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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Passion (1996)

In 19th century Italy, a soldier (Jere Shea) has a married mistress (Marin Mazzie). But when he's transferred from Milan to a remote military outpost, he comes into contact with a sickly, plain woman (Donna Murphy) who becomes obsessed with him. Based on the 1994 Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim which was based on Ettore Scola's 1983 film PASSIONE D'AMORE which in turn was based on the 19th century novel FOSCA by Iginio Ugo Tarchetti. I'm a huge fan of Sondheim but this is easily the weakest of his musicals. At heart, it's a rather unhealthy tale of a psychologically disturbed woman who stalks a soldier who in the end turns out to be a masochist and as sick as she is and yet the whole thing romanticized by Sondheim and director and book writer James Lapine. It's just too creepy! It's that rare Sondheim show devoid of any humor whatsoever. It's a relentless downer. I kept wanting to like it but its characters are unappealing and Sondheim's score tends to be monotonous. With Tom Aldredge and Gregg Edelman.

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