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Jack’s tall tale: Musical version of fairy tale is a treasure

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We’re excited to spill the beans about a recently released rock opera that breathes new life into the classic fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Brooklyn-based Paper Canoe Company’s “Beanstalk Jack” concept album begins with songs in the rich American folk tradition — and they’re often a high-spirited, knee-slapping hootenanny. They tell Jack’s story as he trades his cow for magic beans and climbs the mighty stalk. When he reaches its highest branches, the songs evolve from folk to rock with “It’s a Big World.”

Thankfully, Paper Canoe co-founders Tami Stronach (the Childlike Empress from the 1984 film “The Neverending Story”) and Greg Steinbruner made the decision to retain the giant’s best line — “Fee Fi Fo Fum” — and the vocals are powerfully influenced by Tom Waits. Touches like this delight listeners great and small (especially those ages 5 to 8).

“Beanstalk Jack” is an entertaining album influenced by the greats: Woody Guthrie, the Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkel.

“Beanstalk Jack” CD, $14, digital download, $9.99, amazon.com.

Posted 12:00 am, March 5, 2018
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