Goulet surprisingly disciplined; good television production, given time restrictions.
It was really above average TV for those days. Cut for running time, but the only major story aspect that's lost is that Billy doesn't go to Purgatory, he just arrives at Heaven's back door and "Starkeeper" Charlie Ruggles tells him it's suddenly sixteen years later (reminiscent of that 80s movie version of the Liliom story, The Heavenly Kid). That cut hurt it a bit -- he just attempted a robbery and committed suicide, deeds that in Western culture usually call for some degree of ethical inquest. The duet When the Children are Asleep between Carrie and Snow is left largely intact compared to the '56 movie, so involvement of these characters adds depth, and a clue to the original stage production's more involved musical continuity.
Goulet is, as in most of his musical theatre performances, a far more disciplined singer than we perceive from his pop solo albums. The fact that he fits the part physically goes without saying. Also I think he did a good job of making Billy vulnerable, ironically at the mercy of his own attractiveness to women.
In Cousin Nettie's songs, Patricia "Pat" Neway momentarily stole the show with her trained contralto voice, without overpowering the show's content of course, since her song are intended as specialty solos.
The years may have altered my remembrances of the production, but of the three I saw in that Armstrong (no relation) Circle Theatre series (including Kiss Me Kate and Brigadoon -- sorry, missed Kismet) this was probably the best.
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