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Recordings Section 2 : Shows (Item 3 of 6)

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn: Various

This show was a breakthrough for Dorothy Fields and is well preserved here.

The two romantic leads, Johnny Johnston and Marcia van Dyke have fine voices and deliver the ballads well, even if we lose most of the irony in the bold declarations and promises in songs such as I'm Like a New Broom and I'll Buy You a Star; on stage we know this feckless dreamer will never deliver.

Dorothy's lyrics found a new sense of dramatic place and character for this show; there is a real feel for the lives of the working class Brooklyn characters, dominated by payday and the pawnshop. Shirley Booth is superb, even though, as on stage, it feels as though she is in a different show.

Fields delights in the characters' colloquial reflections on romance in Love Is The Reason and Look Who's Dancin' - “loony and spoony, all moonlight and mush”.He Had Refinement stands with Loesser's Adelaide's Lament as the archetypal comic character song. Growing Pains could be charming, but is killed here by the tuneless performance of the juvenile. (See the page describing the show for the background to the young actress's involvement in the show.)

Highly recommended.

Fields tracks: Payday, Mine 'Til Monday, Make The Man Love Me, I'm Like A New Broom, Look Who's Dancing, Love Is The Reason, If You Haven't Got A Sweetheart, I'll Buy You A Star, That's How It Goes, He Had Refinement, Growing Pains, Is That My Prince?, Don't Be Afraid

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