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October 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The enduring 1953 film classic From Here to Eternity has been brought to the stage as a musical — the London stage, as unlikely as that may seem for such a quintessentially American story, written by James Jones and brought to on-screen life by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra. The West End version incorporates more of Jones’s gritty plot. A review by Paul Taylor in today’s (Thursday) London Independent refers to Javier de Fruto’s “testosterone-fueled choreography” and observes that the music and lyrics by Stuart Brayson and Tim Rice “certainly gives you a powerful sense of men, thrown by poverty into this substitute family [i.e. the U.S. Army].” Dominic Cavendish writes in the London Telegraph that “the show achieves a potent sense of atmosphere” and “in a West End awash with shows for kids and kidults it dares to speak to our inner grown-up about frustrated yearning, fleeting romance and pluck.” But while Michael Billington in the Guardian praises the production for being “highly professional,” he nevertheless asks rather forlornly, “Why now, and what does music add to the story?” But Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail brands the production as “ridiculous,” adding that it “contains soupy tunes … and generally more corn than even the leading breakfast cereal brands.”