Entertainment » Music

Love's Labour's Lost

by Steven Bergman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Love's Labour's Lost

The rhythmic flow of Shakespeare's plays have always lent them to the possibility of musical interpretation, and many composers and lyricists have seized the opportunity to take the Bard's work and expand on it to include melodies from all genres. From opera to hip-hop, an infinite amount of options have been explored to create an accessible evening's entertainment for today's audience.

The Public Theater turned to the team of Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman ("Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson") to musicalize the playwright's comedy, "Love's Labour's Lost," and the result was a highly successful production last summer at the Delacorte Theater. Ghostlight Records has now released the score, and it provides an enjoyable listen.

The classic story of the King of Navarre (Daniel Breaker), and his three compadres, Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine, whose attempts to swear off women for a dedication to study fails with the arrival of the Princess, is given a contemporary spin from Friedman and Timbers, and this score gives fans of "Bloody Bloody" an opportunity to hear more of their tunes in their familiar style, but in greater quantity. From the opening refrain of "Young Men" through the three parts of "Brabant Song," the Philip Glass homage, "Academia," to the eternal masculine query, "Are You a Man," the quartet provide a frivolous energy that comes through on this recording. Bryce Pinkham (Tony nominated for "Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder"), Colin Donnell, and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe bring these naïve partiers to life, with help from Patti Murin (Princess), Maria Thayer (Rosaline), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Jaquenetta), and SNL alum, Rachel Dratch (Holofernes). Justin Levine leads the six-piece band through the variety of popular styles that Friedman has devised for the piece.

An enclosed 36-page booklet contains all the lyrics, as well as a synopsis, and comments from the Public's Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis, critic Hilton Als, columnist Mark Harris, and Columbia professor, James Shapiro.

"Love's Labour's Lost (Original Cast Recording)"
Michael Friedman / Bryce Pinkham
CD and digital formats
Ghostlight Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.


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