Review: MUSE’s “Into New Life”
WORDS BY BRENDAN PAUL
Last night I had the honour of watching MUSE’s latest production ‘Into New Life: A Cabaret’ and I can honestly say I had a good time.
There was a vast array of songs and stories from a large variety of shows within the contemporary musical theatre spectrum. Overall, I was thrilled by the song choices they presented. On more than one occasion, the first notes of a song would play and I would almost jump out of my chair with excitement. There were some wonderfully orchestrated harmonies crafted into classics, reappropriating previously solo songs to beautiful group numbers. Each time the cast surrounded us and sung altogether, I was overwhelmed by the huge wall of sound that was encompassing us. I couldn’t get enough of that!
There were some phenomenal voices in the mix too! The absolute showstoppers for me vocally were “Nobody’s Side”, “All Girl Band” and “The Ballad of Sara Berry”. However, I was also very moved by a beautifully honest rendition of “How Could I Ever Forget”, a charmingly fun and touching performance of “When I Grow Up” and a disarmingly lovely ending to the show with “The Great Comet of 1812”.
I was also blown away by the band! They were very tight, producing a very well-rounded sound that was able to successfully fill the space – a tough challenge for a six piece band –, yet it never overpowered the singers themselves.
Overall, this was a fairly well orchestrated event. Good song choices, great ensemble, some fantastic performances, a solid band and all of this tied together into a well-crafted journey of thematic material. Well done MUSE!