Do you like the old fashioned but delightful songs by Irving Berlin? If the answer is yes, this new cast recording is definitely for you. One thing I’m sure, it’s unquestionably for me!
Inspired by the old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers classic movies, this new London musical has a contagious score, a kind of Berlin songbook. The most famous songs he wrote for the Astaire & Rogers’ movies are all here: “The Piccolino”, “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket”, “Puttin’ On the Ritz”, “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”, “Isn’t This a Lovely Day?” and the title song among others. There are also several selections from other shows, mainly from LOUISIANA PURCHASE, that blend perfectly with the other ones.
I confess I don’t enjoy leading man Tom Chambers singing voice. He hasn’t a strong or even sweet one; he can carry the tunes, but I think he was chosen more for his dance talent than for his voice. As for Summer Strallen, she is a better singer and beautifully delivers her songs. Ricardo Afonso has fun with “Latins Know How”; who also has fun with her numbers is Vivien Parry.
The orchestrations are traditional but exciting and the end result is a highly enjoyable cast recording that leaves you humming a song or even forces you to stand up and do a little dance. I love this kind of stuff!