The trouble with the first Broadway cast album of Little Me in 1962 was that the musical was designed as a star vehicle for comedian Sid Caesar, who played seven parts in the show, but couldn't sing. The 1982 revival divided the Caesar roles between two actors, but was a flop and was never recorded. The 1999 revival put Martin Short in the Caesar roles, but it beefed up the female lead, originally divided between two actresses, but now performed by Faith Prince alone. Since those two actresses had originally sung the title song as a duet, something was lost right there. But a lot was gained from the point of view of the score, because Short could sing passably and Prince, a gifted musical comedy performer, had the right voice and attitude for the cartoonish material. The only problem was that the score still wasn't great. Composer Cy Coleman might immodestly claim in his liner notes that it "boasts at least five standards," but one would be hard pressed to name them. (OK, "I've Got Your Number" and maybe "Real Live Girl," but that's only two.) As was the fashion in the expanded CD era of the '90s, the 59-minute cast album (half again as long as the first one) contained lots of dialogue, which gave much more of a sense of the show than the song-only original cast album had, but meant that it grew tiresome upon repeated listenings, partly because Short was more of a showboat, but less funny, than Caesar. The result was a marginal improvement over the 1962 album, but still no masterpiece.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann