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Album Review

Based on the Broadway show My Sister Eileen, Wonderful Town opened February 25, 1953, and ran for 559 performances. The story revolves around the trials, tribulations, and loves of two sisters from Columbus, OH, who move to New York City in the mid-'30s to seek fame and fortune. Rosalind Russell plays Ruth, a role she created in the movie version of the play. The other sister, Eileen, is played by Edie Adams, who went on to have a successful career on the stage, screen, and TV. This CD is part of Decca's Broadway musical original-cast reissue series using 24-bit digital technology resulting in a sparkling sound. The troika who wrote music and lyrics for this production, Leonard Bernstein, Adolph Green, and Betty Comden, were among Broadway's brightest stars. And even though this musical won several Tony awards, the lyrics and story are somewhat dated with its references to such personages of the time as tennis star Helen Wills. Tunes such as "Swing" and the patter associated with it seem more appropriate for old-time vaudeville. None of the tunes from the show attained classic status. Wonderful Town did not reach the same high level of the other troika collaboration, On the Town. Songs from that 1944 production, about three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York, are included here to move the CD into the very attractive class. These six tunes are from a set of excerpts originally issued in February 1946 and are by Nancy Walker, Mary Martin, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green, the latter two who not only did the book and lyrics writing, but also starred in the production. These two were among the most talented individuals ever to trod the Broadway boards. Decca has released another excellent musical album.


Born: 04 June 1908

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '00s

b. 4 June 1907, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA, d. 28 November 1976, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. Russell's education included a spell at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. On the stage from the late 20s, she was in the Broadway revue The Garrick Gaieties (1930) and the play Company's Coming (1931). Among her 30s films were musicals The Night Is Young (1935, starring Evelyn Laye and Ramon Navarro with a score by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II), and Reckless (1935, loosely...
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