The Beat Goes On
and actress Liz Callaway is a household name among denizens
of The Great White Way. Since making her Broadway debut in
Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, she has gone
on to star in Cats and the musical Baby (for which she received
a Tony® nomination), and
she originated the role of Ellen, the American wife, in Miss
Saigon. On her first solo album in five years, The
Beat Goes On (Fynsworth Alley), Callaway transforms popular
songs of the 1960s into Broadway showstoppers with her monumental
vocals and charismatic personality.
collection includes such erstwhile radio favorites as "Leavin'
On a Jet Plane," "Up, Up and Away," "When I'm Sixty-Four,"
and "Monday Monday." Alex Rybeck's arrangements and orchestrations
by Lanny Meyers and Larry Moore make each song sound as though
it were penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and destined for 42nd
Street. Likewise, Callaway's voice is unquestionably spectacular.
The only drawback is that the purity of her pipes and the
grand arrangements negate the unique edginess of the originals.
Callaway's version of "You Don't Own Me" lacks the angst of
Lesley Gore's rendition, while her cover of "Leavin' on a
Jet Plane"made famous by Peter, Paul and Marymore
closely mirrors Olivia Newton John's preciously sweet stylings
in Xanadu. Even so, Callaway reminds us why these songs are
timeless favorites, and the musical theater orchestrations
give them new life. Anyone who owns even one Broadway musical
soundtrack should pick up this CD.