The stage musical version of 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt, an adaptation of the Book of Exodus, finally opened in London on February 5. Following runs at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, two productions in Denmark, and one in Utah, the musical underwent significant revisions before opening at the Dominion Theatre in the West End. Though the show itself is on hiatus until May 31, a cast recording of the new production is now available to listen to on Spotify and worth a listen. It’s more than just a one-to-one adaptation of the movie; it builds on the relationships established in the movie, and offers even more Stephen Schwartz goodness.
While the musical follows the same story as the film, there are several new songs — all also written by Schwartz — emphasizing the relationship between Moses and Ramses as they go from brothers to mortal enemies as well as bringing back themes from “All I Ever Wanted” and “Deliver Us” throughout the show. There are also songs missing; “Playing With The Big Boys,” originally performed by Steve Martin and Martin Short, has been abridged and folded into “The Plagues.”
In an interview with Polygon, Brenda Chapman, one of the directors of the original film (which was the most successful non-Disney animated film at the time), said that the intention behind the movie was to make something everyone would go see.
“At that time we were trying to make films that weren’t feeling like they were just for children,” Chapman said. “We wanted to say we can make a drama in animation and it not just be where parents drop their kids off at the theater like they used to, or just use them as babysitters. We wanted to do something that reached more adults.”
Listen to the new album below: