Marie Christine

Marie Christine

3.3 6
Audra McDonald is the most dazzling singing actress to arrive on Broadway since Barbra Streisand's legendary 1962 debut. MARIE CHRISTINE, composed by up-and-comer Michael John LaChiusa, is the highly anticipated first leading role written specifically for the triple Tony-winner (CAROUSEL, "Master Class," RAGTIME).


Audra McDonald is the most dazzling singing actress to arrive on Broadway since Barbra Streisand's legendary 1962 debut. MARIE CHRISTINE, composed by up-and-comer Michael John LaChiusa, is the highly anticipated first leading role written specifically for the triple Tony-winner (CAROUSEL, "Master Class," RAGTIME). LaChiusa's dark 1999 musical, loosely based on Euripides's Medea and set in turn-of-last-century New Orleans and Chicago, delivers ample opportunities for McDonald to exhibit her amazing dramatic and vocal talents: Her crystalline soprano brilliantly conveys emotions -- from mirth to misery and from menace to madness -- with minimum effort and maximum effect. Buoyed by a superb ensemble featuring Tony-winner Anthony Crivello [KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN], producer Jay David Saks has created a thrilling,risky,and riveting recording that will likely turn the last new American musical to open on Broadway in the 20th century into an enduring classic.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The Greek myth of Medea has attracted dramatists throughout recorded history. The tragic story of the princess and sorceress who helped Jason steal the Golden Fleece, but responded to his infidelity by killing his lover and her own children, it most famously provided the source for Euripides' play in 431 B.C., but also was adapted by French playwright Pierre Corneille in 1635 (this version in turn made into an opera by Luigi Cherubini in 1797), Robinson Jeffers in 1947, and Jean Anouilh in 1953. In seeking to provide a vehicle for Broadway star Audra McDonald, composer Michael John LaChuisa returned to Medea and transferred the story to late 19th century New Orleans, turning Medea into Marie Christine L'Adrese, a cultured Creole who falls in love with a sea captain and follows him to his home in Chicago with the usual tragic results. Among the more prominent young Broadway composers of the 1990s, LaChuisa seems to be interested in creating a post-Sondheim musical theater that is a hybrid form somewhere between traditional musical comedy and opera. While musical, his shows rarely employ traditional song structures, though the settings of the lyrics make for more than just recitatives. His choice of subject matter here is hardly typical for a Broadway musical, but he and the show's investors seem to have banked on the notion that three-time Tony Award winner McDonald could be sufficiently compelling to overcome the forbidding plot and uncompromising score. Compelling she certainly was, onstage and on this cast album, but that wasn't enough to make Marie Christine a hit. Announced for a limited run (but with the producers doubtless hoping to extend), the show opened on December 2, 1999, and closed on schedule after five-and-a-half weeks on January 9, 2000. The cast album, released three months later, preserves an intense and striking work that moves inevitably toward its shocking conclusion. It is far from easy listening, but remains powerful, especially because of McDonald's committed performance. But since it makes no obeisance to the traditional pleasures of musical theater, the show doesn't seems likely to live beyond this recording and stands as a significant example of the rift between a generation of serious-minded young Broadway composers (typified by LaChuisa and Jason Robert Brown) who set little store by mere entertainment and a group of pop-oriented songsters (Frank Wildhorn, Elton John) who prize entertainment above all and who, thus far, have been winning the war for Broadway's future, at least as far as commercial success goes.

Product Details

Release Date:
Rca Victor Broadway


  1. Before The Morning
  2. Manzell's Marie
  3. Your Grandfather Is The Sun
  4. Beautiful
  5. In An Instant
  6. Way Back To Paradise
  7. When You Look At A Man
  8. The Storm
  9. C'est L'amour/To Find A Lover
  10. Nothing Beats Chicago/Ocean Is Different
  11. Danced With A Girl
  12. Tout Mi Mi/He Is My Release
  13. Miracles And Mysteries
  14. I Don't Hear The Ocean
  15. Bird Inside The House
  16. We're Gonna Go To Chicago
  17. And You Would Lie/I Will Give
  18. Act I Finale
  19. Cincinnati
  20. You're Looking At The Man
  21. The Scorpion
  22. Lover, Bring Me Summer
  23. Tell Me
  24. Billy Was Sweet/Paradise Is Burning Down
  25. Prison In A Prison
  26. Better And Best
  27. Good Looking Woman
  28. No Turning Back/Before the Morning (Reprise)
  29. Beautiful (Reprise)
  30. I Will Love You
  31. Your Name
  32. Finale-Innocence Dies

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vivian Reed   cast
Shawn Elliott   cast
Kamau Adilifu   Trumpet
Brent Black   Ensemble
Kenneth Burward-Hoy   Viola
Rebekah Johnson   Violin
Robert Lawrence   Violin
Jesse Levine   Viola
John Moses   Woodwind
Brian O'Flaherty   Trumpet
Ron Oakland   Violin
David Pleasant   Percussion
Jennifer Warren   cast
John Winder   Woodwind
Lawrence Yurman   Synthesizer,Conductor,Keyboards
David Evans   Conductor
Anthony Crivello   cast
Maura Giannini   Violin
Scott Ballantyne   Cello
Richard Heckman   Woodwind
Steve Kenyon   Woodwind
Janet Metz   cast
Larry Spivack   Percussion
Peter Samuel   Track Performer
Jim Weaver   cast
Peter Gordon   French Horn
Audra McDonald   cast
Andrea Frierson   Track Performer
Darius de Haas   Track Performer,cast
Lovette George   cast
Janet Lantz   French Horn
Mary Testa   cast
Michael McCormick   cast
Kimberly Jajuan   Track Performer
Andre Garner   cast
M. Rosena Hill   cast
Kim Huber   cast
Mark Lotito   cast
Janet Meta   Track Performer
C. Franz Alderfer   Ensemble
Lynn Joy Matthews   Track Performer,cast
Vivian Ree   Track Performer
Ray Kilday   Electric Bass
Deborah Sepe   Cello
Raymond Kilday   Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Mary Bond Davis   cast

Technical Credits

Tom Lazarus   Engineer
Jay David Saks   Producer
Bruce Samuels   Programming
Jonathan Tunick   Orchestration
David Evans   Musical Director
Michael John LaChiusa   Composer
Brian Alverson   Programming

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Marie Christine 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the show at the Vivian Beaumont and this recording, as fabulous as it is, does the show no justice. Audra's talent, however exceeds the limitations of an audio recording. Every twinge of her emotional and vocal prowess can be clearly heard and FELT when one hears her sing the song that ends act one. A triumph for Micheal John LaChiusa! Anthony Crivello, of course, is stunning and perfectly cast as Dante...his voice lends a link that completes the circle that Ms. McDonald has begun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I, too, saw the show at the Beaumont, and disagree with the person above. While I liked the show, it was essentially 'cold,' whereas the recording enables the listener to focus on the music, and, of course, Audra McDonald's awesome performance and remarkable vocal prowess. I like the CD MORE than I liked the show.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe the two people above like this...CACOPHONY! Although I'm only 13, I have a large collection of Broadway soundtracks, and out of all of them, THIS one is the worst! I got the soundtrack because I am a HUGE fan of Audra Mcdonald, and I think she potrayed Marie Christine as best as possible. And the plot is good, but I'd rather listen to a bunch of cats scraping forks against a blackboard than have to sit and hear this music, (if you could even call it that)! Audra, you have such great talent, and I thoroughly enjoyed ''Ragtime'', but I DIDN'T enjoy this! If you're smart, you'll get something else!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I totally agree with Amy, this is one of the worst CDs I've ever listened to!!! I love Audra McDonald's voice, and they all sing incredibly well, but the music is all so weird and it's not pleasant...AT ALL! I really liked the storyline, and without the music, it would probably make a GREAT movie. But I hope that you don't buy this, because believe me, you'll just end up regretting it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just so adolescents don't get a bad rap for being clueless Rentheads who wouldn't know art if it punched them in the face... "Marie Christine" is another near-brilliant work by Michael John LaChiusa. The score is original and varied, and Audra performs it SO well. Her vocal acting is bar-none and she communicates the show well although we don't have the benefit of the stage production in front of us. Surely, this is not LaChiusa's best work, nor Audra's. But even when they're not their absolute best, they're still above-par!
Guest More than 1 year ago
For anyone who is a true broadway and/or musical theater fan this is a must. LaChiusa's music's is complex and compelling. You can not get enough.