Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Grant Sturiale, Jason Graae, Susan Powell|
Olympus on My Mind - The American Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
THE HAPPIEST MUSICAL THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN . . . . .
J. T Waldmann | Carmel, IN, home to the fabulous new Regional Perf | 08/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one is a hoot!
Don't ask me to explain the plot of OLYMPUS ON MY MIND, for as some character in some show once said, "It defies description." Barry Harman (book and lyrics for ROMANCE, ROMANCE) received Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Direction of a Musical and for Outstanding Book, "suggested" by Heinrich von Kleist's play of 1807, "Amphitryon," which may or may not have been "suggested" by Moliere's earlier version of the Greek myth. (The plot is as complicated and as convoluted as the previous sentence.) At any rate, Jupiter lusts after the beautiful mortal Alcmene and poses as her husband, Amphitryon, in order to seduce her. Mistaken identities abound and double-entendres fly freely, aided and abetted by Harman's witty and literate lyrics and Grant Sturiale's ". . . bubbly score, which suggests Rodgers and Hart with a pop-rock undertow." (Stephen Holden, in his review of the 1986 Original Off-Broadway Production) When Amphityron arrives home from the war, not knowing that Jupiter has just spent the night with his wife, Alcmene sings "Back So Soon?" and then proceeds to tell him in great detail how "Wonderful" he was last night, rather like poetry, ". . . especially the fourth and the seventeenth time." The slave, Sosia, having been barred from his own house and bed by Hercules, in the guise of Sosia, declares to his master,""It Was Me." And Delores only needs the mention of a constellation to break into "A Star Is Born" big production number. "Big" being relative, considering the size of the cast. Great fun.
(Holden) "From its firecracker-like opening number, 'Welcome to Greece,' in which a smirking Greek chorus of three men - 'Tom, Dick and Horace' - and a doll-faced, out-of-step chorus girl, 'Delores,' arrive to set the scene, the new musical OLYMPUS ON MY MIND percolates with an old-fashioned sense of naughty musical-comedy fun. Delores's ineptitude, it turns out, is part of the merriment. Periodically throughout the evening, she models the wares of the show's fictional producer, Murray the Furrier, whose name glows in lights at the rear of the stage." Opening night saw the marvelous Ron Raines (LEADING MEN DON'T DANCE) in the dual roles of Jupiter & Amphitryon, Emily Zacharias as Alcmene, Jason Graae as Hercules, Peggy Hewett as Charis, Lewis J. Stadlen as Sosia, and Faith Prince as Delores. By the time the recording was made in October, 1987, the equally marvelous Martin Vidnovic (Tony Nominee, 1981, BRIGADOON; 1984 Drama Desk Award Winner for BABY) was Jupiter/Amphitryon; Susan Powell, his wife; Nancy Johnson, Charis; Frank Kopyc, Sosia; and Joyce De Witt ("Three's Company"), Delores. Only Jason Graae remains from the opening night cast.
David Abers of the Bristol Riverside Theatre calls OLYMPUS ON MY MIND "the happiest musical this side of heaven," and he may well be right. Hal Serra's wonderful "stringless" orchestrations and the small cast of 10 make the show an excellent choice for community theaters and small colleges. I can't imagine anyone, except for the very prudish, not having a great time on OLYMPUS.