Friday, August 3, 2012

Musicals: The Girl of the Golden West

The Girl of the Golden West
Ice Factory 2012
created by Rady&Bloom
August 2, 2012

Collaborators Jeremy Bloom & Brian Rady have elevated the high sentiment of a hundred-year-old melodrama into a musical rich with feeling. The show's soundscape evokes 1849 California through atmosphere more than allusion by weaving an electric country guitar and cowboy-inspired vocal harmonies with synthesizers, dueting flutes, and low-tech foley-work. The set mirrors this eclectic modernism with rough-hewn, golden-stained wood suggesting rather than representing a High Sierra mining camp. But the singers and band create such a rich sonic experience, they make the visuals superfluous. In particular, the titular Girl, Catherine Brookman, has charisma and depth in her chords, which makes plausible and even pleasurable the preposterous turns of plot. Girl does have its flaws—in particular, the audio mix favors the instruments over the vocals to the point of obscuring them. But rough, joyous, and filled with passion, it offers more pleasure and artistry than a season of Broadway musicals.


Girl plays at the New Ohio Theater, closing on August 4. Tickets?


1 comment:

The WP said...

Girl of the Golden West's biggest flaw was that it was a tart of a show run up by Puccini and his tasteless henchman, David Belasco. These two were the forefathers of Disney on Broadway.

I'm sure an experimental version of La Fanciulla was "rich sonic experience" but that travesty should've been left buried.

(I can almost hear a certain mustachioed gentleman saying, "Tell me how your really feel.")