As a huge fan of Bea Arthur’s, I was very excited when I heard she would return to Broadway to do a one-woman show. Not since winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for “Mame” has Bea Arthur been on stage. Well, what a way to follow up! This cd (which was recorded during a live performance) Bea gives fans an intimate look into her show business life. The stories are very funny and touching, and the songs (which Bea picked out herself) are fun, beautiful, and magical. A favorite part of this cd for me, is when Bea talks about her days on TV. She was the star of two very successful and groundbreaking sitcoms, “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” I am a huge fan of “The Golden Girls” and Bea’s character Dorothy was always my favorite. This cd is a must for any Bea Arthur fan, but the appeal of this amazing show goes beyond her hardcore fans. Any fan of classic Broadway and cabaret songs will love this cd. This is one of the favorite cds I own, and should be treasured by more people. And finally, as a sidenote, Bea’s one-woman show was nominated for a Tony Award in 2001 in the category of Best Special Theatrical Event.
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BEA ARTHUR ON BROADWAY: JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS, recorded live during the last stand of a lengthy pre-Broadway tour (on the road, the show was called ANS THEN THERE’S BEA), captures the incomparable actress-comedienne in prime latter-day form. Fans like myself who have been long aware of the deep-voiced Ms. Arthur’s unique and very potent singing style have been hoping for a show like this one for many years. While her trademark wit (presented here in all its unexpurgated glory, including a number of words Maude couldn’t say on TV, even today) is reason enough to enjoy this CD, there are a number of very moving highlights as well. It’s hard not to be moved hearing the 78-year-old legend offer a wistful “Fun to be Fooled”, or a truly heart-rending version of “Where Do You Start?”, in which an aging woman deals with divorce. Ms. Arthur ambitiously tackles “Pirate Jenny” from “The Threepenny Opera”, and “Some People”, both songs traditionally performed by singers of much greater range–but fear not, the results here border on electrifying. The gifted composer-pianist Billy Goldenberg accompanies Ms. Arthur. The bottom line: a legend, to be sure–doing it her way, and damn well.
Bea Arthor is one of a handful of entertainers that I truly admire. I loved her in The Golden Girls and even in Maude though I was pretty young when that was on. this CD will have you laughing and singing along with Bea as she takes you down memory lane. From the monologues and stories she tells you can see she has had a wonderful life and still going strong. I loved every minute of this CD and its my first choice when I want to hear something unique. Highly recommended.