This week’s choice may seem a little odd for someone who, like me, loves traditional Broadway scores. After all, this score has a pop flavor that I usually don’t like. But when the music and lyrics are this strong and emotional I can’t resist it.
I had the pleasure of discovering this musical on my first trip to Broadway and I fell instantly in love with it. I never understood why if flopped, but I guess the main subject was too dark and the story a bit disturbing. Anyway, thanks to this cast recording it became a kind of cult show and I hope that one day it’ll get the success it deserves. Until then we can all enjoy this wonderful score.
Composer Henry Krieger (“Dreamgirls”) came up with his best work, giving us a perfect match between traditional Broadway songs like “When I’m By Your Side” and “We Share Everything” and modern beats like “Tunnel of Love” and “I Will Never Leave You”. Bill Russell’s lyrics catch the spirit of the story and are truly character oriented. The cast couldn’t be better, with Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner giving truly star turns. At their side Jeff McCarthy, Hugh Panaro and, specially, Norm Lewis, who delivers the beautiful “You Should Be Loved”, are great.
From the disturbing “Come Look at the Freaks” to the touching “I Will Never Leave You”, not forgetting those period songs and the dramatic “Say Goodbye to the Freak Show”, this is contemporary Broadway at its best. I love it and it’s one of my all time favorites.