestrations from the original Broadway Production captures what the feel and sound of the show must have been. The Gershwins wrote their best pre-"Porgy and Bess" score for this show. And it is a pleaure to hear how such standards as "Bidin' My Time," "But Not For Me," and, of course, "I've Got Rhythm," were orginally orchestrated.
Lorna Luft is just plain great doing the Merman numbers. She's not Merman, but sings her songs with wonderful gusto and feeling. I had never heard, "Boy, What Love Has Done To Me," Merman's final number in the show. It is a world-class song and I'm puzzled why it didn't become a standard as so many other songs from this show did. Luft sings it beautifully with a deft bewildered, comic touch.
Frank Gorshin is also superb as the comedy-relief New York cab driver.
Indeed, everyone and everything is hunky dory on this album. Including the wonderfully silly "Cactus Time In Arizona."
The notes with this album are extremely informative and entertaining. When I read who was in the pit band and that they did jam sessions instead of breaking for intermissions, I wished I could get in a time-machine and see and hear every performance, including Merman's show-stopping high note in "Rhythm."
This is an essential album for classic Broadway fans or anyone who loves the Gershwins.