‘Brooklyn the Musical’, is a CD which is as gritty and raw as the city itself. From the minute I started listening, I loved it. The first thing you hear is a train that instantly grabs the attention of the listeners, reminding them that each compartment brings a conglomerate of people, each having a story to tell.
So too does this compilation of music which tells the story of a girl who is born in less than optimum circumstances, but who goes on to become a force to be reckoned with.
Being a Broadway cast album, listeners will quickly realize that the vocals are potent. One of the more powerful songs is “Superlover” sung by Paradice, played by Ramona Keller. Her unusual name comes from the pair of dice hung around her neck. In between the musical notes are some strong words about societal problems. An example is Paradice, pointing out in her brassy style that people who feel she is a bad influence on their children, have yet to take action even though those same kids are having unprotected sex.
Eden Espinosa, who plays Brooklyn, comes into her own with “Once Upon A Time” which allows listeners to understand just how much of an influence her character’s father had on her musical abilities.
Not to be outdone, the other three cast members supply music of their own which layers the story with a richness not easily forgotten. Kevin Anderson, who plays Taylor Collins, sings “Love Was A Song” with a soft but solid tenor. Clevant Derricks, who plays Streetsinger, is the omniscient narrator who provides the heart of the story with “Magic Man”. Karen Olivo plays Faith, the mother to Brooklyn, whose lessons never left her daughter’s heart.