This is not the full version of the song, a couple parts got cut out. The full version, with a different singer, is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSiqckf55q0
I submitted this version instead of the other mainly because the singer in this one is so much better, and because I cocked up the multi-part.
The full version, though, elaborates on Czolgosz's motives better. You get this gist from this song, but basically Czolgosz was an anarchist who killed McKinley because he represented the oppression of the poor.
|Spider Jerusalem |
5 stars for Sondheim
-4 stars for the video.
-∞ stars for Neil Patrick Harris being an awful Balladeer.
N.B. This rating is not for the musical itself. I strongly recommend the first CD version with the original Broadway cast; it is just about as awesome as you'd expect a musical about crazy people shooting presidents to be.
you must be crazy, crazy man, i love this legs akimbo cheese take on musicals
i haven't seen the actual musical though, so i don't have any prior attachment to it, which probably helps because i get the sense this is an insufficiently serious interpretation of the song
|Spider Jerusalem |
Differences in the OBC:
Characters accents are all more pronounced (Booth's Southern,
Zangara's Italian, Czolgosz's E. European, Byck's Joisey, etc.).
The orchestration is better in 2004. OBC isn't bad, but 2004 had a larger orchestra and more money.
Booth is played by Victor Garber, and his superior acting experience shows in the dialogue scenes. It also shines through in his singing; he really sells his first number.
"Something Just Stopped" is not present, having been added to the 2004 revival. That's fine with me; it broke up the flow from Oswald to the finale and never seemed to fit the musical style.
Also, the OBC recording has fewer of the dialogue interludes, but (I think) has a longer version of the Dallas scene.
Both women are portrayed by younger actresses, with commensurate changes in timbre. Also, the OBC Fromme actually tries to incorporate the voice that earned the nickname "Squeaky." Some are irritated; your mileage may vary.
The OBC Guiteau is much more theatrical and over-the-top.
I actually think that 2004's Hinckley is a better singer, but OBC's sounds crazier.
I VASTLY prefer the OBC Balladeer. He's got a better folksy Americana voice than Harris and he doesn't do as much show-offy inflection and emphasis as Harris (who I think unnecessarily diverts attention from the assassins).
Whatever the above says to you, I highly recommend that you get ahold of the OBC and draw your own conclusions.
Here is a vid of Garber and Cassidy on the Ballad of Booth. It's shortened, but this is a good representation of how they are on the CD. (Yeah, I know the first thing you'll say. But if you think about it, the mullet works.)
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