Kirk Webeck discovers another new musical you must listen to!
I don’t know about everybody else, but I often have fond memories of the movies I used to watch as a kid (or movies I was forced to watch as a kid because we only had one TV).
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a musical which is actually based on one of those old movies I remember my mum watching over and over again! Originally a novel (then movie) of the same name, LOVE STORY is an absolutely gorgeous musical. I would go so far as to say it is perhaps a musical in the more traditional sense as opposed to the more pop-music style we see around at the moment.
Although LOVE STORY certainly has moments which lend themselves musically to a more pop sensibility, overall I find it to be more of a classical musical feel, which is (for the most part) quite uplifting. There are some great moments for a female soprano, but unfortunately not all of these moments are captured on the cast recording. However, the recording does boast some wonderful songs such as Jenny’s “Piano Song” and “Nocturne”.
As I mentioned, the show itself is inspired by a novel written by Erich Segal, which was eventually turned into what is arguably one of the most romantic films of all time. The musical gives a home to one of the most delicious scores I have ever heard. Composed by Howard Goodall, who wrote musicals such as The Dreaming and A Winter’s Tale, this score is so rich and so relaxing you will just fall in love with it.
For those of you who don’t know anything about the novel or the movie LOVE STORY, it is about a young man – Oliver Barrett – who is very well off and well educated, and studying at Harvard. He meets the gorgeous Jenny Cavilleri, a not-so-well-off lass who has managed to scrimp enough money together to attend the not-so-posh Radcliffe College to study and play piano. They meet, immediately fall in love and marry despite constant protest from his family. He then decides to attend law school while Jenny supports them both however all becomes undone very quickly when Jenny is diagnosed with leukaemia, and tragically dies not long after diagnosis.
LOVE STORY had its world premiere at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2010 and ran a for short four week season. While LOVE STORY has never ever been called a smash hit, it did play a limited 10 week season on the West End in 2010 just months after its world premiere, a run produced by Michael Ball and Adam Speigel and Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.
Cast in the two lead roles were Emma Williams as Jenny (the original Truly Scrumptious in the West End production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) who is just an absolute delight to listen to in this role. Having seen her play Truly Scrumptious in London many years ago – it is so good to hear her sing something different! Playing Oliver on the cast recording is Michael Xavier, a well known face on the West End, and perhaps better known for playing Sir Galahad in Spamalot and Raoul in Phantom of the Opera. Both of these voices blend amazingly well and really create an atmosphere!
Unfortunately LOVE STORY is not available on iTunes at this stage but it is available from Amazon.
“Nocturne” – this is a beautiful song sung by Jenny after being diagnosed with leukaemia, about all she’d like to do with her life that has not been done.
Unfortunately there is nothing in this week’s show that I would select for a guy. All the songs in this show really do go to the girls, but guys, I think when you listen to this show you’ll forgive the composer for not giving you a song when you listen to the beauty of the score!!!
I have plenty more in store for you all so keep reading and keep listening. I hope you enjoy LOVE STORY. Until next time, keep smiling!!!
Check out this video about the show on YouTube: