After a very popular season in Melbourne, Songs For A New World has finally made its way to Sydney and we were ready! Well, sort of. Songs For A New World is one of those “musicals” that you kind of need to see in person, and its difficult to get a sense of really anything from just listening to a recording. It’s also one of those ones that, if you HAVE listened to the recording before, it gives the songs a whole new life on stage. So, to help you prepare (somewhat) in advance here are 5 songs to listen out for.
5. Stars and the Moon
“I’ll give you the stars and the moon and a soul to guide you…”
This was probably the most beautiful piece lyrically for me in the production. Jason Robert Brown always was the man for beautiful lyrics. It’s from the perspective of Woman 2 (Sophie Carter) as she describes the potential three loves of her life- the first to offer her passion, the second freedom, the third money. Any guesses as to which she picked? It’s not until she has lived with her decision for a while that she realizes what she’s lost as a result, and the beautiful spotlight fade-out is perfect as Sophie sings that last haunting line.
4. The Steam Train
“You don’t know me, but you will…”
Not necessarily the most impressive piece, but the definite earworm of the production. It’s groovy and a bit more funk/hip-hop than the rest of the songs, which helps it stand out even more. Ba da da da da… Steam train…. Now it’s in my head again.
“But here we are Nick…”
And we’re back with Woman 2 and this absolutely hilarious number. This one took us (unprepared folk) a little by surprise I think! A spitting letter from Mrs Claus to her husband, and at every spat out instance of “Nick” the crowd was back in roars of hysterics. Carter really had a great handle on this little bit of brilliant comedy.
2. I’d Give It All For You
“No, I’d give it all for you…”
Now again here’s what Mr Robert Brown does best- the down to earth romantic song full of meaningful lyrics. Rather than tripping on the tropes of romantic lyrical metaphors, his lyrics always tend for the more realistic descriptions of what’s going on and it feels like you’re being given a window right into the relationship. Cameron MacDonald and Teagan Wouters performed this beautifully.
- On The Deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492 & Flying Home
“To find a promised land…” / “To leave this land…”
I know picking two is cheating, but I feel these are both a continuation of a single song. Essentially they are the first and last song of the production (aside from the intro and outro songs) and they tell of the journey of life and the journey of death. As soon as Christopher Scalzo hit those first soulful melodies at the start of each I knew we were in for something special. Both are extra special, as they are some of the only pieces that find all four actors at stage centre and really bringing out that four-part harmony of a well-picked cast.
Songs For A New World is now playing at the Hayes Theatre until the 28th August. For more information and to book visit www.hayestheatre.com.au