Album Review: Wine, Women (Producers), & Song Pour A Fine Vintage In MADAME CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical

Champagne Wishes And Revolutionary Dreams.

By: Apr. 26, 2023
Album Review: Wine, Women (Producers), & Song Pour A Fine Vintage In MADAME CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical
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Album Review: Wine, Women (Producers), & Song Pour A Fine Vintage In MADAME CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical Heigh Ho, dear lovely rainbow tribe, welcome back to Bobby's CD sandbox where we offer our broken-down breakdowns of new music releases. So, strap in and get ready, as Bobby goes on the record ABOUT the record.

This week's album entry in the BobbyFiles is a six-song preview EP that pours from the pens of the up-and-coming musical theatre writing team Lisette Glodowski and Richard C. Walter. Their new endeavor, MADAME CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical (we are told), has had a few well-received industry readings, was featured at New York Theatre Barn's "New Work" series in 2020, and had a sold-out premiere as "Clicquot in Concert!" at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in 2021. These are all solid stops along the rough "Oregon Trail" that, hopefully, leads to The Broadway - we shall see dear readers... we shall see.

Beginning during the French Revolution and advancing through the Napoleonic Wars, the story of the real-life Madame Clicquot centers on the pioneering Barbe-Nicole (Clicquot) Ponsardin, whose life's journey changed the champagne industry forever. After listening to this preview of things to come, we have to say that giving the public these six hors d'oeuvres to go with their champagne is a smart marketing move made even smarter by the quality of the work. One can hear that this is a sweeping story that takes us to the familiar territory of French political upheaval, but the strong feminist messages of the script & score are part of what makes CLICQUOT timeless. The music is elegant and the lyrics on these six tunes impressed Bobby's rainbow ears in the beauty of their poetry. The show is, most decidedly, written in our present-day "traditional musical theater" vocabulary, but with exciting touches and a flair that keeps it from sounding too much like a Disney-fied Les Mis.

With its opening song REVOLUTIONARY, we are introduced to young Barbe-Nicole, played by Erin MacMillan, who passes the role over to the adult Victoria Frings by the next song. The French Revolution rages and it is up to Barb-Nicole's family dressmaker, played by the marvelous voice of Kai An Che, to get the kid out before the mob takes her privileged head. This is all made very clear in the script bits, and the music, as this 8:30 setup of the story expertly and tunefully makes a fine meal of this expository number - not an easy task. Basically, beautiful voices singing tight lyrics and acting tense script cuts tell the story of what is happening to up-end these peoples' lives. In LIFE ON THE EDGE, Frings steps into the Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin role, and she and Kevin Massey, as Francoise Clicquot (Barb-N's politically arranged intended) play their "meet-cute" as he sings this beautiful "I want" ballad, and their love blossoms despite parental interference. His lovely and clear lyrical tenor voice maintains its smoothness as he builds power, and, again, the lyrics are wonderful poetry. They have a meeting of the minds that will clearly lead to love and to the next song, THE MAN HE CHOSE FOR ME. The Couple's love song is a touching and wonderful duet, with, yet again, these beautiful lyrics on top of a new tune done in an established, familiar style on the verge of being old-fashioned, but these actors keep it fresh and engaging.

LUXURY is the novelty number - a character piece done in a British patter style sung, surprisingly, by Paolo Montalban, a bona fide leading man in looks, voice, and resume. Singing this character comedy number allows PM to spread his acting wings beyond the stalwart heroes he has played in the past and have some fun. He is delightful in his interpretation, and comic timing, and his upper-class patter-sing is spot on. The last two songs here, ONE MORE BEGINNING and BARRELS AND CASKS, are the show's "How can I go on" moment, and the denouement, where our champagne lady must step up and be the hero in the wake of a cossack invasion, and, in both, Frings shows herself to be the star of this show. Her rich belting soprano moves from pathos to strength and back again with ease as she averts a disastrous company merger and decides it's, "My turn to make footprints" - A woman alone in post-Napoleanic France risking it all... and, then, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming. History tells us that Madame C. averted disaster for her business and her country by greeting the Cossacks with wine.

As you can read here, my lambs, one of Bobby's high water marks for cast recordings was covered in gold, in that, with just 6 songs, the creators have conveyed their story and intent fully. OH! And Bobby simply MUST give all you little actor lambs out there our ((((AUDITION CALLOUT))) since there is material galore for your next musical theatre tryout, and you should add these songs to your binders post-haste. We are excited by what we have heard of the score of MADAME CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical and can hardly wait to hear (and hopefully see) the rest. Until then, this EP will have to suffice, and we happily give this partial cast album a sparkling...

4 ½ Out Of 5 Rainbows - Put this one in your Spotifies stream today: HERE

Read All About This EP's Credits & Background At The Broadway World News Feature: HERE

You Can See And Hear Everything About MADAME CLICQUOT On The Webbysite: HERE

Album Review: Wine, Women (Producers), & Song Pour A Fine Vintage In MADAME CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical




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