Pivotal extra scene added to musical PASSION
A rarely performed scene from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony Award winning PASSION will be added to Life Like Company’s new production, playing four nights only at Arts Centre Melbourne from 5-8 November, 2014.
Helpmann Award nominated director Neil Gooding is thrilled to have the opportunity to offer some clarity to the complex story of PASSION for Melbourne audiences, with the inclusion of a revelatory scene between Giorgio Bachetti (Kane Alexander) and Doctor TambourrI (John O’May), including the powerful rendition of No One Has Ever Loved Me, featuring meaningful new lyrics.
“Offering an important insight into Giorgio’s complex character, this new scene offers greater clarification and depth to his volatile emotional journey. It will allow audiences a greater understanding of the way these intensely flawed characters are intertwined,” says Gooding.
Following the Broadway premiere of PASSION, this extra scene was added for the London production. It has rarely been licensed for performance since then. Life Like Company is delighted to have received special permission for this additional scene to be included in their new production.
Melbourne’s love for Stephen Sondheim has been proven to be great with recent productions of Into the Woods, Sunday in Park with George, Pacific Overtures and Assassins all attracting significant audiences.
Life Like Company’s new Melbourne production features a line-up of some of Australia’s most accomplished musical theatre stars with a cast featuring Silvie Paladino, Kane Alexander, Theresa Borg, John O’May, Troy Sussman, Jolyon James, Mark Dickinson, Cameron MacDonald, Glaston Toft, and Tod Strike.
It is the first production launching new music theatre company Life Like Company, and is unique in the themes it explores and the nature of the music.
The score has been described by the New York Times as “less a series of individual songs and more a hypnotic net of music.”
Prolific conductor and musical mastermind Guy Simpson is Musical Director for this new production, and says that the score is a masterpiece.
“It is a unique blend of song and underscoring allowing the characters to move smoothly from singing to dialogue. It is an evocative and sensuous score which perfectly underpins the story,” says Simpson.
Notable for being one of the few projects that Sondheim himself fully conceived, PASSION explores interesting ideas about love. The original production was revered by critics but was a challenge for some theatregoers who found the manipulative and relentless nature to Fosca’s love for Giorgio often hard to bare.
Sondheim responded to this reception with: “I think they may have identified with Giorgio and Fosca all too readily and uncomfortably. The idea of a love that’s pure…emanating from a source so gnarled and selfish, is hard to accept. Perhaps they were reacting to the realisation that we are all Fosca, we are all Giorgio, we are all Clara.”
Sondheim describes PASSION as being about how “the force of somebody’s feelings for you can crack you open, and how it is the life force in a deadened world.”