Afternoon Listening

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saw the Brando/Sinatra "Guys and Dolls" (1955) last night -- since I seem to be on a kick for Broadway musicals now.

As other reviewers have noted -- the casting is a bit unusual -- since the romantic leads (Brando and Simmmons) are actors who can also sing -- while the great singer, Sinatra, is left with the novelty songs. (though everyone agrees that the Broadway actors who fill out the cast are amazing -- and they give the show the lively background on top of which the story is told -- especially Michael Kidd, the choreographer --whose whacky, naughty chorus dances are so enjoyable)

But the big moment for me -- both dramatically and vocally -- had to be Jean Simmons singing "If I were a bell".

God, I love that song ! -- and I've finally discovered its original setting: as that delicious moment when the ingenue awakens to sexual desire. "If I were a bell, I'd be ringing" .. indeed !

So I was a bit surprised to discover that Jean Simmons had no more of a singing career than Marlon Brando -- and she was primarily a movie (and later, television) actress.

She really carried the colorful emotion of that moment in song (and it didn't hurt that it was preceded by some rather acrobatic fight scenes in a seedy Cuban bar)

I was hoping I'd find an album of her just singing -- but, alas, it was not to be.


Post a Comment

<< Home