The Scarlet Pimpernel: The New Musical Adventure (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
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Good--Better the more you listen
This work has its definite pros and cons (The pros do outway the cons rather handily, though) The male talent, especially Terrance Mann (Beauty and the Beast, Les Mis), is excellent. Perfectly cast and hardly a sour note in the batch. The female talent (the cons) takes some getting used to. Are they bad--no. There was some very poor direction somewhere along the line--the French Accent (which only the women have...) grates at first and causes some incredible vibrato. Once you become accustomed to the style, you hardly notice and begin to see the musicality of the female lead's voice. She is an excellent singer. The plot is very vividly portrayed in the clever, often thought provoking lyrics and complemented by Frank Wildhorn's (Jekyll and Hyde) tuneful score. The chorus is also very strong, vivacious and helps carry an already well conceived score. Best if purchased in a work, but it's understandable if you can't get over the girls' voices--Purchase Where's the Girl, Madame Guillotine, Falcon in the Dive, and the Riddle (I would buy this song for the lyrics alone.) To get the best feel for Margaurite, listen to Only Love.
A Terrific And Overlooked Show!
I'd read the book "Scarlet Pimpernel" and loved it, but I had no idea that there was a musical adaptation! Then, one day, I was exploring the internet, and I happened across this show. I was intrigued by the idea of making a musical of Scarlet Pimpernel, and then I spotted that it starred Terrence Mann, my absolute favourite musical theatre performer! Well, I simply had to buy the album, and it did not disappoint. Christine Andreas as Marguerite is, yes, a touch annoying. But if you read the book, you'll see she's a touch annoying in that too, so it fits. I have to say, I preferred Rachel York in the role. Nonetheless, she does display infectious enthusiasm. Actually, 'infectious enthusiasm' is the best phrase to sum up this show in general! Douglas Sills, who played Percy, has so much energy and emotion in his voice that it's impossible not to love him and get caught up in his struggles. If you watch the Tony awards performance of "Into The Fire" on youtube, you can tell he's having immense amounts of fun in his role! Douglas Sills is incredibly versatile as the dashing Percy-- he's good-looking and capable of being heartbreakingly romantic, but just as frequently, he's silly, comical, and foolish (as in "Creation of Man" or "The Scarlet Pimpernel") when he's pretending to be a fop. Sills has a beautiful, strong tenor voice that's capable of holding out notes for an astonishingly long time, and he does a wonderful over-the-top English accent and an equally over-the-top inane laugh that reminds me of the movie "Amadeus!" Terrence Mann as Chauvelin is the foil of Percy, and equally brilliant in a totally different way. Mann is a baritone-bass, and he has a very dark, smooth voice with a lot of gravity to it, and as Chauvelin, always sounds rather grim and intimidating. However, he can also hit the high notes, and well. This is Terrence Mann at his best. Even if you don't know his name, you may have heard him before-- he played Rum Tum Tugger on the Original Broadway cast of Cats, Javert on the Original Broadway Cast of Les Miserables, the Beast in the Original Broadway Cast of Beauty and the Beast, among many other roles. You may have also seen him as Bob the ghost on "The Dresden Files." But if you want to hear his ultimate performance, buy this soundtrack! He can sound anywhere from seductive to deranged to bitter to imperious. Scarlet Pimpernel is a great opportunity to hear for amazing male performers playing wonderful roles! The songs are very good, and extremely varied in style. If you can only buy one song... well, don't. Buy two. The two best songs are "Into The Fire" (a rollicking song that never fails to get me in a good mood, performed by Sills to convince his men to join him) and "Falcon In the Dive" (a really sinister song performed by Mann on his near-mad conviction that he must capture the Scarlet Pimpernel... if this sounds Javert-ish to you, that's probably why he was so great in this role, but Chauvelin's rather more edgy and overall disturbing). Other amazing songs include: "Madame Guillotine"-- a very chilling, rhythmic group number about... mass-decapitation, what else?; "Where's The Girl," Chauvelin at his smoothest and most sublime in his attempts to win over Marguerite; Creation of Man, Percy and company acting like ridiculous fashion-obsessed fops to distract the Prince of Wales; The Riddle, the only opportunity to hear all three of the main characters in one song-- or, for that matter, Mann and Sills in the same song; and She Was There, the most joyful number of the show and performed superbly by Sills. Please, buy this soundtrack! Scarlet Pimpernel is now my favourite musical (tied with Spamalot and Les Miserables), and I've managed to introduce several of my friends to it, but it's really not as well-known as it should be. I guarantee, you'll be caught up in the world of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Some of my friends and I even dressed up as Pimpernel characters for Halloween (I was Percy, despite the fact that I'm a girl).
Recommendation from a mucial lover.
I have just recently finished the book The Scarlet Pimpernel, I am also a big musical fan, so of course I had to get this soundtrack. The musical follow the book so well, and the music is written beautifully. I would recommend this soundtrack to any musical lovers... or anyone seeking some good music. To put it short, I loved it! The Scarlet Pimpernel is now one of my favorite sountracks!
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