Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky by Audra McDonald, Darius de Haas, John Adams, Marin Mazzie, Michael McElroy & Richard Muenz, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

Composer John Adams and lyricist/librettist June Jordan took as inspiration for their musical I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky the Northridge earthquake of 1994; the title is based on a quotation from a survivor that Jordan culled from the Los Angeles Times. The more general inspiration was L.A. itself, however, as Jordan weaved an ensemble drama examining the lives of seven contemporary Los Angelenos: a young black man; his girlfriend, an illegal Hispanic immigrant; a young black minister with a wandering eye; one of his female parishioners; a white rookie cop not quite ready to confront his homosexuality; a white TV news anchorwoman wondering why the cop isn't paying enough attention to her; and a first-generation son of Vietnamese boat people who has become a public defender. Their lives intersect in a period leading up to an earthquake that changes those lives drastically. The show was first produced in 1995; this studio cast recording, made in 1996 and 1997, retains only two members of the original cast, Darius de Haas as David, the minister, and Welly Yang as Rick, the public defender. Otherwise, the cast has undergone some upgrading, at least in terms of name recognition, with Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Marin Mazzie stepping into the roles of Consuelo, the illegal immigrant, and Tiffany, the anchorwoman. The episodic nature of the plot and the differing ethnicities allow Adams to try many different musical styles. After beginning with the title song, which is in the familiar repetitive style of Philip Glass, Adams incorporates elements of rock, pop, blues, and gospel in appropriate ways in the successive tracks, albeit without actually using the styles to create satisfying popular music. He comes closest in the lusty trio number for the three women, "Song About the Bad Boys and the News," and in the duet for David and his potential new girlfriend Leila (Angela Teek), "Three Weeks and Still I'm Outta My Mind," which has something of the flavor of a Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell performance. He is constrained, however, by the demands of the plot, which is trying to pack a lot of social commentary into a single musical. As a show and as a record, the work is ambitious, but somewhat overstuffed.


Born: 03 July 1970 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Classically trained soprano Audra McDonald was the most celebrated new singer/actress on Broadway in the 1990s. She was raised in Fresno, California, and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music with a Bachelor's degree in music in 1993. Even before her graduation, she had begun to work professionally in the musical theater, taking a role in the national tour of the musical The Secret Garden in 1992. Fresh out of school, she was cast in a Broadway revival of the musical Carousel (March 24, 1994)....
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by Audra McDonald

Listeners Also Bought

I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, Audra McDonald
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.