August 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Curio Corner

Thoroughly Modern Milly
Original Broadway Cast Recording  
  RCA VICTOR 09026-63959-2   [58:42]

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Thoroughly Modern Millie won Elmer Bernstein an Academy Award for his score back in 1967. André Previn, who scored the musical numbers was also nominated, so too was the irrepressible Carol Channing whose numbers 'Jazz Baby' and 'Do It Again' stopped the show. And Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn were also nominated for the cheery title song. The film received mixed reviews but its colour and vitality were a tonic. It starred Julie Andrews excellent in the title role and Mary Tyler Moore as Miss Dorothy with John Gavin as Mr Graydon and James Fox as Jimmy Smith.

This new Broadway production is based on the film but alas on the evidence of this recording lacks the style, wit and melody of the film. Where have all those wonderful numbers gone: 'Baby Face'; 'Poor Butterfly'; 'Jazz Baby'; 'Do It Again'; 'The Tapioca' and 'Rose of Washington Square'? Only the title song and 'Jimmy' remain. In their place are some so-so numbers that do not linger in the mind half as well. Of these one of the most successful is 'The Speed Test' a comic patter song in which Millie shows off her typing and shorthand skills to Trevor Graydon (who appears to loose Miss Dorothy to one of Mrs Meers Chinese thugs in this politically correct(?) version). Sutton Foster, sounding extraordinarily like Julie Andrews, but looking like Tyler Moore, is an energetic and convincing Milly.

Exuberant; but give me the old MCA film soundtrack recording.

Ian Lace

***

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