October seems to be the month to do reviews for the paper. As A works in the offices of the company that runs the local paper he has several shows he can choose from each month. So far this month we have done 5 and it's only October 12th! Last night I did one and now I think I regret it. It was called Street Scene and it was advertised as a musical done by an opera company. That shouldn't be too bad, I naively thought, I can cope with opera if there's lots of dance routines as well (I actually hate opera). The poster was beautiful so I thought I'd give it a go.
I can't knock any of the performances as they we brilliant, all talented actors, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. I could barely understand the singing as I struggle with the style of opera music, but somehow with the help of my wonderful hubbie I managed to get this review put together:
The Opera Group and Young Vic co-production of Street Scene by Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice opened for a two night run at Newport riverfront on Tuesday evening.
An American Opera, Street Scene was written in the post war era of 1946 and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Rice. The opera follows 24 hours in the differing but interacting lives of several families in a 1940s tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The drama itself covers everything from scandal mongering and murder to victimisation and classification, taking in an elaborate blend of musical and opera along the way boasting a 40 strong cast, full choir and orchestra.
For me, the productions musical highlights were delivered in the first half of the production including The Ice Cream Song and Moon-faced, Starry-eyed which featured the shows only dance routine and utilised the casts amazing talents to their full potential The scene setting 1940s style American street featured several well placed props from strategically placed rubbish bins, staircases and a balcony housing the full orchestra (including the harp!) to the casts authentically styled costumes.
Street Scene is a production that remains both retrospective and modern, setting it apart from other productions of its kind.
If you enjoy opera music then I'm sure you'll love Street Scene and if you get a chance to see it I would highly recommend it.