For several years now there’s been a glut of movies being turned into musicals, some getting big unexplainable runs on Broadway while others languished in obscurity.
Dangerous Beauty is one of my favorite movies, featuring the Venice of centuries ago and, more importantly, a beautiful redhead who happens to have the same last name as me. . . the character, not the actress. So imagine my surprise a few years ago when I was reading an online article and saw the ad for it coming to the Pasadena Playhouse, which I lived close to at the time.
At the time, it was the only play I went to twice.
Two things made it particularly special: the score, done by the amazing Amanda McBroom of The Rose fame (as well as her turn as Picard’s lawyer ex on Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Jenny Powers as Veronica Franco.
Among some of the fantastic songs were “I Am Venice,” “Until Tomorrow Comes,” “I Will Love You Now,” “Lions of the Sea,” “Stripping Venice,” and “City of Lies.” But easily the greatest is the closing number, alternatively called “Confession” and “I Will Not Repent.”
Whereas earlier in the show I was taken in by the delicacy Jenny brings to her vocals, a certain sweetness, here it’s the very definition of a power ballad.
Here’s the thing, though. Because it’s a stage production, there’s no video of an actual performance. Instead I found a live recital at a restaurant. Doesn’t matter, it still works. The lyrics, that last note. . . amazing.