Story: This show is a cross between a musical and a song cycle, being an abstract musical containing a series of songs all connected by theme rather than narrative. The show features four performers who do not actually play the same characters throughout the show but who do have consistently developing character arcs nonetheless. The composer himself described the show as being . . about one moment. . . .about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back."
The show sits on the boundary between musical and song cycle, but it is neither; it is an abstract musical, a series of songs all connected by a theme: "the moment of decision." The show employs four performers who do not literally play the same characters throughout the show but who do have consistently developing character arcs nonetheless. Composer Jason Robert Brown has said of his show, "It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back."
A workshop of the show was produced in Toronto. The original Off-Broadway production ran for a limited three and 1/2-week run, which included two 1/2 weeks of previews at the WPA Theater in 1995. The original cast consisted of Brooks Ashmanskas, Andrea Burns, Jessica Molaskey, and Billy Porter (Porter's part was sung by Ty Taylor on the original cast recording). Daisy Prince, daughter of Broadway director Harold Prince, directed. The original band consisted of Jason Robert Brown on piano, Randy Landau on bass, Tom Partington on drums, Joe Reina on keyboards, and Warren Smith and Rob McEwan on percussion.
The piano features heavily throughout the show's music and because of its small cast and orchestra, Songs for a New World has become a favorite small show for colleges and local theatres, despite its vocally demanding score. The music of Songs for a New World is heavily influenced by a broad range of musical genres, including pop, gospel and jazz. Many of the songs combine elements of two or more of these genres. An extensive background and analysis essay about the show was written by Scott Miller. The Variety reviewer noted :" His debut foray into his own spotlight comes with 'Songs for a New World,' a musical revue that shows Brown to be a capable songwriter of the Alan Menken school: commercial show-tune pop with palatable sentiment and easy-to-take melody.... 'Songs for a New World' seems to contain more cabaret convention and pianobar posing than any one revue should have to withstand."
The first professional revival in New York was staged in October 2008 at the Chernuchin Theatre, featuring a 14-member youth ensemble in addition to the four principal performers; it was directed by Debbie Slevin.
The show continues to be popular among amateur theatre groups with performances across Australia, the USA and the UK.
The score was recorded in 1996 by RCA and released in March 1997.
"Opening Sequence: The New World" – Company
"On the Deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492" – Man 1 and Company
"Just One Step" – Woman 2
"I'm Not Afraid of Anything" – Woman 1
"The River Won't Flow" – Company
"Transition I" – Woman 1
"Stars and the Moon" – Woman 2
"She Cries" – Man 2
"The Steam Train" – Man 1 and Company
"The World Was Dancing" – Man 2 and Company
"Surabaya-Santa" – Woman 2
"Christmas Lullaby" – Woman 1
"King of the World" – Man 1
"I'd Give It All for You" – Man 2 and Woman 1
"Transition II" – Man 1
"The Flagmaker, 1775" – Woman 2
"Flying Home" – Man 1 and Company
"Final Transition: The New World" – Company
"Hear My Song" – Company
Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Songs for a New World
Songs for a New World (1995-10-WPA Theater-Off Off Broadway)Type de série: Original
Théâtre: WPA Theater (Broadway (Off-Off) - Etats-Unis) Durée : 2 semaines Nombre : 28 représentationsPremière Preview : mercredi 11 octobre 1995Première : mercredi 11 octobre 1995Dernière : jeudi 26 octobre 1995Mise en scène : Daisy Prince • Chorégraphie : Michael Arnold • Producteur : Avec : Brooks Ashmanskas, Andréa Burns, Jessica Molaskey, Billy Porter
Songs for a New World (2001-08-Bridewell Theatre-London)Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Bridewell Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Durée : 1 mois Nombre : Première Preview : lundi 13 août 2001Première : lundi 13 août 2001Dernière : samedi 15 septembre 2001Mise en scène : Clive Paget • Chorégraphie : Sam Spencer-Lane • Producteur : Avec : Craig Purnell, Sarah Redmond, Nigel Richards, Golda RosheuvelCommentaires : The original off-Broadway production ran for just 28 performances in 1995, but thereafter it was much revived at smaller theatres and college venues in spite of its vocally demanding score. The music encompasses a wide range of styles, including pop, gospel, jazz and classical music.
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