By Charlie Knights
‘It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.’
Musicals have always been a love of mine. I grew up to Maria telling me about the hills and Jean stealing candle sticks, but somehow Songs for a New World had stayed relatively under my radar. Described in the program and promotional material as an abstract musical about that tipping point in your life; about that one moment in life when everything you thought you knew crumbles beneath your feet, and you embark on a journey through a new world. From this we see this shown with a series of a songs and scenes watching everything from lovers reconnecting (I’d give it all for you), to a woman throwing from a balcony to get away from her neglectful boyfriend (Just One Step).
All of this was accompanied by some incredible costumes and lighting especially, I adored the final scene, where the whole cast came together wearing only white and black, in what just became this angelic seeming chorus to end the show on. Accompanied by a live band visible behind some sheeting, it led to an impressive musical score and showcase of the talent available.
I liked the choreography, as anyone that knows me is well aware that I know very little about dance (ed note: for examples of this go to any night out at the union). This however did not stop me enjoying the dancing which flowed so well! Shout out to the girls who managed to do quite a few scenes in some killer looking heels, I do not feel sorry for your feet after that!
I try to be harsher towards the end of reviews. Shows deserve to be scrutinized, they should be called out if they make a mistake, be it tech or a shaky singer or a bad costume. However, I honestly cannot think of a fault with Songs. The singers were solid, obviously there was some tech difficulties in the first act but that’s what happens when you run eight radio microphones and a band at the same time. In over a year of reviewing this might be the best production I have seen come out of Act One, and that certainly is saying something.
Congratulations to the cast, to the director, and to the crew. As is the case usually with musicals I’m sure each night from here on out will just get better and better, so check it out at the YMCA over the next few days!