Release date: 1960.
Type: Broadway musical.
Lionel Bart's wonderful musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic was the first London stage musical to be transplanted to Broadway with the same kind of sensation it received in Britain-- something that is now common in these post-Cats/Les Miserables times. Although no one from this British cast ever became enormously famous (future Monkee Davy Jones was in the second Broadway cast)--and Sir Carol Reed's film version receives all the critical accolades--this remains the better recording, featuring all the songs cut from the film, while excluding the film's musical interludes that simply seem annoying without the visuals. Just compare Bruce Brochnik to the film's Mark Lester in the title role. Or Clive Revill to Ron Moody's Fagin. Or any of the principals, for that matter--and the differences are remarkable.