"Based on the novel by Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City concerns the life of young New Yorker Jamie (Patrick Wilson), who seems to have it all: good looks, a successful model wife, a job at a prestigious magazine and many friends. During one week, however, his life spins out of control and his search for his true self begins anew. The Off-Broadway production at New York Theatre Workshop was directed by Rent's Michael Grief. Composer Paul Scott Goodman was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. Bright Lights was the first major production of his work." - Playbill.com
Paul Scott Goodman's first work is an excellent attempt. I have to say that the ensemble numbers aren't as strong as the slower tempo numbers but all in all the cd is an excellent addition to any musical theatre collection.
*Patrick Wilson (Phantom of the Opera Movie, Full Monty, Oklahoma!) does well as Jamie and has a plethera of songs to sing throughout.
*Jesse L Marin is Tad, his best friend who knows where all the best parties are. Jesse's songs are all high energy and he does well, unfortunately the rock songs are the weakest in the score.
*Eden Espinosa (Brooklyn, Wicked) plays several different characters inlcuding a Druggie and the voice of the Coma Baby, which Jamie is obsessed over the headline in the newpaper. Eden's voice is very versatile, and although she has a few bits here and there it's nothing spectacular.
*Celia Keenan-Bolger (Spelling Bee) plays the voice of Mary O'Brien Mchann, a missing woman whose face is on an empty milk carton that Jamie obsesses over. Celia has a golden voice which is mesmorizing and perfect for this role. When you hear her sing "Please can you find me? Please don't go" it's simply heartwrenching.
*Sharon Leal plays Amanda, Jamie's wife who's left him. Sharon does well vocally, but her material is weak.
*Anne Marie Milazzo ("When You Believe" Stephen Schwartz Album) is phenomenal. Who is this woman? I first heard her gorgeous vocals belting "When You Believe" on the Stephen Schwartz Album, if you haven't heard it, pick it up, immediately! Milazzo plays the memory of Jamie's mom. The first real solid song in the show is "Happy Birthday Dalring" in which she takes us thru the years of Jamie growing up. "Are You Still Holding My Hand?" is a real tear jerker and Milazzo's golden vocals, a cross between Linda Eder and Barbra Streisand, sends shivers down your spine.
*Gavin Creel (La Cage, Millie, Fame) plays Michael, Jamie's younger brother. Creels tenor does well with his three songs, particularly in "Brother"
*Christine Ebersole (42nd St) plays Clara, Jamie's boss. Ebersole goes against type casting and does a sensational job.
*Enter Sherie Rene Scott (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Last Five Years, Aida, Debbie Does Dallas). Scott seems to get better as the years go by and she is the BEST thing on this cd. Anything she sings here turns to gold. A real hilight both lyrically and vocally is "Kindness". Although she only appears in 4 songs she steals the cd, with Milazzo in close second.
I have been listening to this cd over and over to get a better feel for the music. I still feel that the uptempo rock songs are the weakest link, while the slow tempo sad songs seem to capture the moment just brilliantly. You will not be disappointed with this cd, not with the music, and especially not with the amazing cast of talented singers.