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*Myths and Hymns: Love,* April 14, 2021

I saw the newest installment of Adam Guettel’s piece *Myths and Hymns* on April 28, 2021 (it premiered online on April 14). This was the third chapter of four total chapters. It opened with some tasty chords from the woodwinds and some humming and “ah”s from the chorus, each singer filmed individually and layered on top of each other.

The first song, “Hero and Leander,” was directed by Master Voices’ artistic director, Ted Sperling, who also directed the intro. The song was sung by Cheyenne Jackson, who I adore - - did I see *Xanadu* on Broadway two or three times? I also saw him in *Damn Yankees* and *The Most Happy Fella* at Encores, and a few things on TV. He’s dreamy, but I wasn’t wild for the way he sang this song. He seemed to think he was Luther Vandross or one of the Isley Brothers. Which he’s not.

“Come To Jesus” really felt like a musical theatre song, since it had a specific dramatic setting. And a nice surprise, the video was directed by Victoria Clark, an extraordinary singer who won a Tony for Guettel’s *The Light in the Piazza.* The song opened with Shereen Pimentel, a singer I’d never heard of and wow, she blew me away, gorgeous voice and a sure sense of what she was doing. The song switched halfway through to the man in the story, played by Drew Gehling. Another singer I don’t know, another lovely voice. This song was one of the high points of the whole project.

“Medusa” was an animated film (visuals by Earl Womack, directed by Sperling) about the guy who decides he’s going to cut off Medusa’s head. The voice of the guy was John Brancy (he sounded like Thomas Hampson to me, not a bad thing) and Medusa and her two ladies-in-waiting were Nina Bernstein, Lori Wilner, and Dianne Drayse Alonso. The song was cute and featured some electronic sounds that were a nice change of texture. The thrust of the song was that Medusa was sad and lonely, which was an interesting point of view. I felt bad for her when she got her head cut off.

Dove Cameron sang “How Can I Lose You?,” again directed by Sperling. What a marvelous song, it could easily find its way beside countless other songs in the American songbook. It had that kind of aura, and Cameron sang it in a sweet and direct way, and she was even a little funny in her performance. Another find, both the singer and the song. I had the tune stuck in my head for the rest of the day, and how often does that happen.






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