Despite not having the sense of easy melody and lush orchestral depth that Love Never Dies
appears to offer, I think that The Woman in White
does a fair bit musically that is right and quite interesting. It's the book, such as it is, and lyrics that let it down and I get the feeling that with stronger collaborators than Charlotte Jones and David Zippel, the problems that do indeed crop up in the music might have been avoided too. One thing I do agree with is that I don't think that The Woman in White
should be a small show. It is almost pure melodrama with a score that is a direct musical theatre offshoot of what Benjamin Britten did in his operas and I think the production thereof should be big and grandiose - the same way that I think Sweeney Todd
should be big and grandiose. (The more I think about it, the more I dislike John Doyle's small scale actor-musician approach to that Sondheim show.) What a show The Woman in White
might have been had there been a director like Harold Prince who - in his best productions - seems to have offered as much insight into the creation of the shows on which he has worked as he did into the staging of them.