Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|William Finn, Alison Fraser, Chip Zien|
In Trousers (1979 Original Off-Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Part One of the 'Marvin' Trilogy Is Worth a Listen
A. R. Karpe | New York, NY | 01/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"William Finn's best known work, "March of the Falsettos" and its companion piece (and sequel) "Falsettoland" found commercial success on Broadway in the early 1990's including a Tony Award for Finn's superlative score. In the Broadway outing, the raucous "March..." made up the first act while the more sobering "Falsettoland" comprised act two. As a pair of one act musicals, these two pieces tell a very complete and emotionally engaging story about a previously "straight" married man (Marvin) who leaves his wife and son for a male lover. His wife, Trina, rebounds by marrying Marvin's psychiastrist, and the entire dysfunctional family deals with love, hate, life and death. But that's not "In Trousers." "In Trousers" pre-dates these two musicals by at least another decade and tells in a much more disjointed fashion the story of Marvin's early years. Marvin appears here in various stages of his pre-Falsettos life, as spoiled fourteen year old, horny young student lusting after the exotic Miss Goldburg, and romantic young swain smitten with a touchingly innocent and vulnerable Trina. Here we get the nuts and bolts of Marvin and Trina's past: the rise and fall of their mistake of a marriage, and Marvin's first meeting with Whizzer Brown (who is only sung about here, and will not appear as a character until "March of the Falsettos"). As a piece of theater, "In Trousers" succeeds musically more than dramatically. The story telling here is more patchwork than anything else, and may be hard for audiences to grasp who are not familiar with the future storyline. There are some extraordinary tunes, though. "Pass the Sugar, Please" details the collapse of a ten year marriage over breakfast while "Love Me For What I Am" is full of hope and longing by people who believe there is life left in a failing relationship. The four member cast is wonderful, headed here by Chip Zien and Alison Frasier. Zien would later go on to play the role of Mendel the psychiatrist in the Falsetto musicals while Michael Rupert took over the role of Marvin. Still, Zien is every bit as powerful and moving as Marvin proving his true versatility as an actor (and if you want to SEE him prove his chops, pick up a VHS or DVD of "Into the Woods" where his performance as The Baker is a real masterpiece). "In Trousers" belongs in your library if you love William Finn's work, especially the moving Falsetto musicals."
So much fun, and so moving
jbhapgood2 | 04/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How could you go wrong with 3 Tony Award Nominees????? Mary Testa, Chip Zien, and Alison Fraser! It's amazing! Plus the one cast member I was not familiar with, Joanna Green, is also superb. Just so you know.. the songs on the cd are not in the same order they are in my script. The closing number on the cd (not counting the bonus track) is actually the opening number. "Marvin's Giddy Little Siezures" which opens the cd is in the middle of the show. This is why it seems so helter-skelter. I don't why it was done like this... but it was. The show's performances sell it though. The performances are enfused with pathos, but they all have great comedic timing as well. William Finn's music is incredibly catchy, but also complex. Although poorly recorded, it's wonderfully performed, and a must have."
A GREAT musical that presages Finn's later career!
Douglas Gordy | Walnut Creek, CA USA | 11/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, maybe I'm in the minority, but I really think that 'In Trousers' is, musically and lyrically, every bit the equal, and in some cases, superior to the other two entries in The Marvin Trilogy! Internal consistency has never been Finn's strong suit, and it IS difficult to figure out exactly what is going on in this song cycle, but each of these songs is really a gem all by itself. All four of the performers are excellent, and Zien and Fraser are incomparable. Frasers' 'Love Me For What I Am' is truly heartbreaking. After wearing out TWO copies of the LP, I am thrilled to finally have the CD available."