It's time for my review of The Prince of Egypt.
Featuring songs such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's hit "When You Believe", plus "Deliver Us", "All I Ever Wanted" and "Through Heaven's Eyes", The Prince of Egypt is based on the book of Exodus and tells the story of Moses, who was born a child of Israel, and brought up in Egypt after he was found by Pharoah's wife in a wicker basket floating on the Nile.
For the most part, The Prince of Egypt follows somewhat of an interesting narrative. The book by Philip LaZebnik is far from perfect, but the story itself is intriguing. The central relationship between the two princes, Moses and Rameses, proved to be rather compelling and I enjoyed seeing the different ways in which this relationship changed and developed throughout. The relationship was often strong, although at points proved rocky, and this was portrayed well. Another element of the story that I was rather fond of was the way the show incorporated a number of historical and Biblical references. The story of Moses is a tale that I had very little knowledge of prior to watching the show, so I appreciated the way in which The Prince of Egypt opened my eyes to this significant part of history. On the downside however, there were portions of the story which felt rather dragged out. There are certain scenes that appear too prolonged, causing them to lose their emotional impacts. This was particularly evident at earlier points in Act Two, which did feel somewhat drawn out.
In relation to the cast, the two stand-out performances came from the female leads of the piece: Christine Allado, as Tzipporah, and Alexia Khadime, as Miriam. They had truly beautiful voices, and their songs were an absolute delight to listen to. In particular, their duet of 'When You Believe' was utterly spellbinding. This proved to be an overall highlight of the production, and was a real show-stopper.
Among The Prince of Egypt's imperfections are the costume and scenic design; both of which could have been greatly improved. Both the costumes and sets were rather disappointing, and looked somewhat amateurish. Considering that this production is intended to be a big theatrical event, The Prince of Egypt would have really benefitted from more satisfactory designs. The Dominion Theatre is extremely large in size, which in turn meant that the scenic design often got swallowed by the theatre's large stage. On the positive side of things, the strongest creative aspect was arguably the choreography by Sean Cheesman, which was well and truly marvellous. I did however feel that the big production numbers could have been somewhat longer as, despite their excellence, they felt somewhat short. In addition to that, an increased amount of large production numbers would likely have been beneficial, as they did feel too few and far between. I also greatly admired the orchestrations, which were granted by August Eriksmoen. All of the orchestrations were done perfectly, and this aspect was also well amplified by a strong sound design, created by Gareth Owen.
Now for my final verdict on The Prince of Egypt. I give The Prince of Egypt...
This was a difficult verdict to make, however I ultimately decided to award The Prince of Egypt with three stars. Whilst it does lack in effective scenic and costume designs, there are handful of excellent performances, and the choreography and orchestrations are both excellent.
Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.
-The Basic Theatre Reviewer