Songs for a New World

February 2, 2000.By Claire Adamsick, City Pages.

In its spunky rendition of composer Jason Robert Brown’s off-Broadway revue, Theater Latté Da has steamed up an involving musical song cycle. Blending R&B, gospel, and pop, Songs for a New World offers a rather gentle and cautious examination of assorted Big Issues. Cast members Erin Scwab, Vanessa Gamble, Sam Kivi, and David B. Young, accompanied by a jazz trio, go from the deck of a Spanish sailing ship to the basketball court and tale of an aspiring star. An inspiration theme song, “A New World,” threads the various plot strains together. While all four performers belt out ballads and groove in harmony to uptempo numbers, love tunes like “I’d Give it All for You” and “The World Was Dancing” seem a bit too frothy for the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Yet adds a bit of spice to the syrupy proceedings. Directed by Peter Rothstein, with musical direction by Denise Prosek.