Los Angeles Times Calendar Section

Sunday, April 21

By Don Shirley


Susan Egan
Jay Productions

Susan Egan's first solo CD is called "So Far ..." because it takes us through songs from some of the key roles she has played in her career so far. However, in her song selection, she took care not to repeat any of the numbers she previously recorded for her most famous role, Belle in "Beauty and the Beast." So there are some less predictable but sterling choices here.

Because Egan was raised in Seal Beach and performed many of her formative roles in the Southland, the selections may be more predictable to locals than they are elsewhere. Her liner notes identify where she sang some of these, from high school choir ("Much More" from "The Fantasticks") to post-"Beauty and the Beast" appearances with the Blank Theatre Company ("Tom" from "Hello, Again"), at the Hollywood Bowl ("A Wonderful Guy" from "South Pacific") and at the Mark Taper Forum ("Sooner or Later," originally from "Dick Tracy," later from "Putting It Together").

Wherever she sang them, the songs reflect a wide range, and Egan's clear timbre and winsome style are evident throughout. The album begins on an emotional high--"The Story Goes On" from "Baby," which Egan's notes reveal was her audition song for "Beauty and the Beast"--but the songs then take us through many other moods. The only questionable choice is one that she reveals was dictated to her by her producer, John Yap--"Just for Tonight," from "They're Playing Our Song," which doesn't add much.

"Beauty and the Beast" fans will be glad to hear that the show hasn't been completely overlooked--Egan sings "A Change in Me," which was added after she left the cast and after the cast album had been recorded.