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John & Jen (1995 Original Off-Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, May 20, 2003
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Act One: Prologue/Welcome To The World
  2. Act One: Think Big
  3. Act One: Dear God
  4. Act One: Hold Down The Fort
  5. Act One: Timeline
  6. Act One: It Took Me A While
  7. Act One: Out Of My Sight
  8. Act One: Run And Hide
  9. Act One: Epilogue
  10. Act Two: Old Clothes
  11. Act Two: Little League
  12. Act Two: Just Like You
  13. Act Two: Bye Room
  14. Act Two: Talk Show
  15. Act Two: Smile Of Your Dreams'
  16. Act Two: Graduation
  17. Act Two: The Road Ends Here
  18. Act Two: That Was My Way
  19. Act Two: Every Goodbye Is Hello


Product Details

  • Performer: Andrew Lippa, Tom Greenwald, Carolee Carmello, James Ludwig
  • Audio CD (May 20, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B000095J96
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,728 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I had never heard of this musical until I did a search here on Amazon.com for Carolee Carmello, whom I consider one of the finest female vocalists in theatre today. When I began to read the description of "John & Jen," I was intrigued to see whether a two-performer show could be pulled off. I figured, "What the heck?" and purchased the CD. Am I ever glad I decided to take the chance.
"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.
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By A Customer on October 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who has a younger brother or an older sister, this is the recording to buy. In such simplistic ways, it tells a beautiful story of a sister and brother who grow up together, lose their way and find themselves again in the future. The cast numbers only two. Carollee Carmello plays Jen, lending her thrilling voice (the best in New York, I say) to some beautiful tunes penned by composer Andrew Lippa. James Ludwig has a slightly more difficult task: he must portray Jen's brother, John, in the first act, reaching up to his teens...and must play Jen's SON, John, in Act II. It is a rather remarkable journey to simply listen to on recording and it shows the amazing promise of composer Andrew Lippa (now represented by the off-Broadway Wild Party recording)
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Format: Audio CD
I first saw this show because Andrew Lippa had been a music teacher at my middle school. At that point in my life, I had only just started getting involved in theater, and my experience was limited, nevertheless I loved the show. The songs express a wonderful childlike naivity and enthusiasm in the earlier stages of both acts (Think Big, Going to Camp) and are acted wonderfully by both stars. In addition, it is simply a pleasure to listen to, and although it is not necessary to leave a musical humming a tune, I recall leaving this one humming Think Big for a day or two. As I write this, Andrew Lippa has just won a Drama Desk award for his newest work, The Wild Party (To avoid confusion: The Manhattan Theater Club one. It is infinitely confusing to have two shows with the exact same name on Broadway at once...) and from what I've heard of the score of that one (One song, performed at the Drama Desks)it is just as much of a treat. Also, if you enjoy his music, pick up the new cast version of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, for which he wrote Beethoven Day and My New Philosophy, which are my two favorite songs on the recording. Enjoy the music!
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Format: Audio CD
As a musical theatre nut, I am always in search of another recording of a show no one knows about. I have many "duds" in my collection, but this one is a treasure... one I keep quite handy and always available to pop in the player and never grow tired of.
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!
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By Matt on April 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I heard bits and pieces of this musical online. I became interested in the fact it was about a brother and sister, and that relationship affected their lives. So I bought it. My sister and I are close and seeing these songs reminds me of hard hitting times we both have face.

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.
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