Praise for the album: 

“Dreamlike and seductive it is. Power surges come when things build and build and then there are sudden exquisite moments of stark beauty: a capella simplicities with a solo voice following a breathless silence.” –Talkin Broadway

“Frequently, “new musical theatre” conjures up images of a pop/rock-influenced score, or a pastiche show emulating the music of an earlier, perhaps more prosperous time on Broadway. Adventurous and risk-taking scores are more rare. Tamar of the River is one of those unique scores that successfully goes beyond the boundaries of Times Square — and beyond the boundaries of Western cultures — for its influences. Marisa Michelson and Joshua H. Cohen have written a beautiful score that pulls from a wealth of different traditions. The 2014 world premiere recording gives us the opportunity to experience this short-lived off-Broadway show. It is challenging yet accessible; unified and whole, but with clear elements. The final effort shows off a fresh approach to musical theatre, inspiring to listeners even after several listens.” – Cast Album

“Whether in solo or in groups, TAMAR OF THE RIVER (A World Premiere Recording) offers a dizzying array of vocal brilliance. Leading the cast as Tamar, Margo Seibert exposes listeners to a range of tonal and artistic maturity that Broadway’s ROCKY didn’t allow her to show. She flutters down chromatics with appealing dexterity and colors her notes with gripping emotionality. Her supporting cast, comprised of Ako, Erik Lochtefeld, Vince B. Vincent, Mike Longo, and Margot Bassett, all bring their individual skills to the table, ensuring that Marisa Michelson’s undulating score is always beautiful, even when unnerving and discomforting.” –Broadway World

“Michelson’s music is hard to describe; otherworldly, perhaps? It is the chanting that makes Michelson s work so striking; in many places, she uses her 12-person chorus as if they were musical instruments, complementing her five-piece band. These voices are used in the manner of strings or horns, mostly; Michelson occasionally has them sing in tones that waver above and below pitch, making things sound off-kilter. This sort of thing, elsewhere, has been known to drive my ears away; in this case, it drew me into the score a recording of which has, most fortunately, just been released by Yellow Sound. Yes, it is different, and unlike what musical theatre audiences are accustomed to but that only adds to the excitement.” –Steven Suskin, Playbill

Praise for the production: 

“A thrilling piece of theatre… A star is born here in the work of Margo Seibert as the young Tamar… Joshua H. Cohen’s book and lyrics are touching and well thought-out. In a world where morality seems to have vanished and peace a concept hardly practiced, this piece lights the way to discussion. Marisa Michelson’s music and book is haunting and ethereal… Rarely do you see a piece that is so new and enchanting. This is a must see for musical theatre lovers.” – Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles

“Michelson’s challenging and tonally complex music is some of the most unique and beautiful I’ve heard in musical theater… The stellar cast effortlessly delivers this very difficult material while performing Chase Brock’s visually appealing choreography, which turns human bodies into a rushing river.” – Zack Sullivan,Theatermania

“The glorious Tamar of the River… is a must-see for anyone interested in nontraditional, engaging, and accessible musical theatre… The show is compelling, sexy, sometimes funny, and deeply emotional.” – Wendy Caster, Show Showdown

Tamar of the River is a powerfully beautiful and deeply affecting allegory about love and the potency of belief. It’s about fear and how it drives well-intentioned people to act in contradiction to their own wishes. It’s about a woman’s sacrifices for the good of a society caught too long in the gears of war to appreciate the seeds of hope planted in their gardens. It’s about dreams for a better future. It is an ancient, and timeless, and timely tale.” – Marti Sichel, Woman Around Town

“Billed as ‘music theater,’ we found Prospect Theater Company’s Tamar of the River to fulfill the artistic requirements of an opera. In case you are unfamiliar with our taste, that is high praise indeed.” – Meche Kroop, vocedimeche.net

“It’s hard to imagine a more ambitious piece of musical drama coming out of indie theatre than Prospect Theater Company’s production of Tamar of the River… The narrative takes on immense power through Michelson’s rich and distinctive score.” – Ron Cohen, nytheaternow.com

Tamar of the River is a phenomenal effort of beauty.” – Tzippora Kaplan, Theater is Easy

“Alluring and lyrical… Ms. Michelson’s music is frequently exquisite and always melodic… Chase Brock’s choreography alternates between the wonderfully intricate and the satisfyingly muscular. Brian Tovar’s lighting design is flawless. Brett J. Banakis’s set, a bare runway with a grandly simple staircase, assumes real beauty when a village is represented by tiers of dollhouse-size white pyramids lighted from within.” – Anita Gates, The New York Times

“Tamar has courage. Tamar is something new.” — Adam Guettel