Entertainment :: Music

The Legends of Broadway :: Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, and Barbara Cook

by Adam Hetrick
Contributor
Saturday Jan 20, 2007
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Legends of Broadway, the latest series from Masterworks Broadway, celebrates four of Broadway’s brightest stars: Barbara Cook, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury and Chita Rivera. Lovingly packaged with beautiful cover portraits, production photos and fascinating interviews, the collection is a must have. Though all of the songs included are available on the original Broadway cast albums or concert recordings, it the celebration of these artists’ work along with the splendid presentation that makes an impact here.

All of these ladies rose to fame during Broadway’s Golden Age, with the exception of Bernadette Peters, who arrived on the scene just as the face of Broadway was changing. However, the collection isn’t simply a best of selections, it represents the living body of work these artists carry with them and also the history of this great American Art form.

Each Legend is given her own disc highlighting their musical theatre careers. David Foil conducts the interviews with each, discussing how they were cast in some of their signature roles and their experiences with both hits and flops in their careers.

Barbara Cook’s legendary soprano is represented by Candide, The King and I, Follies, Show Boat, The Music Man, The Gay Life and She Loves Me. Highlights include: a vibrant Glitter and Be Gay, Ice Cream, My White Knight and You Are Love.

Broadway baby Bernadette Peters is showcased with Annie Get Your Gun, Dames At Sea, Anyone Can Whistle, Sunday In the Park With George, Song and Dance, Into the Woods, Mack and Mabel and her recent turn in Gypsy. Her signature vocals deliver: You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun, There Won’t Be Trumpets, Move On, Time Heals Everything, Unexpected Song and Everything’s Coming Up Roses.

Angela Lansbury’s musical career is captured in selections from Anyone Can Whistle, Mame, Dear World, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. The brassy-legit that is unmistakably Lansbury’s delivers a rousing I Don’t Want To Know as well as: If He Walked Into My Life, Kiss Her Now, A Parade In Town, Rose’s Turn and The Worst Pies In London to mention a few.

Broadway’s most famous dancer actress Chita Rivera is saluted with selections from West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Bajour, Chicago and her favorite role, Kiss of the Spider Woman. Her original America, A Boy Like That, All That Jazz, An English Teacher, Mean and Where You Are are all collected here.

Some of the recordings are simply favorites by the actress, not necessarily a role they originated. Though some might quibble with this, it is a pleasure to have their work in such a well crafted collection.

$18.98 from Masterworks Broadway

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