Monday, February 2, 2009

Don't Tell Mama...Dame Judi Dench is Sally Bowles!

In 1968, four years before Bob Fosse's drastically different film version hit the movie screens, Kander & Ebb's Cabaret was making its West End debut with the one and only Dame Judi Dench (before she was a Dame...it's tough for me to imagine a world in which she was just Judi Dench) in the lead role. Here's a number called "Don't Tell Mama" that was cut from the film version:



Don't forget that in the stage version, Sally is supposed to be a third-rate performer with very little talent, so that's why Dame Judi's singing is kinda off. Wasn't Dame Judi quite the looker back in the day (not that she doesn't turn heads today)? Meow! I really wish I could see this whole performance or, at the very least, hear the whole cast recording but I don't think there's a copy in existence. Such a shame because this feels like an essential performance in Dame Judi's career. And, as always, it looks like she completely nailed it.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you look on eBay, you can find the original London cast recording of Cabaret. I've got one. :) Just make sure she's playing Sally and not the older woman (which she did in a later production). They show up a few times a year. Good luck!

Dame James Henry said...

Thanks for the head's up! For some reason, I was under the impression that there was no original cast recording or something. Glad to know I was wrong.

Vera said...

I have three cast albums of West End musicals starring Judy Dench: Cabaret, of course, The Good Companions, and best of all A Little Night Music. Her "Send in the Clowns" while not technically perfect, is absolutely divine. Find it if you can.

Dame James Henry said...

I have heard her "Send in the Clowns" on Youtube and it is absolutely divine. She sings with her soul, so even if her voice isn't as strong as Miss Liza With a Z's or someone of that caliber, she still makes you sit up and pay attention. Most singers don't know how to do that and I think they could all learn a valuable lesson from Dame Judi.

Michael Parsons said...

Judi is a fantastic performer!
thanks for posting this!