Review: Sondheim’s “Passion” Original Broadway Cast

17 Jul

PLOT: Based on the Italian movie Passione d’amore, Stephen Sondheim’s Passion is a story of obsessive love. Giorgio (Jere Shea), a soldier, and Clara (Marin Mazzie), a woman with a husband and child, are deeply in love, but their idyllic happiness is disrupted when Giorgio is transferred to another post. Here he meets Signora Fosca (Donna Murphy), a homely and ill woman who is the cousin of the regiment’s commanding officer. Fosca soon falls in love with Giorgio and pursues him relentlessly, saying “Loving you is not a choice/It’s who I am.” He is repulsed and resists her advances, but eventually he succumbs to the power of her love. From a book by James Lapine, based on Ettore Scola’s film Passione d’Amour. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The original Broadway production opened on 9 May 1994 and was directed by James Lapine, running for 280 performances.

This musical came into my life 12 years too late, but better late than never. Here is another Sondheim that deals with the intricacies of love. Like his previous work in 70’s Tony awardee “Company”, Sondheim’s dabbles on this emotion of love, how it awakens, changes, totally alters one’s life course. I did not have the pleasure of catching any stage performance but had the privilege of owning the soundtrack album, thanks to a friend for introducing me to another of Sondheim’s creative genius. I have to say if my iPod can talk it would say, “not Passion again?!” For in the last 2 weeks or so, this has been my soulfood, and the more I listen to it, the more I love it. It has a lush score, great voices and with easy to follow lyrics, one of my favorite tracks is:

Garden Sequence


Love that fills every waking moment

Love that grows every single day

Love that thinks

Everything is pure

Everything is beautiful

Everything is possible

Love that fuses two into one

When we think the same thoughts

Want the same things

Live as one breathe as one

Love that shuts away the world

that envelopes my soul

that ennobles my life

love that floods every living moment

love like ours.

It’s a complicated story that will surely arouse a debate, but there is one review that will even add more fuel to the fire, “indeed, arguments surrounding ”Passion” have often focused on whether Giorgio is redeemed or destroyed by Fosca’s love. Look for the answer in Mr. Sondheim’s music, and you’ll find only more questions.”





2 Responses to “Review: Sondheim’s “Passion” Original Broadway Cast”

  1. Manik Kedi July 29, 2006 at 10:05 pm #

    Hi..I have just discovered your blog.. And ı really liked ur writings, the way u express ur self.. My mum is also a nurse in Turkey and ı live in turkey… I’ll follow ur blog..


  2. Pedro July 30, 2006 at 2:23 am #

    It´s no wonder Passion it´s controversial. It´s art at its purest, and Sondheim is a genius.

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