The song cycle is a tricky beast. It’s not really musical theatre, though the songs are generally written with theatrical flourishes, and it’s not really cabaret, though the numbers tend to convey a sense of the personal and intimate, unbound by longer stories. Rather, the song cycle is a series of musical numbers, each one a complete entity unto itself, linked loosely by a theme.
In the case of Songs for a New World, written by contemporary musical theatre composer Jason Robert Brown (who wrote stage musical-turned-Anna Kendrick vehicle The Last Five Years), the theme is broad: it’s the “moment of decision” that can change, liberate, or damn the course of a life…. READ MORE