Review: A TRIBUTE TO PASEK & PAUL at Péniche Le Marcounet

part of the Broadway Chez Nous series

By: Feb. 02, 2023
Review: A TRIBUTE TO PASEK & PAUL at Péniche Le Marcounet

At the Péniche le Marcounet the 19th and 22nd of January and the 9th of February, as part of the Broadway Chez Nous series, comes a tribute to two members of the new generation of Broadway composers, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Just as she did in her Sondheim tribute, Miranda Crispin, along with her AMT Live team, has shared with us another labor of love. This time she pays tribute to people she has actually met and worked with, specifically during the workshopping of their Pasek and Paul's song cycle Edges in Paris in 2013, before the duo skyrocketed to fame with Dear Evan Hansen in 2016 and The Greatest Showman in 2017. Knowing people before they achieve global renown is no small deal and having recognized their genius potential before anyone else while witnessing their rapid rise to fame must inspire pride.

Well-surrounded by Danny Harper and Julien Lecanu, plus her female counterpart Joelle Thomas and her expert guitar accompanist Vladimir Médall, Crispin pulls off the difficult task of being both singer and piano accompanist, opening with "A Million Dreams" from the movie The Greatest Showman, the lyrics of which reflect the promising future of the composers, followed by five songs from Edges, originally created in 2005. After that were two songs from their first Broadway show A Christmas Story, which included "The Genuis of Cleveland Street" (delivered by Harper) and a great showstopper originally performed by the great Caroline O'Connor, "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" (Thomas). Next were "Do You Remember?" and "Everywhere That You Are" from unproduced Peter Pan and James and the Giant Peach, respectively. The rest of Act 1 consists of a large selection from Dogfight, their first off-Broadway success, also done at the Southwark Playhouse in London (2014). Notable is the haunting "Pretty Funny", beautifully delivered by Crispin herself.

Opening Act II was an emotional rendition of "Never Enough" from the The Greatest Showman, with Miranda on the piano, followed by two songs Pasek & Paul wrote for the TV series Smash, "Rewrite the Story" and "Caught in the Storm", and one for The Flash, which, together with the "Audition" from La La Land, constituted the real breakthrough for them, opening the door to Hollywood.

The rest of the evening was mostly devoted to the Tony-winning Dear Evan Hansen, ending with a moving "For Forever" by Julien and a sing-along with the cast and the audience of "You Will Be Found".

Closing the show was Miranda's version of "Speechless" from the live action version of Aladdin, "All I Know So Far", a song the team wrote for Pink in 2021, "From Now On" from The Greatest Showman. This was the perfect finale, and another sing-along to "This Is Me" the ideal encore. This excellent and well-deserved tribute concert will be performed once more next week. Don't miss it if you're in Paris.