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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded Expectations, December 21, 2006
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This review is from: Dream True (Audio CD)
I bought this disc for several reasons. I've been impressed with some of Ricky Ian Gordon's earlier work, primarily in his musical "My Life With Albertine", and as I huge fan of "The Light in the Piazza" I was excited to hear Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark on the same recording . What I didn't expect was such a gorgeous score and talent from the entire cast.

The story deals with two childhood friends who are separated. Though their lives take them on different paths they are able to meet again in their dreams- a technique called "dreaming true". Though it keeps them connect, it also affects all other relationships.

The story spans about fifty years and the music evolves with the changing times. Songs like "God's There" and "He's Gone" are almost arias, while "Have a Nice Day" references the posters popular in the 1970's and "The Best Years of Our Lives" uses a trio to evoke the atmosphere of post WWII America.

This recording features an all-star cast but particular standouts are Brian D'Arcy James and Jason Danieley as Peter and Verne, the grown boys, Kelli O'Hara (stunning on "God's Here" and "Best For You") as Peter's wife, Madge, and Victoria Clark has a brief shining moment in "He's Gone". My only complaint she was underused. But overall this is a great cast in a wonderful score. Thank goodness we have PS Classics introducing these hidden gems to the world!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rob Lester's Talkin' Broadway Review of the "Dream True" CD, September 11, 2008
This review is from: Dream True (Audio CD)
PS Classics
Knowing the show, I was expecting the belated release of the recording of the daring Dream True to knock me out. I was right. Simply put, Dream True is a true dream of a cast album and musical. Whether your priority consideration for satisfying musical theater is charismatic performance, an engrossing story, well-crafted songs that pull at your heartstrings or challenge your thinking, you'll find it here. You won't find mindless pap or pop. Although there are a couple of flashes of humor and liveliness, this is a serious and deeply moving piece with a strong metaphysical element. It is treated with love and care by a company featuring some of today's best singer-actors. I fell in love with Dream True in its run in 1999 and again at its 2004 concert performance. The cast from that concert presentation is heard here, captured on disc with love and care and technical expertise. Tommy Krasker is the producer who gets my thank-you card, with his PS Classics' partner, Philip Chaffin, executive producer.

The tale of an early bond between two boys that survives separations and defies tangible reality is transporting. In the story, the men they grow to be are often in the "presence" of their childhood selves, allowing for ultimate theatricality via the mesmerizing power of memory. As the two confront their values, difficult life choices, their past and their mortality, their faith and relationships are tested. The especially evocative Jonathan Tunick orchestrations are conducted with grace and care by Ted Sperling for a nine-man orchestra (Sam Davis and Joel Fram on keyboards). The show's composer, Ricky Ian Gordon, provides the orchestration for "He's Gone," a cut song now restored. He also wrote his own lyrics for one version of "Wyoming" and the final number, the redemptive "We Will Always Walk Together," a 1996 song which was the seed for the project. Otherwise, the artful lyrics are by Tina Landau, who also directed and wrote the show's book, inspired by a novel from 1891, Peter Ibbetson by George Du Maurier. Notes by the composer trace the development of the piece, including intriguing comments on cut and changed musical pieces. A plot synopsis is here, too, needed in this case.

Targeting the song heart of this lovely work is slightly tricky, as it is almost all heart. However, the title song about the power of two friends learning they can will themselves to have the same dream and communicate within that experience is glorious and powerful. An analagous theme concerns the sense of home being something you can keep with you and that "Finding Home" can happen "in an unexpected place." It is warmly sung to exquisite tear-inducing perfection by Jessica Molaskey, as young Peter's mother, first as a solo and reprised at the end of "Peter's Dream," where she is joined by the cast.

And what a cast it is. The aforementioned friends are heroic and haunting: In their most satisfying and emotionally nuanced disc work to date are Brian d'Arcy James as Peter the architect who longs for "Space" in his work, environment and marriage; Jason Danieley as his gay friend is superb as well. Their sensitivity and shared strength are ennobling. As their younger selves, two child actors who've both been on Broadway as Chip in Beauty and the Beast, Harrison Chad (now in the Washington, D.C. Mame) and William Ullrich (the Nine revival), turn in admirable work with no "kid actor" show-biz glitz. Two more major assets: The Light in the Piazza's co-stars Victoria Clark and Kelli O'Hara are re-united (I should say "pre-united" as this is an earlier production). Kelli's singing uses her shimmering soprano sound familiar from Piazza rather than her belt of her Tony-nominated Pajama Game role. Sturdy Jeff McCarthy as the uncle and the trio of Michael McElroy, James Moye and Clark Thorell complete the top-drawer company. With some of the cast doubling as other characters and melting into an ensemble, they serve also as "witnesses" for some of the action and memories and empower the theories presented. Luckily, this also gives us more of the rich vocal sounds of the trio, the sterling Victoria Clark and the empathetic qualities of the treasured Jessica Molaskey.

The aching longing, the life-affirming underpinnings, the pain of loss and brave examination of the pure love human beings can have for each other all come through. They dance together with a strange grace and confront each other as the characters' pasts and presents similarly face each other down. Attachments go beyond sexual attraction and sexuality and bonds of friendship and family are mighty. The gayness of male characters here plays an important role, but is ultimately not the crux. Peter's strained marriage with his wife (Kelli) does not fully sever their relationship any more than other obstacles. Yes, it's complicated, but this a real work of art and a work of the heart.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful score, July 21, 2006
H. Stokar (New York, New York USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dream True (Audio CD)
Thanks to the good folks at PS Classics we now have a superb recording of this marvelous work. The cast could not be better. Ricky Ian Gordon is one of the finest compositional voices in current musical theater. Tina Landau's lyrics are elegant and moving.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 24, 2014
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This review is from: Dream True (Audio CD)
Beautiful music and lyrics.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing Judy, August 13, 2006
This review is from: Dream True (Audio CD)
This work would deserve the 5th star, but for one hugely disappointing ommission. Where's Judy Kuhn?
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Dream True
Dream True by Ricky Ian Gordon (Audio CD - 2006)
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