Brooke Shields in WONDERFUL TOWN
Last Edit: JereNYC 11:54 am EST 11/18/22
Posted by: JereNYC (JereNYC@aol.com) 11:53 am EST 11/18/22
In reply to: re: There’ll be a new “Funny Girl” cast recording. - Delvino 10:03 am EST 11/17/22

What you have to remember is that that revival of WONDERFUL TOWN was troubled due to Donna Murphy's illness. Murphy had gottern stellar reviews, but her illness meant that she rarely went on as Ruth. The show was all over the gossip columns of the time because the producers were trying to hide that Murphy was, essentially, out of the show and not coming back. Murphy was even forbidden from discussing publicly what was going on and it impacted her reputation for quite a while afterward. When Shields came in, it was a complete relaunch of the production, on par with what's happened at FUNNY GIRL this season.

And Shields was TERRIFIC and delivered a wonderful performance AND managed to carry the show in a way that she didn't have to do in her other Broadway outings (her Sally in the CABARET revival was also very under-rated...seriously...she found an approach that I never saw any other actress in that production attempt). I can't imagine that anyone would have ever thought of Shields as the less attractive, less desirable sister in any pairing, but she is also very tall and used that to create a gawky, awkward character that you believed had been sidelined her whole life in favor of her younger sister. And you believed that her Ruth had been told all her life that Eileen was the pretty one. It was remarkable. And, yes, Shields is not the world's finest vocalist, but she's always been very canny about choosing her musical roles, and Ruth, like Rizzo, like Sally, like Morticia doesn't require that. This is a role written for Rosalind Russell's limited range and Shields aquitted herself nicely.

I was glad to see them put out a cast album with her and Wills. I think more people would have had the chance to see Shields as Ruth than Murphy.

Previous: re: There’ll be a new “Funny Girl” cast recording. - Delvino 10:03 am EST 11/17/22
Next: re: Brooke Shields in WONDERFUL TOWN - AlanScott 05:09 pm EST 11/18/22

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