Myths and Hymns

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Myths and Hymns (originally known as Saturn Returns) is a song cycle by composer Adam Guettel, based on Greek myth and lyrics found in an antique hymnal.[1]

Myths and Hymns was first performed Off-Broadway, under the title Saturn Returns, at the Public Theater on March 31, 1998 and closed on April 26, 1998 after 16 performances. It was directed by Tina Landau with a cast of 6 performers that included Annie Golden, Vivian Cherry, Theresa McCarthy, Lawrence Clayton, Jose Llana and Bob Stillman.[2][3] Myths and Hymns is structured as a revue, with no through plot. Performed in concert format, it concerns the relationship of humans to gods, past and present. [4] The songs range from electronic jazz and piano ballad to gospel and musical theater.

Myths and Hymns will be getting its first narrative treatment, written and directed by Elizabeth Lucas (Clear Blue Tuesday), in February 2012 at Prospect Theater in New York City [1]. This marks the first production of the show in New York since its premiere at the Public and the first ever in New York under the current title.

Song list[edit]

A cast recording was released by Nonesuch on March 30, 1999. The performers on the recording include the off-Broadway cast, and also include others who were not in that production. Performers include: Adam Guettel, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Kristin Chenoweth, Vivian Cherry, Billy Porter and Theresa McCarthy.[5][6]

Songs on the recording in its final form:

  • Children of the Heavenly King
  • At the Sounding
  • Saturn Returns
  • Icarus
  • Migratory V
  • Link
  • Hero and Leander
  • Sisyphus
  • Come to Jesus
  • How Can I Lose You?
  • Awaiting You
  • The Great Highway
  • There's a Land
  • Saturn Returns (Reprise)

European Premiere[edit]

The show had its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre, London, on 22 April 2007, and was scheduled to run a further two performances on 29 April and 6 May. Due to popular demand the show was scheduled for two further performances on 30 April and 7 May. Directed by Tom Cooper, and with musical direction from Joe Hood, the cast featured Leon Craig, Ashleigh Gray, Hazel Holder, Craig Purnell, David Randall, and Caroline Sheen.[7]

"... This is musical theatre that is challenging, compelling and compulsive... there is an astonishing intelligence and physicality throughout... bring yourself to it - as the fiercely committed cast of Tom Cooper’s production do - and it one of the most rewarding experiences you can have..." Mark Shenton, "The Stage"[7]

Song list

The show's order followed that of the score rather than the recording:

  • Prometheus
  • Saturn Returns
  • Icarus
  • Migratory V
  • Pegasus
  • Jesus the Might Conqueror
  • Children of the Heavenly King
  • At the Sounding
  • Build a Bridge
  • Sisyphus
  • Life is but a Dream
  • Link
  • Hero & Leander
  • Come to Jesus
  • How Can I Lose You?
  • Awaiting You
  • The Great Highway
  • There’s a Land
  • Saturn Returns (Reprise)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gutman, Les."Review of 'Saturn Returns: A Concert' ", curtainup.com, ca. April 9, 1998
  2. ^ Lortel Internet Off-Broadway Database listing for "Saturn Returns: A Concert", lortel.org, accessed February 20, 2009
  3. ^ Hetrick, Adam."Guettel's Myths and Hymns Will Be Seen in Canada in 2009", playbill.com, December 1, 2008
  4. ^ Cain, Scott.Review, Cincinnati, Myths and Hymns, talkinbroadway.com, December 1, 2000
  5. ^ Recording listing amazon.com, accessed February 20, 2009
  6. ^ Suskin, Steven."On the Record:Little Me, Charlie Brown and especially, Adam Guettel", playbill.com, March 21, 1999
  7. ^ a b Myths and Hymns listing at the archive of the Finborough Theatre finboroughtheatre.co.uk, accessed February 20, 2009

External links[edit]