Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MT Soundtracker: Day 9

They're Playing Our Song (1978)

Original Broadway Cast Recording

Music: Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics: Carole Bayer Sager

Synopsis: The musical is based on the real-life relationship between the composer and the lyricist. Pop music composer Vernon Gersch meets with lyricist Sonia Walsk and although they are very different personalities, they decide to go ahead with a collaboration. They begin developing a closer relationship but Sonia's ex-boyfriend Leon starts causing trouble.

Marvin Hamlisch is most famous for writing the music for A Chorus Line. Listening to They're Playing Our Song, the fact that the two shows are by the same composer does not surprise me. Virtually all songs are male-female duets as They're Playing Our Song is effectively a two-man show. However, both characters have so-called Greek choruses off-stage. The sound is contemporary with pop and rock influences. 
They're Playing My Song was the only track I recognised as having heard before. I enjoyed Workin' It Out as a track. The lyrics of that worked brilliantly. When You're In My Arms is perhaps the catchiest song, it flowed beautifully and it had a lovely drive to it. It is a shame that I am slightly too young to sing anything from this show at the moment but I guess the time will come.

After a brief Los Angeles run, the show went to Broadway and ran for over 1000 performances. A year later it opened in the West End and it has since been revived in London and produced internationally. The original Broadway production was nominated for Tonys but failed to win any. 
Somehow I can't quite imagine They're Playing Our Song on Broadway stage due to the small cast. However, I am sure it works wonders in a small venue such as the Menier Chocolate Factory in London where it was revived in 2008. 

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