The Canadian creators of Time for Flowers, Time for Snow (2013) turn another myth into a musical performance—this one with comical overtones.
Like its predecessor, the result works better in audio than in print despite Béha’s luminescent, broadly theatrical illustrations. As reward for hosting Dionysius’ lush of a schoolmaster, Silenus, King Midas (already sporting donkey ears from an earlier escapade) rashly opts to wish for a golden touch despite his wife’s shrill torrent of abuse: “Fiddlesticks yourself, you king of all milquetoasts— / You might wish for a physique like the god Apollo boasts.” But no, and when he discovers his error by transforming not only beloved daughter Zoe into gold, but also his own tighty whities (“He’s turned his favourite gonches / Into metal underwear!”), his lachrymose regret causes the god to relent. Huser adds lively dialogue and detail to a full-cast version of the old tale in a recasting that mixes prose (read, on the accompanying CD, by Terry Jones) with lengthy stretches of rhyme in various meters. The latter are sung, often by a huge children’s chorus, on the recording. Though Giannis Georgeantelis’ orchestral accompaniment is not always particularly sprightly, the songs sound better than they read, as internal transitions from one “speaker” to the next are not indicated, and the rhymes and rhythms are frequently forced.
This appealing stage version of a classic cautionary tale makes, at best, a richly illustrated but labored transition to print. (production notes) (Mythology. 6-11)