The present musical is not in the Sondheim league. While pleasant and with
the occasional hit (e.g. Real Live Girl) this is a slice of Broadway
eclair: fluffy but with little nutrition. The brightly inconsequential
Broadway-medley overture says it all: brash and superficial. The notes refer
to the clever rhymes and with that I would agree. The dominating central
role of Belle Poitrine (with frontage to match!) is superbly sung by Faith
Prince but she is wasted on the musical material which is suffocatingly
conventional. This does not detract from Faith Princes (and, Martin
Shorts) performance and I was impressed with tastily turned avoidance
of cliché-ed word patterns.
Full notes (English only) with the plot given in all its resplendently convoluted
detail. No lyrics. The notes claim that this recording was made in February
1999 and I am reviewing this on 30 March 1999. Did they mean 1998?