South Pacific - In Concert from Carnegie Hall
Alec Baldwin, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Orchestra of St. Luke's & Richard Rodgers
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A Real Treat
This recording is a complete joy to listen to. There is nobody more appropriate than Brian Stokes Mitchell. Not to mention the incredible Superstar: Reba McEntire. I hope that everyone can enjoy this wonderful recording as much as I do. It is a wonderful preservation of a wonderful Broadway Show. I can only hope and pray that there are more recordings like this in the future.
Just a few weeks ago, I stumbled on the PBS "Great Performances" broadcast of this concert, and I was more than intrigued. When I saw the cast included a "Who's Who" of Broadway, I was definitely drawn to the production. Although I was a bit skeptical with Reba McEntire, she quickly disspelled any reluctance. This is THE best recording and the most complete recording of "South Pacific" bar none. The orchestrations are rich and true to the original; the Overture never sounded better. Reba's Nellie Forbush is unbelievable. She brings a certain tenderness as the "Hick from a Stick." She wowed Broadway in "Annie Get Your Gun." And she does it again in "South Pacific," in a vehicle for the great Mary Martin. It's not an easy role to pull off, but Reba does it masterfully. Her goofy performance in "Honey Bun" is worth the price of the CD and DVD alone. Brian Stokes Mitchell in the role of Emile De Becque was a stroke of genius!! His rich baritone fulfilled the role as no one has since the original cast. And his daring performance of "This Nearly Was Mine" deserves special recognition. THe song was sung much slower, but is far more emotional than any rendition I've ever heard. Also, the subtleties he infuses into "Some Enchanted Evening" (he flats out the last note the first time he sings it) brings a unique sound to a classic. Alec Baldwin is truly a surprise here. His reprise of "Bali H'ai" is incredibly hilarious. And his performance in "Honey Bun" is equally hilarious. What's better than Alec in a grass skirt and coconut shells??? Lillias White's performance of "Bali H'ai" is sweeping and glorious. And her "Happy Talk" is the best I've ever heard. THIS IS A MUST HAVE RECORDING FOR ROGER & HAMMERSTEIN FANS!!!!
South Pacific in Concert at Carnegie Hall
I never thought I'd hear an arraingment that was every bit as god as the motion picture soundtrack. This should be added to every music lovers and romantics collection. BRAVO!