Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, Rachel York|
Dessa Rose (2005 Off-Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
A major musical by The Lincoln Center based on the best-selling novel by Sherley Anne Williams. This is the first complete recording (containing the entire work) of a New York mainstream production. Wonderful music and l... more »
A major musical by The Lincoln Center based on the best-selling novel by Sherley Anne Williams. This is the first complete recording (containing the entire work) of a New York mainstream production. Wonderful music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Great cast includes Rachel York, LaChanz, Norm Lewis, Michael Hayden and more.
A Wonderful Keepsake of a Magnificent Musical
theater lover | Melrose, MA United States | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DESSA ROSE is a wonderful 2-CD set that preserves the entire original Off-Broadway production of Ahrens and Flaherty's Drama Desk Award nominated folk opera about the relationship of two very different women in the Antebellum South. Dessa Rose, a pregnant runaway slave (played by the endearing La Chanze) is harbored by Ruth Sutton (played by the captivating Rachel York), a white woman whose slave owner husband has abandoned her and her daughter on their isolated farm. As Dessa gives birth and Ruth nurses both Dessa and her newborn child back to health, the wary and feisty women begin to learn what they have in common and finally develop a bond of friendship and trust.
The two heroines go back and forth from being elderly narrators of their own tale to acting out their adventures as young women. Ten other very talented cast members perform the supporting roles of fellow runaways, slave traders, plantation owners, lovers, parents, sherriffs, and a reporter obsessed with writing a book about the rebellious Dessa Rose.
Music underscores almost all of the narration and dialogue, creating an evocative mood throughout and making scene transitions smooth and clear. Traditional instruments add color and texture to the score that is packed with powerful choral pieces, lovely duets, humorous ensemble numbers and thrilling solos. The songs themselves range from gospel to folk to blues to spirituals. Standouts include La Chanze's "Twelve Children," a stirring anthem in which she recites an oral family history to her unnamed baby, and Rachel York's "At the Glen," a stunning ballad that pierces the heart with loneliness and despair.
Both La Chanze and Rachel York were nominated for Drama Desk Awards for their performances in DESSA ROSE. So were co-stars Norm Lewis as the charming and clever runaway Nathan and Kecia Lewis as Ruth's loving Mammy, Dorcas. On this CD you'll hear why. Each actor brilliantly expresses through voice alone all the subtle nuances that were visible on stage. You get a very real sense of what each character is thinking and feeling, and you'll laugh and cry at how their characters - and relationships - deepen and evolve.
The packaging for this terrific CD is every bit as professional as the sound mix and recording. The full libretto and all of the lyrics are presented in book form, complete with hard cover binding. A number of beautiful production photos are also included.
This magnificent two-CD recording is a true keepsake. Even if you weren't lucky enough to see the show live as I was, you will cherish it as a milestone in theater history."