Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical
Music By: Howard Goodall
Lyrics By: Charles Hart
Book By: Gurinder Chada and Paul Mayeda Berges
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the movie of the same name, Bend It Like Beckham The Musical premiered in West End in 2015. The lead character, Jess, finds herself facing the most important decision of her life. She can go with her familyís expectations of completing university, finding a career and engaging in a traditional Indian wedding. On the other hand, she can follow her dream, using her talent to become a soccer star like her hero, David Beckham. Offered the shot of a lifetime, does Jess go for her dream or follow her familyís wishes? Or can she find a way to do both?
The musical score of Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical contains a fusion of traditional Indian music and western melodies. The lyrics are catchy and sometimes comedic depending on the scene, like the opening track, UB2, which introduces us to the Southall section of London that the musical takes place in. Much of the music is fast paced, following Jessí energetic nature, but there are moments of sadness as she finds herself at odds with her very traditional-minded parents. There is also a bit of romance mixed in as well.
I never saw Bend It Like Beckham, so I canít compare the musical to the film and I would be loath to do so anyway. After all, musicals have a different format and, thus, a musical based on film would be intrinsically different from the film in many ways. I can only go on the merits of what I listened to the other day when I played the Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical Original Cast Album the other day.
Though the music moved and the storyline was interesting, I wasnít all that impressed with the singing. Sure, there were some stand out moments in the album here and there, but many of the solos were a bit flat to me. The Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical Original Cast Album was not a horrible listen, but I wouldnít run out and buy myself a copy. It just didnít capture my attention the way other musicals from Masterworks Broadway have.