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Music Review

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A Christmas Carol
1995 Original Cast Recording


Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens
Book: Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens
Performed by: Walter Charles
Label: Masterworks Broadway
RRP: £12.99
Release Date: 04 November 2016

With Christmas on the horizon, with its required two month run up, festive related items are already starting to pop up.

A Christmas Carol is Masterworks Broadways release of the 1995 original cast recording, with music provided by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. The show was based on Dicken’s original 1843 novella. Not unlike a panto, the show was staged annually between 1994 and 2003.

Over the course of its run Scrooge has been played by many famous actors including Roger Daltrey, Tim Curry and Roddy McDowall, when the show was finally staged for the television Kelsey Grammer stepped in to play the role.

Presented here is the original cast, with Scrooge being played by Walter Charles. Much of the success of the show rested on the good reviews for both the production design and the overall staging, neither of which can adequately be represented here.

The show followed, roughly, Dickens's own story with Scrooge being visited by three ghost of the past, present and future. Finally seeing the error of his ways Scrooge turns into a good man just in time for Christmas. It’s a story which has been told numerous times, but this production proved a popular holiday choice.

From it thunderous overture the show ranged from upbeat dance numbers, like 'Link by Link' where Jacob Marley berates Scrooge, to the more darker moments.

What the overall show lacks is the one defining ballad, which audiences can whistle on the way home. It’s not that the songs are bad, but when everything is generally good there is little spectacular to hang your hat on. Still it will be a good memento for anyone who was lucky enough to be in New York when the production was on and for the rest it gives just the smallest hint of how spectacular twas the finished show.

The track listing is:-

01 - Overture
02 - The Years Are Passing By
03 - Jolly, Rich and Fat
04 - Nothing to Do with Me
05 - Link by Link
06 - The Lights of Long Ago
07 - Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball
08 - A Place Called Home
09 - Money Montage
10 - Abundance and Charity
11 - Christmas Together
12 - Dancing on Your Grave
13 - Yesterday, Tomorrow and Today
14 - Christmas Day
15 - God Bless Us, Everyone


Charles Packer

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