Finally, a score to remind people why they loved Broadway in the first place. No gimmicks, no pretension—just toe-tapping, brassy, jazz-inflected numbers with gently wry lyrics and an optimisti

Finally, a score to remind people why they loved Broadway in the first place. No gimmicks, no pretension—just toe-tapping, brassy, jazz-inflected numbers with gently wry lyrics and an optimistic, earnest sweetness. Adapted from a '60s movie musical, the Tony Award-winning stage show retains only the film's most precious gems, including the knockout title song. A few '20s standards are added, notably the heartfelt "Jimmy." But Jeanine Tesori's new melodies and Dick Scanlan's new lyrics blend seamlessly with this old material while adding several soon-to-be-standards. Lead actress Sutton Foster exudes confidence on the show-stopping "Gimme Gimme," while Sheryl Lee Ralph lends a velvet sheen to "Only in New York." Male leads Gavin Creel and Marc Kudisch add romance, while Harriet Harris brings dry wit. The best cast album of 2002: distinctly nostalgic but thoroughly modern.—WH

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