Wednesday, March 11, 2015


The 1968 Broadway cast recording of Zorba is delightful. On stage it was dismissed as a pale imitation of the award winning film. The angry chorus sang "Life is what you do while you're waiting to die" drawing a sharp contrast with Zorba's insistence that every moment in life be treated like "the first time."

The 1986 revival cast the film actors and ran twice as long. The rewrites, re-orchestrations and non-singers make this album considerably less pleasant. The chorus now sings "Life is what you do till the moment you die." Cheerier yes but Zorba's the only one in this story who should sing that.

Antonio Banderas has been in talks for a Zorba revival for some time but it's hard to say if this is wise. Zorba's love 'em and leave 'em philosophy can come across as cruel to modern audiences. Quinn made him The Life Force but regional revivals have dismissed him as a poor man's Tevye.

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