TheatreWorks is presenting a world premiere production of Stephen Schwartz new musical of <i>The Prince of Egypt</i> based on the DreamWorks Animation Film. The musical adaption of Moses and Ramses is directed by his son Scott Schwartz and with a book by Philip LaZebnik. Rather than a pre-Broadway tryout, TheatreWorks and Steven Schwartz develop the script, characters, arrangements and orchestrations in their New Works program.
“The Prince of Egypt “is about a conflict of brothers Moses and Ramses. It’s a put a human face on the story shared by Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures. The musical is about different ethnic groups in conflict: one engaged in act suppression, others in the acts of rebellion and resistance. Sound familiar it’s happen in today world.
Stephen Schwartz musical is a work in progress. The score is contains 16 songs while is not a great like those musical gems “Wicked”, Pippin” and “Godspell” it has some terrific songs like “Footprints on the Sand” sung by the great vibrato by Diluckshan Jeyarathan as Moses, “One of us” at the opening of the second is upbeat song reminiscence of “Pippin”.
Occasionally the score and movement jive. I am referring to memorable dance number by the slave girl Tzipporah by daunting Brennyn Lark who sings and dances “Dance to the Day” “When You Believe” a is ballad powerfully emotional and moving. The song “Delivers Us” sung by Hebrew slaves is a powerful opening number.
The chariot race scene is extraordinary as well the plagues and parting of the Red Sea is mixture of light and movement. (Scott used blue drapes to part the Red Sea)
The cast of 28 is headed by Diluckshan Jeyaratnan as Moses, Jason Gotay as Ramses, Tom Neils as Pharaoh Seti , David Crane as Aaron, Jamila Sabares-Klemm as Nefertiti and Brennyn Lark as Tzipporah have commanding vocal chops
Bottom Line: The embrace of the darkness and abstruseness reminds me a Hallmark style with music.
“The Prince of Egypt” runs through November 6 at the Mountain View Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street. Mountain View. For tickets on line www.theatreworks.org Their next production is “Around the World in 80 Days” opening on November 29 and running through December 31