Every year, there are some great pieces of musical theatre that get lost in the midst of the big budget crowd pleasers. Last year it was Light in The Piazza...and way before then it was another Adam Guettel musical that never got past cult status.
Floyd Collins was a spectacular musical based on the actual events of the trapping and death of a cave miner in Kentucky. The story was hardly a Broadway sell, and I cannot say anything about the staging (since I didn't actually see the piece in 1996) but the music is truly astonishing. Like most of Guettel's music, it's not easy listening and demands to be performed. However, it is so meticulous and emotionally driven, I am floored every time I listen to the soundtrack. Guettel's music honors every single note that is written in the score.
If you ever have the chance to listen to the soundtrack, check out the shows most famous song "How Glory Goes." Sung by the character of Floyd, it is the final song in the show. Floyd accepts his fate and lets out a final cry before passing away. It is one of the most incredible ballads I have ever listened to and by far the most heartbreaking. Another heartbreaking ballad is...go figure...The Ballad of Floyd Collins...The reprise sung in the second act is particularly special.
I hope this musical gets another breath of fresh air in the future. The score is quite special.
For more Adam Guettel songs worth checking out...look into his album "Myths and Hymns." It's based off of his show Saturn Returns. "Hero and Leander" is one of my favorite songs.