This trio of brief album reviews covers The Concrete Jungle, 110 in the Shade and Theseus
“When the men folks see me shimmy by
Gonna break right out in shingles”
Bobby Cronin is a new musical theatre composer in the mould of Jason Robert Brown and the International Studio Cast Recording of his show The Concrete Jungle is a rather appealing listen. Aided by a strong cast – including Rebecca Trehearn, Alex Gaumond, and Jos Slovick – this modern riff on Cyrano is witty and tuneful and well worth the tracking down.
110 in the Shade is a musical with a book by N. Richard Nash, lyrics by Tom Jones (not that one), and music by Harvey Schmidt whose 2007 Broadway Revival Cast Recording features the glorious Audra McDonald in a Tony-nominated performance but little else of note. The score is an uneven, unsettled mixture of tunes that noodle around rather than driving the narrative and so it makes for a tricky listen.
And I decided to give Darren Vallier’s Theseus: The Musical a whirl since it had Bradley Jaden in the cast. Vallier’s rock-inspired score isn’t my usual cup of tea but something about its 90s aesthetic (I doubt this is intentional but that’s the decade it took me to) kept me from pressing stop and by the time you hit power ballad ‘You’re the One’, you might even be reaching for your lighter…!