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Tonight At 8:30

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Album Review

Actress/singer Carol Lawrence played the part of Maria, the Juliet character in the updated, musicalized treatment of Romeo and Juliet that was West Side Story. Her debut solo album's title, Tonight at 8:30, signals that it is a collection of musical theater songs, and at the start, she takes the opportunity to take for her own a song she did not get to sing in West Side Story, "Something's Coming." At the beginning of the LP's second side, she sings one she did get to do in the show, "Tonight." Here, however, she is not singing as Maria, but as herself, employing her throbbing contralto in a more formal manner than when she was trying to embody the young Puerto Rican girl Maria. Elsewhere, she picks songs not so much for their familiarity as for their appropriateness to her vocal approach. Songs like "Sleepin' Bee" (from House of Flowers), "Do It Again" (from The French Doll), "You'll Never Get Away from Me" (from Gypsy), "It Never Was You" (from Knickerbocker Holiday), and "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (from St. Louis Woman) may be at least semi-standards, especially to musical theater fans, but other quality selections such as "It's Good to Be Alive" (from New Girl in Town) and "This Is All Very New to Me" (from Plain and Fancy) may be unfamiliar to many. Lawrence uses all of them to express feeling and character. The album would work as an audition piece for her in getting new roles on Broadway, and it may revive interest in some songs that have been unjustly overlooked.


Born: 05 September 1932 in Melrose Park, IL

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s

Tony-award nominee Carol Lawrence is known for her gallant and energetic performances on stage and screen. Her dancing and singing abilities have coupled her with such talents as Mickey Katz and Larry Kert. She has performed on Broadway, film and television. Born Carolina Maria Laraia in Chicago, Carol Lawrence made her Broadway debut in Borscht Capades with Mickey Katz and Phil Foster. She was a member of the production's chorus. In the 50s Carol Lawrence danced and sang her way to stardom in...
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