What are the essential records that should form the heart of any collection of musical theatre? Where do the best recordings fit in the history and development of the musical? Are original recordings of hit shows of the 1950s and 1960s preferable to modern re-creations? How do film soundtrack and original cast recordings compare to other commercial issues? If a collection has basic representative records from one area of the musical theatre, what are the best additional albums to supplement and enrich that area of music?
In this guide Gänzl answers these questions and gives his opinions as to the essential basic discs for any collection of musicals. He assesses the merits of “highlights” and full-score recordings and compares most available or historic recordings of the repertory core. The book also provides information on the recorded history of musical theatre.
The first and only comprehensive guide to recordings of musical theater scores from the early years of the 20th century to the present.
Reviews of more than 1,000 recordings of more than 600 shows, including information on composers, lyricists, and principal cast members, plot outlines, notes on outstanding songs, record labels, and individual ratings from five stars (“superlative”) to zero stars (“not recommended”).
Includes reviews by Gerard Alessandrini, Richard Barrios, Ken Bloom, Peter Filichia, and twelve other prominent theater writers. Features a composer/lyricist index and a separate index of five-star recordings. Contains lists of “Ten All-Time Favorite Musicals” from such theater luminaries as Barbara Cook, John Raitt, Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Comden, Fred Ebb, Jason Robert Brown, and Michael John LaChiusa.