At Taproot, the story of Handel and his ‘Joyful Noise’


Controversy simmered behind the writing and performance of one of the best-known musical works of the classical period, “Messiah.” At least, that’s the premise of Tim Slover’s play, starring Jim Gall as the composer.

Controversy simmered behind the writing and performance of one of the best-known musical works of the classical period, George Frederick Handel’s oratorio “Messiah.” At least, that’s the premise of Tim Slover’s tidy piece of historical fiction “Joyful Noise,” equally engaging and ingratiating in its approach to reframing history.

Handel’s “Messiah” is a Christmas season stalwart (though at least one scholar claims the “Hallelujah” chorus actually celebrates the destruction of Jerusalem, not the birth of Christ — now there’s a controversial backstory!) and “Joyful Noise” is designed to fill a similar feel-good role.

That’s…



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