In today's New York Times, Stephen Holden writes enthusiastically about the newest Broadway cast recordings. He looks at In the Heights, Passing Strange, South Pacific, A Catered Affair and off-Broadway's Adding Machine.
Holden also mentions Gypsy in passing, but notes that it won't be released until August. He does say, however, that it will include some never-before-recorded songs. And he gets the winner of the Tony for Best Original Score wrong, giving it to Passing Strange instead of In the Heights. Wishful thinking on his part, perhaps?
It's a very timely story for me, because I've been spending the past month listening to South Pacific, In the Heights and A Catered Affair. (Passing Strange is available on iTunes, but it won't be released on CD until July 15, so I'm holding off until then).
I decided this week to try and put together a playlist for my iPod of my absolute favorite songs from the three shows. I'll add Gypsy and Passing Strange once I've listened to them a few times.
Of course, it's impossible to pick just a few tunes out of these three wonderful scores. They're all terrific and I've enjoyed listening to them repeatedly. I mean, what don't I love about South Pacific? Holden writes that you can't listen to the revival recording "without becoming misty-eyed for an era of cockeyed postwar optimism when all America sang Rodgers and Hammerstein hits and absorbed the moral instruction in their songs."
You'll note that my South Pacific picks are heavily tilted toward Matthew Morrison's Lt. Joseph Cable. The more I listened to South Pacific, the more I was taken with Morrison's voice. While he's not my all-time favorite Lieutenant Cable, he's a close second.
In the Heights
In the Heights
Pacienca Y Fe
Everything I Know
A Catered Affair
Our Only Daughter
Your Children's Happiness
Don't Ever Stop Saying I Love You
My Girl Back Home
Younger Than Springtime
You've Got to Be Carefully Taught
I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair
A Wonderful Guy
A Cockeyed Optimist
There Is Nothing Like A Dame
Some Enchanted Evening
This Nearly Was Mine