A Thrilling, Definitive, Layered JCS Like You’ve Never Seen Before…
“Rick Fox’s musical direction (as it did last year with Evita), excitingly restores Lloyd Webber’s work to its original roots, where his rock and symphonic impulses engage in a battle that both sides ultimately win.” The Toronto Star
“Rick Fox’s musical direction is powerhouse.” National Post
“But music director Rick Fox treats the rock-symphonic score and vocals with integrity appropriate to the era in which the material was born.” Hollywood Reporter
“Holding the whole thing together is the musical direction of Rick Fox, providing the full range of Lloyd Webber modes, from symphonic wannabe to pop rocker to Broadway stylist.” Variety
“While music director Rick Fox and sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy deliver a crystal-clear rendition of Lloyd Webber’s vibrant score and Rice’s tricky lyrics, and the performances are largely solid,….” Backstage
“Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, whose pulsating, guitar- and organ-driven score – led by standouts “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” “Everything’s Alright” and “Superstar” – is still super and now given hypnotic life by musical director Rick Fox.” Huffingtonpost/AP
“The music sounds terrific and the stagecraft is often inspired.” Time Out
“Well, as soon as the first note came pounding out of that high-amped electric guitar, the riff that develops as “B flat/A/G flat”, you could feel it. It’s not something you feel very often in the very best of times; in our present barely-bronze age of the Broadway musical, it comes very rarely, if at all.” Edge/Boston
“And there’s never any small moment when the music, from Rick Fox’s fine 11-piece pit band, isn’t wondrously in sync with the action, at least partly because McAnuff himself has always dreamed of playing in such a band.” San Diego Arts
“Music director Rick Fox treats the rock-symphonic score and vocals with integrity appropriate to the era in which the material was born. And McAnuff’s controversial man-or-Messiah question. That means this staging is likely to speak to ‘70s nostalgists (guilty as charged) as well as younger musical fans curious to know what the fuss was about.” -David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
“Howell Binkley’s lighting seems to dance off the music, which is sumptuously conducted by musical director Rick Fox.” LA Times
“Otherwise the show looks as good as it sounds, thanks to the clarity of Steve Canyon Kennedy’s aural design and Rick Fox’s dynamic musical direction.” New Jersey Newsroom
McAnuff said in an interview, “they went back to the original orchestrations, which have a strong rock sound.”
“Yes, the music is loud, but it’s meant to be. All the voices were strong and confident, beautiful when intended, menacing when intended, and that pit band sure could play! Lloyd Webber and Rice’s music have never sounded better. “
Review for Bruce Dow’s CD, “Lucky To Be Me”
“Dow displays a wide range of pitch, tone, and style in Lucky To Be Me (recorded in 2005, with all arrangements by Rick Fox, Musical Director at the Stratford Festival). The musical corps is expanded to include Hammond organ, guitars, acoustic bass, fretless bass, drums, and percussion in addition to Fox’s piano, resulting in a thicker texture for the songs. Dow’s versatility runs the gamut from the high finish after a moderate jaggedness in “I’m A Stranger Here Myself” (Kurt Weill-Ogden Nash) to the elegant waltz rhythm of “Dancing” from Hello Dolly! where his tenor modulates to a counter-tenor for the dizzy release. Then there’s the blues quality in “Something Cool,” the crispness in “New Words,” and the free, expansive release in “Lucky To Be Me.” For my taste, one of the best numbers is “My Foolish Heart,” Victor Young’s poignant ballad whose eloquent lyric reminds us that lyricists don’t seem to compose as poetically as they used to. To listen to lines such as “There’s a line between love and fascination/They both give the very same sensation/When you’re lost in the magic of a kiss” is to experience the bliss of a marvelous conjoining of melody and lyric. And Dow reincarnates this bliss. His final number is a bold showstopper out of Guys and Dolls, where he brought Damon Runyon’s Nicely-Nicely Johnson to vivid, colourful life at Stratford, giving the show its strongest contact with Runyon and hitting the rafters with “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” This is the number that showed just how good this performer could be in a Broadway musical, and it’s delightful to have it recorded here by a singer who appreciates the value of a lyric without losing the melody.”
Keith Garabian – Stageandpage.com
Review Stratford’s Jacques Brel…2010
Rick Fox’s authentic-sounding new arrangements and the quartet of musicians who play them are wonderful, while Katherine Lubienski’s set is simple but quite striking: Brel’s head pokes out through a hole in a wall plastered with posters and pictures as if he’s peeking in on the performance from heaven (or hell). If he was capable of actually doing so, I have no doubt he’d be happy with this beautiful production.
Kelly Nestruck – Globe and Mail
Reviews for Stratford’s West Side Story 2009
Griffin’s production has an electric charge that keeps the hairs on your skin tingling from start to finish, thanks to two incredible leads cast as the star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria and Rick Fox’s assertive musical direction.
Kelly Nestruck – Globe and Mail
For weeks now, the buzz surrounding the previews of West Side Story at the Stratford Festival has echoed one of the show’s memorable tunes: “Something’s coming, something good.”
It finally opened on Friday night, but the word on the street was wrong. It isn’t good. It’s absolutely great.
Musical director Rick Fox keeps the driving edge the score needs but isn’t afraid to let his orchestra soar to romantic heights when the occasion warrants.
You don’t try to understand perfection. You just bow low in gratitude and rush to see it. I doubt you could find a better show in the province of Ontario this year.
Richard Ouzounian – The Toronto Star