2002 Film Music CD Reviews
Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Thoroughly Modern Milly
Original Broadway Cast Recording
RCA VICTOR 09026-63959-2
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.