I never read the Boris Pasternak novel. I never saw the Warner Bros. film. And I'm not particularly well-versed in the early 20th century Russian revolution. Which is all to say I didn't know quite what to expect when seeing this musical adaptation of the epic story. Doctor Zhivago isn't really bad (with some exceptions) but it's also not really good. This is probably a byproduct of having source material that's so epic in scope. The creators of the musical (book by Michael Weller ; lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers ; music by Lucy Simon ) were clearly trying to cram in a lot of story into a two-and-a-half hour show. In doing so, they present a lot of drama without a lot of exposition and character development. We, therefore, don't get a true sense of the stakes (especially if you're unfamiliar, as I am, with the internal politics of the revolution). And, unfortunately, much of the drama reads like eyeroll-inducing, soap opera-level melodrama.