With the exception of a single very good song this disc simply demonstrates
the stultifying lack of surprise and individuality that became the norm for
the American musical. Time after time I thought of Stephen Sondheims
Follies which seems at the same time to both caress and lampoon the
mainstream from which Sugar comes. Follies stands far above
this theatre fodder.
Sugars music is brassy, obvious and still-born. None of the light hand
obvious from the film on which it is based (Wilders Some Like It
Hot). Oh theres no doubt that the music zips brazenly along like
an Edsell on paraffin but the movement is the movement one expects from a
decayed corpse when an electrical current is passed through it. I am sorry
to be so dismissive but this is a dismal musical with one bright exception.
Lets end on the positive. What is the exception? This is the song
Its Always Love (sung by Tony Roberts) and I cannot recommend
it too highly. Do try to hear it. It is a sardonic celebration of love -
regretful and tragic. This, with its minimal music and straight presentation,
cuts through the thin tinsel and neon motor that passes for a heart in musicals
of this ilk. This song draws blood! A treasure and the reason why this musical
scores any stars at all. A five star song set amid a soulless wasteland.
Little background on the musical is provided in the leaflet although all
the artists are well profiled. The presentation is well up to Rykodiscs
usual and exemplary high standard.