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John & Jen (1995 Original Off-Broadway Cast) Cast Recording
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Top Customer Reviews
"John & Jen" may very well be one of the most emotionally ravishing stage soundtracks I have ever heard. Andrew Lippa's score is gorgeous beyond words, enhanced by the simple but effective orchestrations of Jason Robert Brown (composer of "Parade," another Carolee Carmello starrer) for piano, cello, and percussion.
Carolee Carmello, as expected, delivers a knockout performance -- in fact, I consider it her best recorded performance that I have ever heard. And she is exquisitely matched by the astounding James Ludwig, for whom this is the first recording. Both of their voices are strong and assured, with abundant emotional nuance to distinguish the various songs.
And the songs themselves -- one mind-boggling gem after another. But a select few stand out as superior, which is impressive considering the entire line-up: the 'chin up' encouragement "Hold Down the Fort"; the confident "It Took Me A While"; the bitterly confrontational "Run and Hide"; the sarcastic "Talk Show"; the painful "Graduation"; and the final, cathartic sequence of songs, "The Road Ends Here," "That Was My Way," and "Every Goodbye Is Hello."
Those who would accuse the new generation of composers of being overly cold and cerebral must experience the strong emotional texture of "John & Jen." It is a score rich in melody, harmony, and orchestrations; they are lyrics of depth and power; and they are performances of exceptional vocalists.
Being a huge fan of Carolee Carmello, I could hardly wait to open this CD and play it. What I experienced was an incredible range of emotions.. laughter, tears, sadness and joy. This show is one that is not to be missed. Carolee's performace is wonderful as usual. She is able to shade her voice with many nuances that many performers today can't do. Many singers just sing the notes as written. Carolee makes you FEEL them.
It's a shame this show is not more popular, because it should be. The score is so well written and deserves much more attention than it gets.
Go buy this CD... you won't be disappointed!
As I've learned this is one of Andrew Lippa's earlier musicals. His level of talent is immense here. His melodies are great. But there is much for complexity in the music, but his words seem to bring the music to a whole new level.
I loved this musical because it really pushes the boundries and helps us reflect on our relationships with others. Also, it shows how the future is reflected by the past. It forces you to realize not to live in the past nor forget...but to grow from the past.
The vocal strength and talents of the cast ring true the words..."Actors are to writers as angels are too God." If you get the opportunity buy this cd...it's worth every penny.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had the opportunity to perform in this show twice as well as direct it once. A year later, I still have the music in stuck in my head! Read morePublished on August 18, 2009 by R. Thomas
Wow, wow, wow. This show is so great, with just two Cast members, and a small orchestra this show hits a home run. Read morePublished on March 26, 2007 by ~Amante
This music, with only a few exceptional moments, is just another example of the same meandering theatre pablum we've been hearing for too many years. Read morePublished on December 21, 2005 by Joseph G.
I was lucky enough to see this show performed by a very professional community theater company in New Jersey and it was executed beautifully. Read morePublished on August 27, 2003 by Jefferson Heller
Just heard this at a party at the Univ of Cinn. Brilliant lyrics.
It's like Sondheim with a heart. Great voices. You can imagine the entire musical as you listen. Read more
I have to admit, the first time I listened to this CD, I thought, "Ehhh. Not bad." Then I sat through it another time and began to realize what a fascinating piece of... Read morePublished on January 22, 2003 by Nick
i absolutely love this cd!!this is one of the best shows i have ever heard or seen. thats right..i had the privalige of seeing this musical locally. Read morePublished on January 2, 2003 by Jake Bridges