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BWW Album Review: IN THE GREEN Offers a Rainbow of Revelation About the Human Journey

Themes of "Light" and "Darkness" Take Center Stage

BWW Album Review: IN THE GREEN Offers a Rainbow of Revelation About the Human Journey

GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS recently announced the digital release of the Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 original cast recording of In the Green - the new musical by Grace McLean. The album features orchestrations by Grace McLean and Kris Kukul, with music supervision by Kris Kukul, and music direction by Ada Westfall.

In the Green, which was commissioned and produced by Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3, tells the origin story of one of Medieval history's most powerful and creative women: Hildegard von Bingen. Before she became a healer, a composer, an exorcist, and finally a saint, she was a little girl locked in a cell with her mentor, Jutta. The cast features Rachael Duddy, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Grace McLean, Mia Pak, and Hannah Whitney, with Hildegard being portrayed simultaneously by three different actors.

The combination of voices for this sassy and fierce trio is a great joy of the album, as they candidly speak the truth and don't hold back about how they feel. While not alone in her cell, Hildegard is also joined by Jutta, (Grace McLean) an older woman who serves as Hildegard's mentor, and has voluntarily sentenced herself to solitude. Just like with any mentor-mentee relationship, there are some witty exchanges showcasing the "know-it-all" attitudes of the young, compared to the wiser advice from someone who has been around the block a few times.

"The Rule" illustrates this plight to a tee and explains how Jutta as a young girl also experienced brokenness, misdirection, and not being taken seriously -- just like Hildegard. Accused of being "too much" and crying out that "nobody listened when I tried to scream" all Jutta wanted was to "be free." Hildegard challenges her, asking, "How are you free... you are locked up literally?" She responds, that "In here, she is in control" and that while the outside world defined her, being in solitude allowed her to make herself "whole" and therefore she wants to impart these lessons on Hildegard. The journey of becoming "whole" allows for the young to learn how to be confident, bold, prepared and "slay any beast" that may stand in their way. While in disbelief, Hildegard continues to ask the obvious questions and doubts how this "rule" can help her find the way and see the light. Humorous, sarcastic, and philosophical, this tune sets the stage for how to navigate this important inner journey.

"Little Life" puts our time on Earth into perspective and explains that life is short and that "We will all be dead a lot longer than we will be alive" - not granting enough time to do everything we wish. Life is a combination of the light and the darkness, with death allowing for the dawn to come -- and nothing left to lose as we are laid to eternal rest. On the flip side, "Sun Song" provides a beautiful vision of possibility and crossing the river to "greener" pastures.

Keeping up with the themes of light and darkness, "Light Undercover" examines the process of walking through "one's shadows" and in the pain and sorrow, finding the answers to a better way of living. While we experience both light and darkness in our lifetimes, one cannot exist without the other. There is a light within us all that was made to shine and not even the most tragic of days can stop us from discovering this truth. Once we accept both parts of ourselves, we can truly feel at peace. "The Ripening" reflects the waiting for the celebration of that very victory, after we have done all that we can to take the next step. It is deliberate, emotional, and honest in a way that is extremely raw and vulnerable.

Overall, this cast album features a delightful trinity of voices and unique characters that come together effortlessly. The lyrics are clever, thought-provoking, and hauntingly beautiful and leaves the listener with much to ponder about the human journey through life and finding what makes us feel fulfilled.

The cast recording of In the Green is now available on digital and streaming formats and a physical CD will be available later this year. Please visit: ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/inthegreen




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