Picks and Pans Review: Jerome Robbins' Broadway
updated 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT
The winner of last year's Tony for Best Musical, this is a hodgepodge of the master director-choreographer's greatest hits from a 20-year career. Like the show itself, which celebrates the sort of fluid staging that is anachronistic these days, this two-record album is a hit-and-miss collage.
The highlights of the theatrical production prove low points on the album. Onstage, the large cast dazzles with its recreations of dance sequences from "West Side Story," "On the Town" and "High Button Shoes." On the album, those numbers play like musical fillers. The best cuts here are the ones with a narrative drive.
Jason Alexander, who serves as the evening's tour guide, finesses Stephen Sondheim's verbal gymnastics in "Comedy Tonight," from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. And even without seeing Charlotte d'Amboise soar as Peter Pan in "I'm Flying," it's easy to appreciate the beguiling innocence of her delivery.
The lyrical showstoppers—"Sunrise, Sunset," from Fiddler on the Roof, for instance—work well too.
This show is like a one-man museum retrospective. You'll be bored at some points, absorbed at others, but there's little chance to flex one's emotions, as you can with good book musicals. (RCA Victor)