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Legends of Broadway

Legends Of Broadway


Angela Lansbury appeared in five Broadway musicals between 1964 and 1979, and she won the Tony Award for best actress in four of them. The only time she didn't win was the first, Anyone Can Whistle, and that's forgivable. They don't give awards to shows that only run nine performances. But for Mame, Dear World (also a commercial failure, but with 132 performances), a revival of Gypsy, and Sweeney Todd, Lansbury swept the competition, and this album helps show why. Masterworks Broadway, drawing upon the catalogs of Columbia and RCA Victor due to the Sony BMG merger, is able to assemble material from all five cast albums on a compilation that constitutes the first disc ever credited to Lansbury by name. Although she had sung in one of her earliest motion pictures, The Picture of Dorian Gray, back in 1945, Lansbury stuck to non-singing roles and largely to film until songwriter Stephen Sondheim and librettist Arthur Laurents persuaded her to take on the experimental Anyone Can Whistle at the age of 38. Despite flopping, it showed songwriter Jerry Herman what she could do, and soon she was singing "If He Walked into My Life" as the title character of Mame. Herman's Dear World, a musical version of the play The Madwoman of Chaillot, gave her songs of the caliber of "I Don't Want to Know," even if it didn't work on-stage. Lansbury threw herself into Laurents, Sondheim, and Jule Styne's Gypsy, first in London, then on tour in the U.S., and finally on Broadway, making a role written for Ethel Merman her own. Then, her native British charm made the evil Mrs. Lovett appealing and funny in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, even as she baked the main villain's victims into meat pies. It's a varied collection of characters, and the album is equally various. Lansbury is very much a musical actress, singing her songs in character, which can make the transitions -- from the madwoman singing "And I Was Beautiful" to the belligerent Momma Rose of "Some People," then from the feisty "Rose's Turn" to the effervescent and immoral Mrs. Lovett of "The Worst Pies in London" -- big turning points on the album. But the singer is convincing in each role. Since the CD runs less than 56 minutes (and since the concluding "Not While I'm Around," beautiful as it is, is not really a showcase for Lansbury, who barely sings along with Ken Jennings), it's hard not to mourn the absence of some other songs that might have been included -- for instance, "Me and My Town" from Anyone Can Whistle, "Open a New Window," "We Need a Little Christmas," and "Bosom Buddies" from Mame, "Mr. Goldstone" from Gypsy, and "God, That's Good!" from Sweeney Todd. Also, it should be noted that the album is not a comprehensive Lansbury best-of, lacking as it does such highlights of her singing career as the title song from the movie Beauty and the Beast. But that is not to disparage what is here, a series of recorded performances that more than justify the quartet of Tonys on her mantelpiece. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Sony Music Distribution (USA)
  • UPC: 828768839720
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Track listings

  • 1. Parade In Town, A
  • 2. It's Today
  • 3. If He Walked Into My Life
  • 4. I Don't Want To Know
  • 5. Kiss Her Now
  • 6. And I Was Beautiful
  • 7. Some People
  • 8. Small World
  • 9. You'll Never Get Away From Me
  • 10. Everything's Coming Up Roses
  • 11. Rose's Turn
  • 12. Worst Pies In London [From Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Stre, The
  • 13. Wait
  • 14. Little Priest, A
  • 15. By The Sea
  • 16. Not While I'm Around [From Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Stre
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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