Friday, December 12, 2008

Gypsy revival cast recording

Nominations for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards were announced last week. The Best Musical Show Album category is always of interest to me. This year’s nominees are Gypsy, In the Heights, The Little Mermaid, South Pacific and Young Frankenstein: The Musical.

The only one I have now is Gypsy, which I love. I received Heights and Young Frank as a Drama Desk voter when those shows were nominated, but I gave them away -- Heights to the Performing Arts library and Young Frank to a friend’s son who had liked the show. No one is getting Gypsy from me, though!

The Gypsy revival CD is produced by Robert Sher, with Jule Styne’s music and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics and was recorded with the 2008 Broadway cast starring Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti, all of whom won Tonys for their powerful performances. (See my review posted April 5, 2008).

I still listen to my vinyl copy of the original cast recording, which starred Ethel Merman, but this new recording is more comprehensive, offering dialogue and additional lyrics. It also features seven bonus tracks that were cut from the original production. Besides giving us LuPone’s intense rendering of songs like “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Rose’s Turn,” this recording blesses us with Gaines as Herbie. He has it all over Jack Klugman musically because, let’s face it, Klugman was no singer. Like the original, it’s got that fabulous overture, which has got to be one of the best in musical theatre history.

The Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 8 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. CBS will broadcast the event live from 8 to 11:30 p.m. ET. For a complete list of Grammy nominees, visit

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