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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Jane Eyre the really Big Musical

I don't know how else to title this post. It is not easy to conceive a mental image of a production from a sound track alone, but there is one song from this... 'Jane Eyre: The Musical' (v. 4? 5?) the Skousen, Thompson, Kilpatrick version, that is. There is a song called 'Morton,' which consists of stanzas ending with the cry: "MORTON!" It is all very cheery, as all Jane Eyre musicals before Paul Gordon seem to be. It is entertaining enough to be enjoyable, however, which is the main thing.


Mr Rochester's song 'It Takes a Woman' strongly recalls Victorian ideals of 'The Angel in the House': "Why are some women always right- those that are pure like an angel of light?"

Bertha has her own song: 'Sever Them.' Of all such songs, there's probably the most character development. Parts of it have a surrealness to them, but the hag-like voice ruins most of the effect.

This production has its own homepage, here.


rinabeana said...

I have this soundtrack. I haven't listened to it all that much, mainly because I like the Gordon/Caird a lot better. Bertha's song is creepy!

Erin said...

Hee! That is hilarious and sort of makes my soul hurt at the same time. I actually stumbled across a recording of "Answer the Call" not long ago, and I laughed and laughed and laughed. About as much as I laughed at "MORTON!"
It's such an odd contrast to the Gordon/Caird musical. The whole tone is so light, and after listening to Marla Schaffel for so long, it's just seems *wrong* that Jane's voice is so high.

Anonymous said...

I actually saw a production of this in New York and I also own the recording. I think the Gordon/Caird musical has psychological depth; this show is a mundane, straightforward telling of the story.

Just compare the 'It takes a woman' to 'As good as you' from the G/C version. The first sounds like a comic Gilbert & Sullivan number, the second gives you insight into Rochester's feelings as well as telling his story.

In short, I think this musical might do all right for a community theater or school production but for a glimpse of the soul of 'Jane Eyre', give me Gordon & Caird anytime.

Brontëana said...

to rinabeana:

It does have the advantage of being entertaining. At least two of these musicals are dire... I am still having trouble getting through one of them. But this one is enjoyable enough, if I little bland.

Brontëana said...

to erin,

That's a great way to put it! My friend told me that I would like 'MORTON!' It makes me think of Oklahoma!, and that can't be good, can it?

Brontëana said...

to annonymous:

I agree on all points- and those are nice observations about the style of 'It Takes a Woman' and 'As Good as You.'

claire said...

Have you checked out the clips of the Doyle/Harris version on YouTube?


Kind of a hoot. Give me G/C any day.