In 2019 this production of Stone Crossed received a workshop that was presented by Proctor’s Theater and now they have created a fully-fledged musical cast recording which is available on all music streaming sites. The album contains twenty-two fully realised tracks which means that it gives a very clear idea of the ideas of the show itself. Generally speaking this the songs in this show tend to be a lot more emotional than I usually enjoy but this does mean there is much more focus on the emotion portrayed by the performers and received by the audience. The opening track in this recording is titled “In Stone” which is a very mysterious and atmospheric song that helps to set up the setting of the musical while also spiking viewers attention. This song does exactly what an opening number should do and helps the audience to immerse themselves into the show. One of my favourite inclusions in this show is the friendship between Stoney and Tuff (which fit with the Stone Age setting of the show) with them possessing a very quirky and fun friendship which is great to see. The song “How I keep my cool” starts I’m the midst of what appears to be a panic attack suffered by one of the characters where the other intervenes to help and this is reflected in the music itself as by the end this number is super fun, jazzy and stays in your mind hours after listening to it. This song stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you, especially when suffering from mental health issues which are always great to see being portrayed in any media format.
Just under 500 years ago the theatre mastermind William Shakespeare sat down and wrote down one of the most famous straight plays in all of history. Romeo and Juliet remains an extremely popular play which people continue to flock to theatre anytime a production of this show is announced. Not only is the play itself extremely popular but it has also inspired many other pieces of creative media such as the musical West Side Story, the animated film Gnomeo and the west end hit musical & Juliet (which I reviewed on a trip to London a little while ago which can be found at https://rhysreviews.com/2020/02/07/julet-reciew/) but I would never have predicted a prehistoric, musical adaption of this story would ever happen. The newly released cast recording of Stone Crossed (which is a clever play on words based on the iconic prologue from the original songs play) tells the story of the land of Arkose which is divided into two sides each being plagued by their ancestor’s teachings/paintings etc of hatred towards the other side. However, in the classic Romeo and Juliet style, two young lovers fall in love with one another but cannot be together due to the historic rivalries between their two communities.
When I initially listened to the song “Lost” which was performed beautifully by Antonio Cipriano and Kristina Alabado I thought it was very strange to start with almost 30 seconds of instrumental music but by the end, it made sense with the themes of the song and truly amped up the emotion behind it. The two performed are cleverly incredibly vocalists with their voices being a perfect compliment to one another and worked excellently with the themes of the song. This entire album, in my opinion, has nailed the concepts of duets as most of the duets with this show are out of this world. I also really loved “Wanderer” which was a flawless duet by Samatha Williams and Gabi Campo. The song “Magma Drama” is a very different track from the rest of the songs in this musical. It almost hints at the idea of a Greek chorus who love to gossip and spread rumours which most people will associate with someone in their life right now. This is a higher energy and fun song that provides a bit of relief through this very emotionally intense show. “That Dress” is another super fun number that helps this slight change in atmosphere as it is very character-based and I anticipate many female solo performers doing this song in concerts very soon! The song that helps to re-introduce the more serious and emotional undertones of the song is “Fossil Joining Tune” which starts as an almost comedic and energetic number but takes a more emotional turn by the end. This was a great way to reintroduce the intense themes of the show naturally! I started this review by talking about how the show is based on Romeo and Juliet but the track “Celebrate” is a sharp contrast from the ending we all know. This song discusses how we should celebrate love instead of hate (without the need for the character to end their own lives.) This is a big chorus number that contains excellent spoken work sections and incredible vocals throughout.
Overall, this is a show inspired by a story we have seen told over and over again in many different ways but a setting in the Stone Age was something I don’t think anyone would have expected. It has considered the original story while providing enough changes to make it fresh and exciting to the audience with a range of wonderful songs. I would rate this cast recording 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend that musical theatre fans go check out this album which is available from the 21st of May on all music streaming sites!
You can stay up to the date with the show by following them of social media by clicking the buttons bellow and check out there website by going to STONE CROSSED – NEW YORK STAGE ORIGINALS (nystage.com)