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Sweet Charity: A New Musical Comedy (1966 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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Gwen Verdon found her greatest stage role in Charity Hope Valentine, the down-on-her-luck dancehall hostess with a heart of gold. Verdon's performance would have won her yet another Tony, but she lost to Angela Lansbury's equally-good performance in MAME.
Verdon is joined by a dream cast including John McMartin (INTO THE WOODS), Helen Gallagher (NO NO NANETTE), Barbara Sharma, James Luisi, Ruth Buzzi, Thelma Oliver and Arnold Soboloff.
Gwen Verdon belts out her numbers in her own trademark style. Verdon could sing out entries from a phonebook and stop the show. She's quite fetching in the quirky character pieces "You Should See Yourself" and the snappy wordplay of the clarifying "Charity's Soliloquy". She later brings down the house with the certifiable showstoppers "If My Friends Could See Me Now", "I'm a Brass Band", "Where Am I Going?" and "I'm the Bravest Individual".
As Charity's two gal pals Nickie and Helene, Helen Gallagher and Thelma Oliver sing the caustic "Baby Dream Your Dream", and join Verdon for the showstopping "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This".
An essential cast album in any collection, this reissue of SWEET CHARITY on the Columbia Broadway Masterworks label includes rare audio of Fred Robbins interviewing the cast at the opening-night party as well as a longer 'first release' version of "I Love to Cry at Weddings".
Cy Coleman's other work has been distinguished and attractive enough, but it was with this show that he left a permanent mark on the history of the American musical theatre. The story of Charity (essayed unforgettably by the late Gwen Verdon) is an uproarious and very moving fable about love, trust and their implications. This potent mix of emotions didn't entirely translate to the movie (where Charity's humiliation was a bit too realistic for comfort), but it emerges fully from the original cast album.
Coleman's score (with fine lyrics by Dorothy Fields) is dazzling, ranging from the aforementioned standards to the haunting "Where Am I Going?" to the exhilarating "I'm a Brass Band". And this recording, despite its small omissions (the third part of the "Rich Man's Frug" dance sequence, for example), stands as the definitive account, and would do so even without the interesting bonus tracks.
The best thing, though, is the performance of Gwen Verdon in the title role. Just through her vocals, you will be able to imagine her in her prime..hoofing, mugging and charming you as she did with so many lucky audiences over her long, illustrious career.
A great tribute to all the creative forces involved in the creation of this durable, toe-tapping, musical production!
Best Tracks include:
Big Spender [classic!]
If My Friends Could See Me Now [classic!]
There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This
Baby, Dream Your Dream
Where Am I Going?
I'm A Brass Band
Actually, most of the above are probably Broadway standards!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A couple of good songs. If You Could See Me Now the Hit. Rest mediocrePublished 11 months ago by Bennett I. Bardfeld
Good arrangements clever lyrics. touching overall. A great sample of Cy coleman. A great addition to any collection. glad to recieve.Published on March 29, 2014 by Moises Figueroa
If you saw the Broadway version of this musical many eons ago and recall some of the songs...then this CD is for you. Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by Bag Lady
Great classic Broadway cast recording. A musical about prostitutes... what's not to love? It's a great recording with great songs. I'd love to see this show sometimePublished on March 26, 2013 by Shawn Holman
"Sweet Charity" was director/choreographer Bob Fosse's valentine to his then wife, the beloved Broadway dancing star Gwen Verdon. Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by Classic Film Buff
The concept of the musical is so dated that it is new again. The theme of the prostitute with the heart of gold may be an ancient one, but Sweet Charity is a musical that is... Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by David M. Pody