|Productions 1986 West End|
|Lyrics Dave Clark and David Soames|
Book Dave Clark and David Soames
Similar The Hunting of the Snark, Expresso Bongo, Broadway Bound, The Musical of Musicals, The Life
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Time is a musical with a book and lyrics by Dave Clark and David Soames, music by Jeff Daniels, and additional songs by David Pomeranz.
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Derived from the 1970s musical The Time Lord by Soames and Daniels, it focuses on contemporary rock musician Chris Wilder, who has been transported with his backup singers and band from a concert to the High Court of the Universe in the Andromeda Galaxy. In light of mankind's strides in space exploration, the Time Lord Melchisedic (loosely based on the title character in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who) has decided the time has come to examine Earth's people to determine what role they will play in the quest for universal peace, and Wilder and his band are called upon to defend their planet.
The heavily-amplified multi-media event relied heavily on special effects, including a huge projected floating head named Akash (billed by the show's producers as a hologram) that served as a narrator throughout the show. The interior of the Dominion Theatre was gutted and reconstructed to accommodate the massive steel set with hydraulic lift designed by John Napier.
The West End production, directed and choreographed by Larry Fuller (assisted by Arlene Phillips), had a world premiere on April 9, 1986, at the Dominion Theatre in London, England, where it ran for two years. Cliff Richard starred as Wilder, Jodie Brooke Wilson as Louise, Jeff Shankley as Melchisedic, and Dilys Watling as one of the tribunal judges, with a pre-filmed Laurence Olivier as Akash. David Cassidy replaced Richard later in the run, closing with Grease producer David Ian. Stephanie Lawrence was also a replacement in the Time musical and played opposite Cassidy.
2nd cast; Kim Rosato, Stacey Haynes, Sandra Easby, Annabel Haydn, Ian Stewart, Cavin Cornwall
A concept album was released in the United States by Capitol Records and EMI for the rest of the world (UK Catalogue Number UK:AMPM 1 (EQ 5003)) (now out-of-print). In addition to Richard and Olivier, it featured Freddie Mercury, Julian Lennon, Murray Head, Dionne Warwick, Leo Sayer, Ashford & Simpson, John Christie, John Helms, Mike Moran, and Paul Miles-Kingston. Olivier's spoken "Theme From 'Time'" was released as a single in some countries and was a surprise hit on the Australian charts, reaching #27.
The soundtrack has never been released on CD.
As of May 8, 2012, the soundtrack to Time - The Musical, both Acts I and Acts II, is now available on iTunes (along with the 13 single releases.) It has been restored and remastered by Adam Vanryne and produced by Dave Clark and has been released to commemorate the musical's 25th anniversary. The iTunes digital version also features a 20-page color booklet. The iTunes release contains new edits and several alternate mixes that were not on the original release (vinyl or compact-cassette.)
"If present trends go on, John Napier and his team will doubtless one day find themselves re-creating the entire state of Iowa for a rock musical about the Little Red Hen, or reconstructing the Alps for one about Heidi; but until then Time can claim it has provided the most sensational contrast between mountainous spectacle and molehill content the musical theatergoer has seen."
"It's like a science-fiction Sunday-school lesson. London critics had a field day sneering at its greeting-card philosophy and 1960s flower-power platitudes. But children, the young at heart, tourists with little English and any lover of sheer spectacle will be enraptured."
"But its actual genius is the man who invented its gravity-defying, sense-bombarding scenic effects, the modern theater's most astounding designer. His name is John Napier."
"The worst of it, though, are the philosophical speeches from The Time Lord who sounds like Captain Highliner after transcendental meditation. If vinyl ever deserved to be melted..."