It’s Double Take December at Musical Cyberspace! Every musical pretty much has something one likes and something one doesn’t in it. This month I’ll be listing one of each for a range of musicals, a different one each day.
Something I Like: Nine has a score that I really grew to love. Unfortunately, I was introduced to the show via the 1992 London cast recording, which is just abysmal in comparison with either the original or revival Broadway recordings of the show, so it took some time. But now I am a dedicated fan of what Maury Yeston achieved here. Oh – a special shout out must go to the new single version of “An Unusual Way” by Griffith Frank that was released on the film soundtrack. It’s amazing and great to hear a man singing this most beautiful of songs.
Something I Don’t Like: Well, it’s clear from what I said above that I don’t like the 1992 London cast recording. I was also incredibly disappointed by the film: a great cast was poorly served by Rob Marshall’s direction and the changes to the score. The new songs simply aren’t as good as anything in the score of the stage show.
Feel free to share your “double take” on Nine in the comment box! I’d love to hear what you think about the show!
Nine must be my favourite Yeston show. Yet, as with the other Yeston shows I’m familiar with, I find myself admiring it more than loving it. I don’t think there is much wrong with Nine, exactly, it just fails to make as great an emotional impact on me as I think it ought to.
That said, I do enjoy it quite a lot. The theatricality of the songs and characters reflecting the title and it’s symbolic significance is very pleasant to my mind.
I’d have to agree with Hans. There’s much to enjoy, but it mostly fails to really grab me. As for the London recording, its true value to me is that it’s double cd format contains all of the music, including the otherwise typically removed “opera/film” buffa parody on Casanova. As for the performances, Mr. Pryce is an utterly unconvincing Guido, but of the three recordings, Elaine Paige’s “Unusual Way” is a fine rendition, and Ann Crumb’s “Go On” is the BEST version out there; she nailed it, where both others fail to pack the dramatic bite the song calls for. The film soundtrack had it’s reasons for replacing this song with something altogether different, but I understand the choices they made and think that the alternative works for the portrayal presented for the movie.