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AtoZ: King David

King David can be described as either a modern musical or oratorio written by Tim Rice ("Chess" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat") and Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast").

Originally conceived as an outdoor oratorio to commemorate the 3,000th anniversary of the city of Jerusalem, the piece ended up making its debut on Broadway in 1997 due to financial and logistical problems.

Unfortunately despite the high praise for the music and subsequent soundtrack, the Broadway production itself received lackluster reviews with the consensus being that it was too serious minded and sober.

As Tim Rice said,
"We felt we'd been commissioned to write it as an oratorio, and still hoped it would be performed as such in Israel. ... we should have emphasized that more to avoid being judged primarily as a Broadway show."

Thankfully there is a soundtrack but unfortunately people have decided to play highway robber with used copies going on Amazon going for $100+ (incredible!!) but there is a copy of the soundtrack available to listen to on YouTube.
You will likely recognize many names among the cast list including: Judy Kuhn (Michal, David's first wife), Alice Ripley (Bathsheba), Marcus Lovett (King David), Roger Bart (Jonathan), Martin Vidnovic (King Saul).

Are there any little known musicals or oratorios that you would love to see revived? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! x


  1. A Middle Eastern vibe in it.

    My most favourite track with King David in it is Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Utterly sublime!

    1. personally i have never understood the fascination for the song hehe but something for everyone. :)

  2. Visiting from your A to Z facebook post - I purchased the Chess LP years ago because Elaine Paige was on it. It is still one of my favourites and one of the few LPs I actually purchased again when everything went digital. Of course I would like Chess revived. One day I might be in the right city when it is on stage. Until then my car is the place I sing along.

    I will have to see what the YouTube King David music is like.
    TravelGenee visiting from the A to Z challenge.

  3. Hi Joy, just popping in to see how you're doing.
    Interesting post about a musical with a controversial theme. Yes I can imaging it being considered too serious for a musical, it's a serious subject.
    Looking forward to your next post.
    Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

  4. Huh. I never heard of this musical. Thanks for the post about it!
    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  5. I like this and I could tell that it was the same lyricist for this and for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


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Thanks so much for sharing with me! Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated!
x Joy