A Lerv Story And A Review.
When I was a child, I fell in love.
I would lay in bed listening to my radio, hoping to hear his smooth voice singing of love and tenderness, and it moved me.
At around 9 or 10, I didn't have a clue about Love, or much else, really, but I loved Justin.
Hang on, wrong era!
I meant Justin!
While I am happy to admit that I'm a big Moody Blues fan, what most people didn't realise and obviously everyone is about to learn, is that I'm also a seriously tragic fan of the musical version of The War of the Worlds, based upon the HG Wells tale of the same name.
In 1978, when I was in Grade 6, my teacher brought in a record to play for the class. Actually, it was a two-disc set, and she played them both straight through.
I was transfixed, and I was in love.
With a stellar cast of vocal talent - Richard Burton, Justin Hayward, Phil Lynnot, David Essex, Julie Covington and Chris Thompson, it was a remarkable musical odyssey through Victorian England under invasion from outer space.
That year for Christmas, I got my own copy of the recording. It only took 6 months of begging, pleading and cajoling to convince my parents that nothing else would do for me, and my ploy worked.
The two-cassette set I got was set on eternal play on the tape deck, and everyone (else) got sick and tired of it.
I never did
Well, last weekend, the stage version of this record came to Melbourne.
I wanted to go, but decided that it would be too expensive and reconciled myself to not going.
Then at work, the social club had tickets for half price, and I mentioned to my boss in passing that I'd love to see it. Then got back to work and forgot about it.
My boss didn't.
He came up to me a few weeks ago with an envelope containing two tickets to the show for last friday, and I went.
So how did I find the show?
Omigourd! Oh. My. Gourd!!
I was beside myself.
I was eleven all over again.
I even cried I was so blown away by it all.
I still knew all the words to all the song and dialogue. (Not that I suspected otherwise).
And I still swooned over Justin.
Guys, I don't care if he's pushing a hundred. He's still tall, and blond and has wonderfully distinguished looks and that wondrously magical voice.
Of course, I'm not eleven any more, and I tend to have a small, rational voice in the back of my mind keeping me on an even keel.
Even at events like this one.
So a quick, dry review.
Music? Beautifully done - orchestra, band, Jeff Wayne conducting and the singers in fine voice. Even Shannon Noll (he's obviously done a lot of hard work and it's paid off well).
Basically, I couldn't fault any of it. (Did I say Shannon Noll did great, too?)
The show consists of a stage with the musicians in full view, and the singers out of sight. The singers step onto stage for their songs, then they remove themselves from view again.
The narration is again using the Richard Burton recording from the original back in the 70s, and his wonderful velvety voice fills the stadium. (Cue more swooning)
And filling out the stage is a huge screen across the back with a series of montages that tie in with the story.
Again, the standard is incredibly high, and even a purist like myself can't find fault.
The martians are depicted as huge, with tentacles around their heads and a lot of teeth. I mean a lot of teeth.
My favourite picture, however, is one I snapped off below. With the image of a martian superimposed over a hellish depiction of the world in a fiery destruction, the first thought that popped into my mind was:
My goodness, a lot of lefties will think that looks just like George Bush!
Ticket to see the show? $80
T-shirt to sleep in every night for the rest of my life? $45
Seeing George Bush in a musical? Priceless!