"This Is the Moment" - Guilty Pleasure Thursday visits Friday
Don't hate me in advance. I have never been an enormous fan of the musicals of Frank Wildhorn. I found the original Broadway production of Jekyll and Hyde to be sometimes tedious, stodgily staged, and mostly laughable. I said "don't hate me." There were, however, two bright spots in that production: the glorious voice of Linda Eder (especially singing "Someone Like You), and Robert Cucciolli's soaring rendition of "This Is the Moment," my guilty pleasure for this week.
Wildhorn can create some great melodies. I will not deny that I occasionally find myself singing along to his anthems and love songs. But for every memorable ditty in his extensive garden, there is a wheelbarrow full of weeds that need pulling. His bag of tricks is limited and his work is not augmented by his choice of lyricists. Jekyll and Hyde features the best of the batch, and this is partly due to the solid lyric writing of Leslie Bricusse.
"This Is the Moment" comes at the show's turning point, when the well-meaning Dr. Jekyll first takes the serum that will eventually turn him into the monster that is Mr. Hyde. Having created this science experiment in his laboratory, he has yet to try it on a human being. Summoning his courage, Jekyll makes a lot of sweeping statements about his whole life leading to this moment before taking the potion. The melody is catchy, very repetitive, and tranistions to new keys, giving it the impact of pivotal importance within the show. The orchestrations and music also get louder and louder, making sure we don't miss the less-than-subtle point that something big is happening.
For all of its brazen cheesiness, the song works. It does exactly what it is supposed to. It stirs the listener and gets them caught up in the excitement and potential danger of the situation. I love to sing this one in my shower, or in a parking garage. Some place where I feel like I am miked to the hilt. After all, guilty pleasures were meant to be sung this way!