December 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm

The Scarlet Letter Musical


Poster from the Broadway debut of the show, which later became hit Disney classic.

The juniors in Mr. Kaz’s AP English class are currently reading The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

This award-winning musical was a Broadway hit back in the 60’s, and it is a perfect demonstration of American theatrical sensibilities, much like The Music Man or West Side Story.  Its snappy show tunes and wacky characters make The Scarlet Letter a great show for the whole family.  Mr. Kaz called the play, “a perfect blend of light-hearted satire and stirring romance.”  The musical score has gained wild popularity, and includes such unforgettable songs as “Purely Puritan,” “A-Okay,” “My Letter is Redder” “A Girl Named Pearl,” “Dimmesdale’s Lament,” “Ain’t No Place Like New England,” “Confess, You Loathsome Godless Sinner,” and “At Least We Have Love.”  The story of down-on-her-luck Hester, a spunky teen seeking the affections of a handsome cleric, is one that teaches every generation the importance of being yourself and following your heart.  Also, anyone interested in 1600’s Boston will love Hawthorne’s realistic depiction of that zany, madcap world.  It’s the most colorful portrayal of Puritan life since Arthur Miller’s raunchy comedy The Crucible.  The Scarlet Letter gets a scarlet A-plus.

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