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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2001
After reading other reviews by people who have obviously never seen this stage version of My Fair Lady, I feel I wanted to add my comments. martine McCutcheon is a pleasing Eliza, perfect for the part but without the amazing vocal range of ladies like Julie Andrews - but her charm and talent make up for her obvious vocal shortcomings. Dennis Waterman is a true Londoner - perfect for Dolittle, but to me, Jonathan Pryce is the ultimate Higgins - sensitive, articulate and yes, the only Higgins who can actually SING. I've actually seen the stage show too, so I feel perfectly confident in my judgment. You cannot possibly comment on this CD without seeing the show. Jonathan Pryce is the new Higgins, not a carbon copy of any other that has gone before - an amazing actor with a VOICE. Isn't that the perfect combination for a musical show? The whole thing is polished and fresh- a My Fair Lady for the new century.
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on 30 October 2006
This version of "My Fair Lady" is brilliant!!

The new improved 'Prologue' is so good, i can't stop listening to it.

Martine McCutcheon, although very different from the original Eliza, Julie Andrews, is very touching and her voice compliments Pryce's Higgins very much. Jonathan Pryce is fantastic as is Mark Umbers. The new orchestrations are all superb. This Album also includes some very important pieces of dialogue, as well as a very well presented accompanying inlay booklet (which includes lyrics, cast list and songlist as well as stunning pictures from the glamerous production in London's west end). A Must for any 'My Fair Lady' fan!
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on 2 November 2002
This has to be one of the best musical recordings that i have! All of the cast are great and it has to be one of the best CDs that i have listened to in a long time. All aspects of it are 'bloomin loverly' and it helps to keep the memory alive! Martine McCutcheon gets my vote and it really proves she can sing(for those who doubted her-and i wasn't one of them)! All of the other vocalists were great aswell! You would be silly not to buy this OCR of My Fair Lady
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on 16 September 2001
I saw this performance at the Royal National Theatre and it was splendid. The CD is quite excellent and is just like reliving the performance. "With a Little Bit of Luck" is terrific, much better than the film version. I have nothing but praise for this CD.
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on 19 April 2003
I normally go for the original broadway cast, not a modern recording, but seemed highly interested in this 2001 cast recording. having read mixed reviews, i was a little "worried" about purchasing this item. HOW WRONG I WAS! This cast is splendid! many congratulations go to Martine, her Eliza brings its own warmth to the show, Jonathan pryce cannot be faulted. A top notch recording!
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on 5 April 2002
Well, to start with the positive aspects, it has a fine booklet that, even though it does not contain a synopsis, got a full libretto in it. the actors and singers do a good job, and Mr.Pryce's interpretation of henry higgins is quite interesting too. On top of that the show is probably the best musical ever written. now the less positive issues: The orchestrations in the attempt to revive and modernize the sound of the music fail totally. trying to have it sounding rather like musical than operetta, it now sounds completely like an operetta, since nearly everything of the rather upbeat and brassy original orchestrations has been taken out. Plus: it is well known, that recordings should be paced a bit faster than the original show, but here songs that normally sound fresh and a bit swinging now sound like a great big muddle of string sounds (as for instance "wouldn't it ..." or "i could have ..."). they nearly got the wrong pace all the time - it mostly shows at "get me to the church..." where the original theatre tempo is of course above the tempo of the movie. not here: it sometimes appears even slower! and the upbeat march tempo that it should have is reached alas only at the very end. I don`t understand either why most of the percussion has been removed from the score. well....all after all: if you know other recordings and if you would like to hear something new about this show, then i would actually recommend it. but to those who didn`t listen to the score before: i wouldn't start with this recording, because you might get a totally wrong impression about this as a musical ( you might think it's been written in the nineteenth century)...
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on 14 August 2002
Owning all previous recordings of the classic MFL score, I found this one disappointing. First, the Overture.. a travesty of the original. It starts with a whimper, ends with a thunderstorm, and in between includes too many snippets of the tunes.Overall the score is over-orchestrated...too busy and
intrusive. Of the singers: Martine McCutcheon doesn't have
to fake the London accent, but she has a very light soprano...
almost schoolgirlish. Dennis Waterman as Dolittle just sounds too young to be Eliza's father. For me,musically, it's back to Harrison, Holloway and Julie Andrews.and the original orchestrations.
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on 25 July 2001
This is the first time I have heard anything from this musical, apart from Hey! Mr Producer, and thought it was amazing. Martine McCutcheon was amazing, she 'stole' the show, with her talents as an actor, and now reclaimed singer!!! I was definitely glad after purchasing this, a particular favourite song of mine is 'Wouldn't It Be Lovely?' In which we hear Martine show off what she can do, her accent is also commendable!!!
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on 9 March 2004
Put Cameron Mackintosh and Trevor Nunn together to "re-invent" (their words) Lerner & Loewe's finest hour, "My Fair Lady" and you cannot go wrong, can you. Well, with a couple of qualifications, no they didn't.
On record, this production is lighter, slighter, from the very first bars of the overture which is delicate and skittish, as opposed to the imposing original which reflected the grandeur of the Royal Opera House opening scene. The sound is much more local provincial theatre rather than Theatre Royal Drury Lane; although the booklet lists nineteen main musicians and fourteen "additional players" they don't sound as if they were over-worked for their suppers.
Jonathon Pryce handles Rex Harrison's part of Higgins extremely well; he's become used to taking on such imposing comparisons (as in "Oliver" as Fagin) and makes the part his own, neither too much spoken nor too much sung. Mark Umbers as Freddie Eynsford-Hill is also impressive, in some contrast to the original.
My slight grumbles are with Martine McCutcheon and Dennis Waterman as Eliza and her father. I was unable to get to see this on stage, at which they were apparently both very good, while they were there. On disc, however, Martine's diction is less than clear, even after her transformation, and her high notes tend to bloom. Dennis's diction is, ironically, too clear - would a cockney dustman enunciate all his t's and d's and n's, I think not.
The booklet that comes with it is luxuriant, and contains all the lyrics, but the four pages of background to this new production are, again, slight, and describe more of the original stage and film than of this; Martine's contribution to the success of the show, truncated though it was, is all but ignored, which is a shame.
All in all a quite enjoyable, theatrical, version of the show. In no way does it surpass the original Broadway cast version (even after nearly 50 years!) but it is a fair stab at it.
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on 22 January 2015
What a voice Martine McCutcheon has...she must do more of this
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