This Collectables label two-fer features a pair of show tune-themed LPs from easy listening giant André Kostelanetz. The music of the Great White Way seemed to bring out the best in Kostelanetz -- its obvious theatricality and larger-than-life sweep perfectly complement the grandiose orchestral gestures so integral to the conductor's easy listening formula. While Wonderland of Sound: Broadway's Greatest Hits delivers on the promise of its title, Kostelanetz's selections are a bit less predictable than one might expect, and it's obvious from the unusual energy and ambition that galvanize each performance that the maestro holds these 12 songs in high regard -- even familiar melodies like "Tonight," "My Favorite Things," and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" boast an extra bounce in their step. Kostelanetz tackles three of 1968's biggest Hollywood musicals on Plays Hits from Funny Girl, Finian's Rainbow & Star!, and while that premise might seem like a solid foundation for a cohesive LP, the enormous stylistic and tonal differences between the individual scores make for a wildly inconsistent listening experience. It doesn't help that the material is so frequently tepid, of course -- outside of Funny Girl's "People" and Finian's Rainbow's "Old Devil Moon," it's a stretch to call any of these songs "standards," and Kostelanetz does little to give them new life.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny