Excepting, perhaps, Nathan Lane (who's really more a comic singer than a bona-fide belter), long gone are the days when musical-theater performers could achieve householdname status solely on the strength of their Broadway credits. Which, sadly, means New York is currently overflowing with terrific stage stars whose marvelous voices are rarely heard beyond midtown Manhattan. (Don't believe me? Next time you visit your favorite record store, see how many discs you can locate, apart from cast albums, by Brian Stokes Mitchell or Adam Guettel).
Top among them are the husband-and-wife team of Marin Mazzie (who dazzled opposite Mitchell in Ragtime and Kiss Me Kate) and Jason Danieley (of The Full Monty). Two of Broadway's brightest lights, they had to struggle to find financing for this intelligent collection of duets and solo turns. Fortunately for anyone with an appreciation for seriously superb vocal craftsmanship, they succeeded in getting the disc produced.
Extending from the uninhibited silliness of "The Aba Daba Honeymoon" and sauciness of Stuart Ross and Joe Sargent's "Nellie the Nudist Queen" to an exquisitely poignant "suite" of five Sondheim gems, Opposite You represents showmanship at its most polished. And to hear Danieley's masterfully tough-tender rendition of "I Won't Send Roses" is to not only understand the genius at the heart of a great singing actor but also to embrace it as the finest show tune Jerry Herman ever penned.