Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Singing Sondheim

Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Singing Sondheim

Article excerpt

Alfie Boe - Alfie (Decca)

The Tony Award-winning singer, magnificently backed by the Orchestra of the Scottish Opera, lends his glorious tenor to a host of Broadway standards on this disc that's tremendously satisfying from start to finish. Stephen Sondheim fans will particularly appreciate Boe's work on the first track, "Being Alive." The rich, string-heavy orchestrations give this now standard an almost John Williams-like feel, and Boe's clarion vocals simply cascade over the tune. Other highlights include a delicately rendered version of "Bring Him Home" (Les Misérables) as well as another tune from the show, "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," which Boe offers as a terrific duet with Nick Jonas. Boe is also heard to great effect in a marvelously phrased "Wheels of a Dream" (Ragtime) and one other tune with Sondheim lyrics, "Maria."

By Side By Side By Side By Side by Stephen Sondheim (Kritzerland)

This two-disc set, one of the many recordings that preserve the annual S.TA.G.E. benefit concerts, has both hits and misses as a starry company celebrates Sondheim's work (the recording was made at Beverly Hills Wilshire Theatre on March 10-11, 2007), including some of his best-known songs in a variety of interpretations. Among the standouts are Lisa Vroman's soaring take on the movie version of "The Glamorous Life" from A Little Night Music, Betty Garrett's utterly merry delivery of Follies' "Broadway Baby," Alice Ripley's rousing "Me and My Town" (Anyone Can Whistle) and Kevin Earley's searing "Marry Me a Little" (Company). Brothers Patrick and Shaun Cassidy tear with comic élan into both versions of the competing princes' song "Agony" from Into the Woods. Listeners with a fondness for things historical will enjoy the fact that Len Gariou is on hand to sing "You Must Meet My Wife" (which he originated in Night Music) with Sally Ann Howes, and in the mix of selections that will inspire both smiles and debate is Veanne Cox's solo rendition of "Getting Married Today," in which she gamely and amusingly assays all of the parts.

Ian Patrick Gibb - Fill in the Words (IanPatrickGibb.com)

Gibb, who's been traveling with the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, showcases his beautifully bright tenor on this ninetrack album that concludes with Sondheim's "Marry Me a Little," which he delivers with forceful passion. …

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