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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Piano Lover: The Musical is a work of fiction in the literary, interpersonal drama, and sociocultural issues subgenres, and it forms the second work in a trilogy. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to its themes and some explicit sexual scenes. Penned by author William Karl Thomas, this is a captivating journey set in the 1950s New Orleans French Quarter. It follows a young cocktail pianist who, with a group of fellow entertainers, creates an original musical challenging societal norms. The premise involves God as a discontented woman sending an angel resembling Louis Armstrong to recruit the pianist to save the world through music. The novel beautifully incorporates the script and score of the musical, showcasing fifteen original songs. As the musical faces success on Broadway, it triggers a religious backlash, leading the characters to pioneer Off-Broadway.
Author William Karl Thomas has crafted an immersive experience into the artistic and romantic adventures of his characters with a slow-burning emotional buildup in the true literary style. The historical accuracy in portraying Broadway, the Hamptons, and Fire Island is highly detailed and shows clear dedication to research into the feel and mood of the time. The protagonist's interactions with a diverse group of associates, including a female impersonator and a gay Russian puppeteer, created a rich tapestry of relationships that authentically showcase how people from all walks of life have always been among us, despite being hidden away in the dark corners of history. The portrayal of romantic and sexual relationships was also refreshingly unabashed, showcasing emotional complexities, desires, and explorations from different worlds and cultures. Overall, Piano Lover: The Musical is highly recommended as a vivid exploration of art, love, and societal challenges, set against the backdrop of a transformative era in American history. Don’t miss out on this fantastic trilogy.