- Performer: Ricky Ian Gordon, Brian d'Arcy James, Jason Danieley, Kelli O'Hara, Jessica Molaskey
- Audio CD (May 30, 2006)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: PS Classics
- ASIN: B000FWH1NM
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,332 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Dream True world premiere recording
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Brian dArcy James, Jason Danieley, Kelli OHara, Jessica Molaskey, Victoria Clark and Jeff McCarthy star in the world premiere recording of Ricky Ian Gordon and Tina Landaus Dream True, conducted by Ted Sperling. Inspired by George du Mauriers 1891 novel Peter Ibbetson, Dream True was originally produced by the Vineyard Theatre in June of 1998, then in an extended run in the spring of 1999. It was subsequently performed in concert in March of 2004 at Cooper Arts, a contemporary music series produced by Howard Stokar; this recording with its striking cast of Broadway stars and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick is drawn from that performance.
About the Artist
Ricky Ian Gordon (composer) has written scores for My Life With Albertine, with Richard Nelson, at Playwrights Horizons; Only Heaven, his setting of Langston Hughes poetry premiered by Encompass Opera; and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, with Jean Claude Van Itallie at Houston Grand Opera. On March 13th, 2001, at Lincoln Center, he was presented as part of the American Songbook Series. The New York Times wrote, “If the music of Ricky Ian Gordon had to be defined by a single quality, it would be the bursting effervescence infusing songs that blithely blur the lines between art song and the high-end Broadway music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.” Mr. Gordon’s songs have been performed and recorded by internationally known singers including Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Harolyn Blackwell, and Betty Buckley.
Top customer reviews
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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!
2004 NEW YORK CONCERT CAST
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.