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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Jane Eyre(Erie Playhouse) 1998

Book by David Matthews, music by Michael Malthaner, lyrics by Charles Corritore. (The picture to the right is from Voices in which Jane hears Rochester calling to her). Interesting doesn't quite cover this ...4th... 5th? Jane Eyre Musical. I listened to it for the first time yesterday. I had been eager waiting to hear this one because it is actually based on the Gordon/Caird musical. According to Lillie who shared it with me someone- the composer?- saw the musical in Toronto during its very early, very brief run and felt he could do better. I am not disappointed. There are several points where the work is clearly influenced by the Gordon/Caird show. The show as a whole, however, fails to be entertaining or on key...

I can tell that the lyricist, at least, had read the novel because one of the songs includes two more details not found in the Gordon/Caird version but otherwise it feels like the creators used a study guide instead. It sounds like a musicalised study guide which doesn't actually include many of the themes, characters, or plot elements from the novel. But it is interesting, and tolerable in places. Some of the tunes are not all that objectionable either. The full cast list and other information is available here. If you are interested in producing the work, the main page including information on obtaining a perusal script is here. Plot synopsis and pictures here.

I have noted a few of the interesting points, to share for the moment. This work has a series of songs called Soliloques. These correspond to the songs As I Retired For The Night, and Secret Soul from the early G/C show. I cannot make out all of the words on the recording I have from the Royal Alexandra in Toronto which would correspond to Soliloques I, so I have chosen to compare Soliloques II with Secret Soul:

Secret Soul (Royal Alexandra JE)

Jane: What can I do now, my precious Lord?
His dark love would be my best reward.
I know I should not dare to go deeper in his madness
But it's like a field I must run through
No one's words will make me love him less.
How much can I stand? I dare not guess.
The secret voice that speaks to me
Tells me he's in danger looking to the dust for tenderness.
Deep in my secret soul I stand alone
The purpose of why I'm here is still unknown.
In the darkness of his day he's nearly blind
but I keep looking for his goodness afraid of what I'll find.
My heart moves through his unquiet sea.
I pray a wave will come and carry me
Closer to his troubled tide, waters of his fury,
But how can I swim this great divide?

Jane: Deep in my secret soul Rochester: My secret soul
I cry his tears. Cries out loud!
I weather his angry voice This angry voice
I feel his fears. Cries out!

Both: His/her life has infected every wound and every pore
I feel this mystery possess me and I pray that mercy's hand will bless me!

Jane: Deep in his secret soul...
Rochester: Deep in my secret soul...
Jane: His heart is cursed.
Rochester: My heart is cursed!
Jane: I summon my deepest will to still his thirst!
Rochester: And I pray that God-
Both: God give me the strength to go
deep within his/my secret soul!

Soliloques II (Erie Playhouse JE) Possibly after the fire scene.

Rochester: Just when I thought my life was changing
just as she rescued my soul.
Giving me hope of one day finding
happiness lost long ago.
Now must I once again bury these thoughts again,
helplessly watching her leave?
When will she know how much I need her?
How can I make her believe?

Jane: What does it mean? Why did he kiss me?
Why did he speak that way?
Did I imagine hearing the things I heard him say?
How can I know the answers if now my duty lies
far far away from Thornfield and the kindness in his eyes.

Both: No matter what's there for me where this road my bend
I face it now willingly- this long journey's end.
No matter how long it takes I'll wait for his/her song.
Once more to have a life, once more to live my life, once more to share my life!

Jane: And finally belong!

Rochester: Once more to have a life, once more to share my life!

Both: And finally belong!

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