I'm afraid the issues with balance almost completely ruined the production for me. I applaud the intent, but the result was an unintelligible mess - and thanks to poor diction and direction, even non-underscored dialogue went most often unheard. - B Frost
29 Sep 11
It becomes immediately apparent that Street Scene - The Musical, as the Young Vic bills it, is not a musical at all - it's a full blown opera with occasional musical interludes. That poses some problems as not all of the large ensemble are equally adept as singers as well as actors. Audibility is a major difficulty as the orchestra drowns out some voices especially as the actors roam around a vast playing space. There is also a large chorus above and behind the seating area but their presence seemed to come as a surprise to most of the audience at the curtain call as they weren't aware they were there. Once the ear gets attuned to the acoustic problems there is much to enjoy in this collage of events and characters set in a Brooklyn tenement. Elena Ferrari sings magnificently as the downtrodden wife driven to an affair and Susanna Hurrell displays real star quality as her daughter, blessed with a beautiful voice and genuine acting ability as Rose, yearning to be free of her poverty and drunken father but torn by her romance with a studious Jewish neighbour who unfortunately reminded me of Ed Milliband. Street Scene is an imperfect piece but the staging by the Young Vic and the Opera Group is highly impressive. - David Baxter
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