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Cast Albums

December 13, 1987

Thanks for the Nov. 29 articles by Barbara Isenberg and Paul Grein on the phenomenon of original cast albums. Grein's article on their history and development was informative ("Original Broadway Cast Albums: The Market That Would Not Die") and Isenberg's behind-the-scenes look at the recording of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" was probably devoured with relish by all of us musical theater lovers ("Once Upon the Time in the Recording Studio").

But as for Dan Sullivan's commentary ("The Best That Ever Happened to Musicals") . . . he is to theater what your other beloved critic, Robert Hilburn, is to rock music.

Why, pray tell, do critics constantly bite the hands that feed them? I refer to Sullivan's snide comments on current Wunderkind Andrew Lloyd Webber. The man will (with the arrival of "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway) have three hit shows on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as having spawned such immortal shows as "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Evita," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Requiem."

If Sullivan can look beyond his turned-up nose, he will notice that this man almost single-handedly saved that fabulous invalid, Broadway.

I have appeared several times in very well received community theater productions of his shows, and my show album collection of 1,683 cast albums gathered from all over the world has 47 with Webber's name on them (not bad for the track record of someone with music that is "vulgar" or has been "stolen," according to Sullivan's charges).

In the future, keep old Danny Boy and his tin ear away from musical theater. His tastes don't equate with the general public.

DAVE HUTCHINSON

Mission Viejo

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