Various Artists

Best of Broadway: The Late '50s

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Best of Broadway: The Late '50s is yet another winning entry in Time-Life's Broadway series, drawn primarily from the stage but also from the screen. As with the other entries in this series, the mere listing of the plays/movies from the period -- Singin' in the Rain, The King and I, and Pal Joey -- impresses. It's also refreshing to hear a number of these songs from cast recordings as opposed to their more familiar movie versions. It's particularly interesting to here Gerald Price, as opposed to Bobby Darin, sing "Mack the Knife" from $The Threepenny Opera, and Robert Alda sing "Luck Be a Lady," from the original cast version of Guys and Dolls. Having said this, The Late '50s is also rich in selections from film. Judy Garland sings "Get Happy" from Summer Stock, and "The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is Born, while Gene Kelly delivers the definitive version of "Singin' in the Rain" from the movie of the same name. There are also great performances from Doris Day with "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane, and Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel's version of "Make Believe" from Show Boat. With 20 high-quality selections, Best of Broadway: The Late '50s provides a representative look at the musical theater from this period that's also a lot of fun to listen to.