She's a Right Girl: The Essential Randy Graff on Disc

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01 Mar 2014

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Les Misérables (1987 Original Broadway Cast Recording)

There may be no musical of the last 30 years more iconic than Les Misérables, and Randy Graff, as Fantine, sang what is perhaps its most iconic song, "I Dreamed A Dream," on the show's platinum-selling Original Broadway Cast Recording. Graff's legendary performance of the hit song is complemented on record by her full-throttle delivery of the rest of Fantine's big-voiced material, including her powerful descent into prostitution and shattering death scene. No matter how many times I've seen and heard different incarnations of Les Misérables, Randy Graff's recording always gets me right at the jugular.

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Fiddler on the Roof (2004 New Broadway Cast Recording)

If some people complained David Leveaux's 2004 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, which played with understatement against an elegant physical production perhaps more suggestive of Anton Chekhov than Sholem Aleichem, wasn't Jewish enough, Randy Graff's performance as Golde is beyond reproach. Graff's hearty Golde would have worked equally well in a more traditional rendering of the classic musical, and was the heart of this new version. While Golde is unfortunately lacking in a proper solo, Graff's voice anchors the New Broadway Cast Recording, strongly leading the company with beauty and strength in "Sabbath Prayer" and "Sunrise, Sunset" and sparring with Alfred Molina's Tevye naturalistically — yet without missing the laughs — in "Do You Love Me?"

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