The youth at my church, First Presbyterian in Albany, are putting on, with the assistance of a number of adults, a production of The Prince of Egypt, the musical based on the 1998 animated film. The storyline is adapted from the Moses story in the biblical Book of Exodus. It will take place this Sunday, March 17 at 12:15 pm
In a decision beyond my understanding, I, who am a bit older than 18, have been asked to perform the song Through Heaven’s Eyes, which my character, Jethro, passes along his staff to Moses. Initially, I was reluctant for a few reasons. One is that it was moderately high in my range and modulates even higher. Another reason is that it’s sung in the movie by Brian Stokes Mitchell, only the greatest male singer who regularly performs on Broadway. It’s so odd that he started out playing, as Brian Mitchell, the minor character Jackpot on the television show Trapper John, MD for seven years.
The song also has a lot of tricky lyrics. Thrice it goes “So how can you” or So how do you”, and I had to note that the verbs that follow are in backward alphabetical order – see, measure, judge – which has helped propel the rest of the phrases. Other lines are difficult to spit out clearly in some sections, such as “cool fresh spring”; lots of consonants.
I thought about it quite a bit. But when the director wanted to know whether or not I would participate, I became tired of my own indecision, so I just said yes, masochist that I am.
Oddly, this is NOT the first time I ended up singing a Stephen Schwartz song I thought was high in my range. I was in a production of Godspell in New Paltz, NY in 1975 or 1976. Initially, I was given We Beseech Thee to sing, well within my range. Later, though, the director gave me All Good Gifts instead, which was not.