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re: Listening to AGYG with Mary Martin and John Raitt
Posted by: Snowysdad 11:47 pm EST 01/12/21
In reply to: re: Listening to AGYG with Mary Martin and John Raitt - BHandshy 06:04 pm EST 01/12/21

I just looked at the opening 15 minutes or so and I have to agree, the album is no where as good as the performances in the Broadcast and the reason is the broadcast features at least an aproximation of the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett where the recording doesn't use them. Richard Rodgers' biography says that Berlin hated the first set of orchestrations so they called Russell Bennett into re do them. They are finely done, as can be heard on the OBC, the Lincoln Center cast album (modernized) and John McGlinn's studio version with Kim Criswell. What I also notice is that Dorothy and Joseph Fields' book as far better than the Bernadette Peters revival which had a new book by someone. Yes it may be a bit old fashioned but the story telling is far sharper than attempts to "fix" their acceptable original. I also sense that Mary Martin was more at home in the part than Ethel Merman was, just a better fit for their respective personas. I did see Merman in the Lincoln Center revival and no question she sang the living bejesus out of the songs, but Martin actually played the backwoods girl in the early parts of the show. It was also a joy to see Rita Shaw (The Pajama Game and one of the maids in the movie Mary Poppins) as Dolly Tate.
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