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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