In light of her enormous success in stage musicals, Angela Lansbury has also been given a handful of major roles in more relatively recent (and musical theatre-related) movie musicals. "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" is a sort of "Mary Poppins" clone of the same era (also with songs by the Sherman Brothers), and Lansbury's soundtrack performances are indelible, "The Age Of Not Believing" in particular showcasing the warmth and clarity in her voice. Similarly, nothing can really supplant Lansbury's classic rendition of the title song in Disney's genre-defining "Beauty and the Beast." She's a treasure as the voice of Mrs. Potts on the rest of the album too (and, of course, in the film). Finally, the 1996 TV musical, "Mrs. Santa Claus" offered an unexpected boon in a entire original Jerry Herman score written for Angela Lansbury. Her rendition of the title song is especially memorable.
(Ben Rimalower is the author and original star of the critically acclaimed Patti Issues. Read Playbill.com's coverage of the solo show here. Visit him at benrimalower.com and follow @benrimalower on Twitter.)
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