A well-intentioned work that combines spoken word passages with songs, I'll Remember is a friend and lover's reminiscence about his friend's illness and death from AIDS. While many people will find this a moving work that speaks directly to their experience, others may find that the personalness of the narration borders on the embarrassing. The concept itself is brave: the reliving of a friend's illness, death and aftermath. But the unrelenting pain and sadness soon begin to drag on listeners: illness, fear, isolation, hospitals, doctors, funerals, eulogies. Sure, the piece is tendered with hope and human goodness, and the sixties-style country/pop songs provide welcome relief from the narration. But can its effects truly heal by forcing the listener to relive a terrible tragedy? And do we need an Our Town-pop opera about AIDS? Perhaps we do.
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