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BWW Album Review: EINSTEIN'S DREAMS Celebrates the Human Imagination Through the Lens of Legendary Thinker

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Layered Musical Pushes Past Just Accepting the Facts

BWW Album Review: EINSTEIN'S DREAMS Celebrates the Human Imagination Through the Lens of Legendary Thinker

Broadway Records recently celebrated the release of the original Off-Broadway cast recording of Einstein's Dreams. Written by Joanne Sydney Lessner (book and lyrics) and Joshua Rosenblum (music and lyrics), the musical ran Off-Broadway last winter and received four Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Music and Lyrics.

Based on the bestselling novel by Alan Lightman, this new musical connects the real world with the worlds we create, as part of the human imagination, and celebrates all of the wonders and new discoveries that come from that experience. Through a vibrant score and powerful melodies, Einstein's Dreams unlocks the passionate intellect of one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers. The cast of Einstein's Dreams features Zal Owen as Einstein, and Alexandra Silber as Josette, as well as a large ensemble full of sharp minds, soaring voices, and high-energy talent.

The music of Einstein's Dreams provides an intimate glimpse into this legendary thinker's mind and pushes past just accepting the facts. However, one fact is for certain - the human experience is one that can't be understood with a scientific formula, but it meant to be understood through trial and error. One of the most memorable opening songs is "Are You There" and is a beautiful dialogue between Einstein and the otherworldly, Josette, who acts as his muse, and asks the important questions to ensure that they are being brought to light. At our core, we all seek reassurance and knowing that someone is there for us, that we can call out to for help.

Other catchy and clever tunes include "The End of Time" which is an upbeat reminder to make the most of life - while we still can. With things changing so quickly and no known experiment to be able to predict the future, the only time that we really have is the present. Less thinking and more action! "The Great-Greats" portrays an amusing and very relatable conversation about gender roles when it comes to dating, from both the female and male perspectives. While the woman doesn't want to sit and have to wait around for a man she fancies, is it too bold for her to make the first move? Let's ask the strong women who came before her and give them some time, as they consult with additional members of the family. One the same note, the man also thinks about the advice he receives from family, when finding a romantic partner, and all of the hilarity that can ensue from those conversations. Sounds like this is one subject that hasn't become easier over time!

The next two songs are about getting to the bottom of this crazy little thing called love. "I Want to Love You" is an authentic and candid ballad about wanting to know your partner so deeply, but understanding the pain that can come from being vulnerable. While we seek to know someone "body, heart, and soul", it can open us up to our innermost feelings that we don't always have control over. "Love Is Not a Science" cries out in frustration about why love can't be "as easy as physics." Unfortunately, there are no certain answers that we can measure, like we can with science. In fact, the head and heart often act separately and cause confusion - "practically bursting with defiance." It's a comical expression of how love can drive us crazy sometimes and that no human being is immune!

Time is an important theme in this musical and often poses a mystery about how our lives play out. "High-Speed Motion" takes the listener through a lively and snappy journey about the paradox of how time seems to go slower, as we move faster. In the phases of our life, we strive to ensure that our accomplishments and interactions count for something, but this song goes deeper about why we don't stop to reflect more on how we spend the most important moments - reading a book or sharing time with our loved ones - and taking that time to just stop. And then just like that, the moment is over, and we ask ourselves, "Who has time for that though?" -- "Outta my way!"

"I Never Told Him" will nearly bring you to tears thinking about the time that we can never get back, once loved ones have passed on. We even miss the most ordinary memories, such as sitting down to dinner, and now find ourselves staring at an empty place at the table and feeling the regret of being alone, never having told someone that we loved them. The past can be a difficult chapter to close and this song honestly takes that painful look back, in an effort to gain closure, and ponders how we can appreciate people more before they are gone.

The album closes with "Einstein's Dreams" featuring the elegant and poignant voice of Josette calling out to Einstein once more, to recap the journey through time they have taken together. Einstein will be forever changed by her influence and prompts to look at life beyond the cold hard facts. Time can certainly be unpredictable, but truly is our greatest teacher for measuring what matters most in life and that is our happiness.

As a whole, Einstein's Dreams combines witty and intelligent teachings with music that is smart, polished, and profound, as it presents this legendary thinker in a new way - humanizing him. It is a journey that listeners will want to take, as they laugh, cry, contemplate, and begin to plan out how they can take action in their own lives to make every second count.

This recording is produced by Rosenblum and Tim Peierls and is available digitally.

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