BWW Review: SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD at Auckland Musical Theatre
Ever had those isolating self deprecating days where it appears that everyone else has it together and you don't?
Songs for a New World is a collection of stories of individual experiences cleverly connected, bringing our human struggles into community, confirming that you're not the only one who feels 'like that'.
Today's world is ever-changing but then that has always been; renewing itself with a constant exploration of how we should live.
Presented in the genre of cleverly-constructed show tunes Songs for a New World is cabaret-style and explores the human condition through individualised stories.
Director Minouk van der Velde has assembled a cast of very experienced charismatic voices delivering complex stories with high calibre vocals; each with an engaging timbre, bringing dignity and experience to a score that demands a lot.
Usually a cast of 4, there are 7 in this show; all highly competent vocalists and you are bound to have your favourites. You're spoilt with choice from the very accomplished Delia Hannah, Bevan Williams, Anthony Cotton, Bridget Chasemore, Jennifer Quail-Allen, Jesse Reynolds and Caroline Everitt.
I appreciated all the numbers but Delia Hannah's 'Just One Step" has stayed in my 'morning after' mind along with Bevan William's 'The Steam Train' and 'King of the World'.
The music paints a rich imagery of life; each story individual and full. This show leans itself more to the thinking person's musical and the lover of dynamic full-on music.
Musical Director Mark Bradley is indeed a maestro and this guy has unique style and passion, his energy resonating throughout the theatre. He becomes the music. The score is a plethora of rich and dynamic orchestrations and Graham Trail (bass) and Andrew Rooney (drums) immerse themselves totally into the creativity and challenge. The band is the sort of 'I wanna be as cool them' type. They are understated and own the challenging score as 'like a boss.'
This is not a show to sit back and have it all come to your face. It's a philosophising, music-appreciating, intellectual, in-depth- get-your-teeth-into, 'unpacking it' kinda show.
Auckland Music Theatre
Westpoint Performing Arts Centre
190 Meola Road, Western Springs, Auckland