Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Party Well Worth Attending, October 17, 2000
This review is from: The Wild Party (Original Off-Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
Already a fan of Andrew Lippa's exquisite "john & jen," I knew that he was a gifted composer. But I don't think anything could have prepared me for the blazing score that is "The Wild Party." If more composers and lyricists had half of Lippa's gift for melody and lyrics, his energy, and his enthusiasm, musical theatre would have the same vibrancy it did in the so-called Golden Age of Broadway. Lippa is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and as long as he continues to work in musical theatre, we who are fans of that art form will have much to enjoy and savor. I would even go so far as to say that Lippa may be the true heir apparent to Sondheim: this is a score that not only entertains and delights, it is also provocative and intelligent.
Lippa's music is endlessly brilliant. These are songs that get my adrenaline pumping, and make me want to get on my feet and dance. I play it in my car and find myself pounding away on the steering wheel and dashboard, accompanying the rhythms that drive and invigorate the music. These are melodies that are instantly memorable, burning themselves into the brain as soon as they are heard. Michael Gibson's orchestrations are delightfully funky and idiosyncratic -- I mean, electric guitar in a roaring 20s musical? -- and are the perfect complement to Lippa's music.
His lyrics are entertaining and playful, and rest easily on the music -- repeated listenings aren't necessary to understand and follow the lyrics. The standout song lyrically is, for me, 'An Old-Fashioned Love Story,' it is at once hysterically funny and wistfully sad.
The pacing of the songs is impeccable, no doubt due to Lippa's book, with great balance between full-throttle beltable songs and quietly reflective songs, and as a result the listener is not worn out by too many high energy songs in a row. Lippa also wisely keeps the focus on the four central characters, only occasionally drawing attention to the supporting characters. At the same time, these supporting characters aren't two-dimensional -- they are given their due in the ensemble numbers, but only rarely are any of them given their own numbers. I am reminded of Sondheim's focus on George and Dot in "Sunday in the Park with George."
Along with "The Secret Garden," this is the best ensemble work I have heard. The four leads -- Taye Diggs, Brian d'Arcy James, Idina Menzel, and Julia Murney -- are all gifted with gloriously expressive voices, at once belters and character singers. Their quartet in 'Poor Child,' is perfectly balanced, their voices weaving in and out of one another's, creating an astounding vocal tapestry. The other performers who are given solo work, especially the showstopping Alix Korey as Madeline, are equally as brilliant as the leads. And when the entire company is singing -- most notably in 'A Wild, Wild Party' -- the result is nothing short of electrifying.
In "The Wild Party," Andrew Lippa has not only created an ectrifying and memorable score, he catapaults to the forefront of the up-and-coming generation of composers. Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, and Jason Robert Brown, as good as you guys are, watch out: Andrew Lippa has finally arrived, and as long as he continues in musical theatre, you three have incredible competition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Kansas City, MO

Top Reviewer Ranking: 25,502,203