re: Days of Wine and Roses cd
Last Edit: Delvino 08:53 pm EDT 06/09/24
Posted by: Delvino 08:48 pm EDT 06/09/24
In reply to: Days of Wine and Roses cd - jeffef 08:31 pm EDT 06/09/24

I saw the show twice in the theater, both times after full immersion in the score. It's specific, both in terms of character and circumstance, but devoid of midcentury homage or any whiff of pastiche; arguably, the jazz-inflected portions have an unstudied timelessness. And unlike in the TV script or famous movie, Guettel gives O'Hara's character a poetic soul: she sees the world through her substance abuse filter as a hard-edged etching softened by alcohol's gentle blur. Listen to "There I Go" for the illustration, the stark imagery just haunting. It's the song that rebounds at the end, with devastating impact in a reprise: How do you give up a high that makes ugliness everywhere manageable?

To me, its melancholy introspective character makes it distinctive and ravishing. Though many find it wanting for identifiable tunes, I can site at least three songs that have rapturous melodic lines that I can conjure at will: Joe's signature, "As the Water Loves the Stone," the optimistic "First Breath," and the 12-step paean about (self) "Forgiveness," just stirring. Its dramatic set pieces, particularly "Morton Salt Girl," are showcases, particularly for the career high work of O'Hara.

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