Noteworthy: Reviews of New Music ; the Monitor Takes a Look at Cast Recordings from Recent Broadway Musicals

The Christian Science Monitor, January 13, 2006 | Go to article overview

Noteworthy: Reviews of New Music ; the Monitor Takes a Look at Cast Recordings from Recent Broadway Musicals


Jersey Boys (Rhino/WEA): Even if you're a million miles from Broadway, you can still hear the sounds of "Jersey Boys," a smash- hit musical based on the high, sweet tones of the young Frankie Valli and his doo-wop quartet, the Four Seasons. The CD, produced by Bob Gaudio, one of the original members of the Four Seasons and its resident songwriter, includes some of the show's dialogue and more than 30 songs, including such enduring hits as "Sherry," "Rag Doll," "Oh, What a Night," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Led by John Lloyd Young as Valli - surely the next Broadway star - the recording is a must-have for boomers who grew up on this music. Grade: A- - Iris Fanger

Monty Python's Spamalot (Decca): Eric Idle's hilariously irreverent antimusical mocks everything from cookie-cutter Broadway shows (with numbers like "This Is The Song That Goes Like This") to its own adaptation of the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." The musical's leads - Tim Curry (Arthur), David Hyde Pierce (Robin), and "Simpsons" staple Hank Azaria (Lancelot) - make its near- brilliance seem quite effortless. The high point is sultry siren Sara Ramirez as The Lady of the Lake, whose constant lamenting of her underwritten role - especially with "Diva's Lament (What Ever Happened To My Part?)" - makes hers the meatiest of all. Grade: A- - Robert Newton

Wicked (Decca): The most appreciative listener of the "Wicked" cast album will be someone who has already seen the show, a phenomenon that has generated a loyal fan base of repeat viewers, especially teenage girls. …

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