FOR THE RECORD -- 2/96
Yes, another Sunset Boulevard recording has arrived: the Original Canadian Cast Recording. Diahann Carroll is the latest actress to don Norma Desmond's turban, heading the cast of the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical. Polydor has just released this 76-minute CD/cassette that also features Rex Smith, who stars as the writer-turned-gigolo Joe Gillis; Walter Charles, who portrays the devoted butler Max; and Anita Louise Combe as Betty Schaefer, a role she also played in London.
Until Petula Clark joined the London cast last month, Carroll had been the oldest actress to portray Norma Desmond, and her own show-business experience informs her Norma with a worldly manner. Carroll possesses a strong, commanding voice and puts her own twist on her two big numbers: "With One Look" and "As If We Never Said Goodbye." Just listen to her declare, "This time will be BIGGER!" You wouldn't dare cross this Norma.
BACK TO BROADWAY
Victor/Victoria, the musical that has brought Julie Andrews back to Broadway after 30 years, is now available in stores on the Philips label. Running well over an hour, the recording features all of the Henry Mancini-Leslie Bricusse score plus a good portion of the dialogue. Andrews is joined on the recording by co-stars Tony Roberts, Michael Nouri and Broadway's other "Norma," Rachel York. Andrews applies her unique vocal style to many of the tunes--highlights include the ballads "Crazy World" and "Living in the Shadows."
In the past few years singer Phillip Officer has built a reputation as one of the finest young lyric interpreters in the cabaret world. The release of his latest work for Original Cast Records last month coincided with his January stint in the Oak Room of New York's famed Algonquin Hotel. Entitled Many a New Day, the album is Officer's tribute to the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein. . . Tom Andersen is another cabaret singer, one whose glorious golden tenor has been lauded by critics and audiences. Far Away Places is the title of his first recording, now available from Other Music Inc.
Broadway Debut in Ghetto
Recordings include A Walk on the Weill Side
Helen Schneider, who has long been a favorite stage performer in Germany, recently opened the German production of Sunset Boulevard. In the past decade Schneider has also become one of the most engaging performers on the New York cabaret scene, playing in such glamorous rooms as Rainbow & Stars. Her latest solo album, entitled Right as the Rain, (Rhino Records), allows the singing actress to show off the many sides of her rich, strong and wide-ranging voice. The eclectic mix includes songs by Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill, Stephen Sondheim and others. -- By Andrew Gans