Joyful Noise
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Judy Potter

Joyful Noise, now playing at the Willows Theatre in Concord is no Amadeus, but, under the capable direction of Richard Elliott and a very talented cast, it is very entertaining. There is no great depth to this play written by Tim Slover. Unlike Amadeus, which also takes a comic look at a composerís (Mozartís) life, Joyful Noise, looking at a point in the life of George Fredrick Handel, never ventures out of the comic. Indeed, it could easily be mistaken for a television sitcom. We donít explore the turbulent depths of a composerís inspiration, the unquenchable creative fire that drives him to write as we do in Amadeus.

But Elliott chose a very musical cast with great singing voices and even though this isnít a musical, the cast sings some very heavenly music by Handel including some sellections from the Messiah. The story is very playful and focuses in on some of the tabloid-like characters Handel associated with during the time he composed the Messiah. But scandal in 18th century England is pretty mild compared to what weíre used to today. All in all itís a pretty family oriented show with lots of positive schmaltz. It also has a stunning visual appeal with a great set by Peter Crompton and period costumes by Loran Watkins.

For tickets or more information call (925) 798-1300 or visit www.willowstheatre.org.

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