Years before the animated film and the Broadway show, composer Wayne Blood had dreamed of writing a musical of Mme. Leprice de Beaumont's 18th century story. After composing a couple of melodies (on Richard Rodgers' piano), Blood collaborated with lyricist Judy Spencer and writer Kelly Masterson and the haunting musical came together. But although well received at readings, the project was shelved after problems with the rights and Spencer's untimely death.
Enter Original Cast Records, who, realizing BEAUTY's tremendous musical merit and the large cult following of Robert Cuccioli (Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde), gave the green light for this recording. Brooks Almy gives a fabulous performance filled with melancholy on "Opening/Young Eyes", "Happiness," and "Reprise: Young Eyes." Bonnie Simmons and Melly Garcia's harmonies blend nicely with Walter Willison and Bryan Batt on "Look at Him," while Cuccioli's masterful baritone is evident on "See Him." He's equally commanding on the emotional "The Music She Brought to My Life." Superbly produced, BEAUTY will appeal to all those looking for a new twist to an old tale.