The famous and Oscar winner MGM movie, like AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, isn’t among my favorite genre movies, but I always enjoyed the score by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner. Until now, my favorite recording of the score was the original movie soundtrack, but it changed with this new one. I miss Maurice Chevalier, but that’s all.
With lush and lively orchestrations by August Eriksmoen, the songs sound refreshing and Loewe’s beautiful melodies soar in all their glory. One of my favorites has always been “The Night They Invented Champagne”, here transformed into a big production number. The delicious “I Remember It Well” is well sung by Howard McGillin (without Chevalier’s charm) and Victoria Clark, together they also give us another of the highlights of the score, “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore”. With Dee Hoty, Clark delivers a less pedophile version of the famous “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and by herself sings the beautiful ballad “Say a Prayer”.
I always loved the title song (it won the Oscar for best original song in 1959) and here, in the role of Gaston, Corey Cott gives it a stronger rendition than the one of Louis Jourdan in the movie. He also shines with “It’s a Bore” and “She Is Not Thinking of Me”, another of my favorites. Finally, in the role of Gigi, Vanessa Hudgens sounds a little bit irritating, better with “The Letter” than with “The Parisians” or “I Never Want To Go Home Again” (here at her worst).
I may not like Vanessa Hudgens very much, but fortunately she didn’t ruin this enjoyable cast recording and it’s a great way to discover or rediscover this classic melodious score.
Rate: 8 (from 1 to 10) / Photos by Joan Marcus