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Album Review

This tribute to burlesque was a star vehicle for Ethel Merman. The score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim includes the Merman standard "Everything's Coming Up Roses," and the song that is invariably used to introduce anything having to do with the strip tease, "Let Me Entertain You." A 702-performance hit in its original production (which is captured here), the show was considered the definitive Merman performance and the crowning achievement of her long career. (It marked her final appearance in a new Broadway musical, though she later appeared in revivals.) It is also considered one of the great American musicals of all time, balanced between the broad show business entertainment represented by composer Jule Styne and the modern, dark, psychological drama typical of Stephen Sondheim, who, as with his previous effort, West Side Story, was contributing only lyrics, though he would go on to write music and lyrics for a series of musicals from the 1960s on. ~ Marjorie Ellen Ruhlmann & William Ruhlmann, Rovi

Biography

Born: 16 January 1908 in New York, NY [Astoria]

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Ethel Merman was the leading American musical theater performer of her generation, creating roles in 13 Broadway musicals between 1930 and 1959, and continuing to appear in shows occasionally through 1970. Her clarion voice and exact enunciation were perfect for an era when a stage performer was required to sing loud enough to be heard at the back of the theater without amplification. That made her a favorite of the leading songwriters of the day, and she introduced some of the most memorable songs...
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