I’ve said it before. Count me in as a big, big fan of Bells are Ringing. I saw it late in the show’s run, and I fell head-over-heels in love with Ella Peterson and, by association, Faith Prince.
Faith Prince made Ella so charming, so endearing that I kept wishing there could really be a woman out there in real life as wonderful and spunky. This was another one of those shows where so many distinct images remain with me because it was such a remarkable evening of theatre, and it was all anchored in Faith Prince. The cast recording has become one of my most-listened-to CDs, not only because of the great Comden-Green-Styne music but because of the charm Prince exudes. From the innocent manipulation of “Is It a Crime?” to her irresistible giggles in “Drop That Name,” I can’t get enough.
And I am already having empathy pings for whoever gets the role of Miss Adelaide in the 2008 revival of Guys and Dolls. Just by listening to the CD, you can tell Faith Prince gave one of the greatest performances of the decade, and since it is still so recent, how can anyone compete in a world where “not as good as” has become a key phrase.
The CD of Guys and Dolls and seeing the Broadway production of Bells are Ringing was a one-two punch. For snappiness sake, I’d like to say that she had me at “Hello, Hello There,” but the truth is that when the light first came up on Ella Peterson, I could already hear the bells ringing for Faith Prince.
the Broadway Mouth
July 27, 2007