Can We Talk About How Great the Christmas Carol Score is?

GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Thanks to ios7 flooding my iPod with every single song I've ever downloaded since 2006, I'm now listening to the OCR of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden. I saw it when I was about eleven and loved it. Alan Menken is a great as ever, but Lynn Ahrens's lyrics are, as usual, the star. ("Where do babies dance before they crawl? Mr. Fezziwig's annual Christmas ball!")
I leave the room smiling.
LiveLoud22
Chorus Member
joined:1/18/11
Such a beautiful show! Menken's work is simply incredible. Everything about that score - "Nothing to Do With Me", "Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today", etc - is stellar. Plus Walter Charles is fantastic as Scrooge on the OCR - such a great voice. I would kill to see this production brought back with Patrick Page as Scrooge. He filled in for Roger Daltrey (who ended up missing a lot of his run due to illness) in 1998, and from what I've heard he was incredible. I know there's a recording of Page doing the part out there somewhere, just haven't been able to get a hold of it!
JohnyBroadway
Broadway Star
joined:4/10/12
No one tells the story so rich as Menken and Arhen.
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
I thought Arhen's lyrics were really treacly, even for the source material. But some beautiful melodies, to be sure.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
I love this show! It's easily my favorite musical adaptation of the story and my favorite Christmas musical by far. The theatre at Madison Square Garden is pretty ugly, but the way Tony Walton completely transformed the space and incorporated the scenery panels of all the little shops that travelled all the way up the side walls was stunning.

The score is beautiful with "A Place Called Home" being a real stand out. I only wish they had waited a few more years to record it once they made all the changes so that the cast recording could have "Jolly Good Time" and "You Mean More to Me" which the stage version incorporated in later years. Both of those songs are on the television soundtrack, but that cast is pretty hit and miss with Jennifer Love Hewitt ruining "A Place Called Home." Maybe one day they'll record the final version of the score for reference with an all star cast. That would be wonderful.

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Updated On: 10/15/13 at 10:56 PM
Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
It pales next to Mr. Magoo's.
bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
I LOVE this score! (Well basically love anything by Alan Menken and am a huge admirer of Lynn Ahrens' work.)

The show will be getting its London premiere this Christmas - at the intimate Off-West End Tabard Theatre. So it will be a pretty different staging to the production at MSG! (There was a fantastic recent production of Rent at the Tabard so I'm guessing their Christmas Carol will be pretty impressive too.)
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CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
^The Tabard theatre production seems to be adding an intermission per their website. I wonder where they will put it.
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GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
There was an intermission when I saw it at MSG. Abundance and Charity was the second act opener.
I leave the room smiling.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I remember seeing this at MSG starring Tony Roberts and the whole production was marvelous. They hit the right balance of family entertainment with moments of beauty and poignancy that was quite unexpected. The set design was incredible and there were a few moments where the show gave in to excessive spectacle, but it was clear the show could work just as effectively scaled down for regional production. It's just a shame there wasn't a Broadway production as it could have easily picked up numerous Tony nominations.

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Nickhutson
Broadway Star
joined:7/6/06
Yes - I wrote an essay analysing the score years ago when I was at music school - it was great to analyse all the themes Alan brings into it! Alan, of course, credits the whole thing to the late Mike Ockrent - but I think it's one of his best scores, and he lends himself well to through composed works, I think! I'd rather see it at MSG than the uncomfortable Tabard, but that's just my personal taste.

The speed at which the story moves always amazes me - and how they feature stuff about Dickens' own family in it (his father going to the debtors' prison, for example) is great, and I love how we meet the spirits in their human form in the early numbers.

Great stuff!

There are some truly dreadful musical versions of A Christmas Carol out there.

I also think The Muppet Christmas Carol is an amazing musical version of it, and I wish Disney would put that on Broadway!
Nick Hutson Co-Presenter/Producer MusicalTalk - The UK's Musical Theatre Podcast http://www.musicaltalk.co.uk
MCfan2
Broadway Star
joined:4/29/06
I really need to get hold of this recording. Dickens fanatic that I am, I can't believe I've never heard it!
justincharacter
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/13
^Well here's "A Place Called Home" sung by Jennifer Love Hewitt from the TV movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeT-h-ffG94

It's a gorgeous song
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
^Except for when she sings it.
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MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
"Both of those songs are on the television soundtrack, but that cast is pretty hit and miss with Jennifer Love Hewitt ruining "A Place Called Home."

"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Anyone else listening to the cast album today or watching the movie version?
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