(C or D)/(S and D): musicals

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For me, I have never seen a really good musical on Broadway. In fact I think all musicals I've seen have been fairly awful. I can't see why. There is plenty of potential in that format. Maybe it's just that the cheesyness takes over too offen. So far, I'm saying that all musicals on stage are duds, unless I'm convinced otherwise.

A Nairn, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Completely agreed. I'd probably keep the riff from "Heaven on Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar (but it wasn't a Broadway musical to begin with).

I'd consider the Broadway musical form to be America's most overrated, weakest addition to the music of the world. Catchy doesn't make it OK and famous doesn't make it good.

Matt Riedl (veal), Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Modern Broadway musicals are so unspeakably bad. I really hate people who go around singing showtunes, probably because I met way too many self-styled drama queens in high school who did that. 'Cheesy' is too nice a word for the emotional bullying and gross self-importance of this crap.

I like some film musicals, like Gigi, Singin' In The Rain, and My Fair Lady, so I don't have a particular aversion to the genre. Let's face it, the whole concept of a musical is kind of silly - people don't often break into big production numbers in the middle of conversations - so it's surprising that, considering how self- conscious and in-jokey so many movies and books are, modern musicals seem much less clever and aware of their own absurdity than the classic ones were.

Justyn Dillingham, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

No irony? Urinetown? (only read about it, but it's all about the eye- roh-nee and it picked up a few Tonies.)

I don't like musicals either, but I've always had this nagging feeling that there's a whole world in there if I put the effort into digging into it.

Kurt Weill's good, isn't he?

I figger we can't get a full understanding of the 20th cent. pop thing without a good handle on the Weimar-euro-doom/Harlem-minstrel axis (ie musicals). In the years B.E.(lvis), the country blues that rockists like to write about was only a small piece of the pop pie. Brit music hall, too. Totally clueless there. How many bop standards are based on "I Got Rhythm"?

So, what should we be lookin fer? Anyone?

misterhungry, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Search "Reviewing The Situation" from Oliver! Classic and nine- tenths, seriously. Shame the play's shit, really.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Do people who dis musicals actually sit down and watch them?

I don't know musicals very well, but every time I do sit down and watch one (without prejudice) I'm constantly impressed by the fact that the stories tend to be better (deeper and more cynical) than your average Holywood movie. And the music tends to have good tunes and more interesting bridges and fillers than your average pop album.

Like all good Englishmen I grew up dispising Andrew Lloyd Weber, but every time I watch one I get won over : South American political drama, biblical revisionism, punk-T.S.Eliot ... then there's the monster that's "Les Miserables" (I saw the original RSC production with my parents when I was a child, and then I took my girlfriend to see it, pretty much unchanged, a couple of years ago.) Poverty, revolutionary rhetoric, grave-robbing, prostitution, moral torment, a debate about whether criminality is caused by poverty, a debate as to whether "bad" characters can ever reform. "Les Mis" has a lot more interesting drama than anything out of Holywood and in music, the only comparisons that can be made is with good hip-hop.

The older stuff too ... "Guys and Dolls" has great music and Runyon characters. "Fiddler on the Roof" is an amazing chronicle of Russian jewish life, anti-semitism and the struggle to preserve an independent culture. "Porgy and Bess" and "My Fair Lady" gave us great jazz standards. (And Pygmalian is a work of genius, which MFL pretty much fails to screw up) "Showboat" ...

In fact ... now I'm on a roll, it's actually the height of ignorant rockism to think that musicals are less great or profound than the rock / pop genres which seem to have displaced them since the 60s.

phil, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't know about musicals (well, I do, but only from the pit musician's perspective, which is usually more influenced by the per diem than the actual music) -- but I do know that singers are a strange bunch. In fact, theater and drama majors in general are pretty odd -- though they do have the market cornered on cute.

dleone, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Why do musical always have a better counterpart in film versions?

Mary Poppins??????? Chitty Chityy Bang Bang (sort of Mary Poppins meets Benny Hill), West Side Story is a great film (the opening sequence is cklassic!) CABARET with Liza Minelli and Joey Grey, do animated disney's count?

THE SOUND OF MUSIC THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW?

Recently here in Holland we have a big revival of newly produced musicals on stage, mostly american material but sometimes specially written. I did get the chance to see one last month and it was AWFUL what a piece of crap: totally outdated revue humour, stereotypical bad acting and singing...it was like watching an evening of commercial television but then sucked in your brain with no escape but to close yiur ears and eyes and wait till the titanic has finally sunk.

erik, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Bernstein's TROUBLE IN TAHITI has been produced for television, in a perfectly styled 50s kitchen sink drama. I don't really like the music of that one but the images (mixed with found footage of 50s vintage commercials) are a brilliant match.

Extra points: it is a very short one!!!

erik, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Search: Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The songs are great and actually rock; the fact that it took a drag queen to do it is even better.

Sean, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I do not trust ANYONE who says that the film versions of "The Sound Of Music" and "West Side Story" are better than the stage versions. It's just patently false; "West Side Story" had its songs reordered and invented characters for the film version while "Sound Of Music" cut out two fairly important songs. Also, "My Fair Lady" started as a stage production, not a movie (although that's one where the movie version is as good as the stage version).

I haven't seen the stage version of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", but the movie was DEEPLY DISTURBING and far more rock than "Rocky Horror".

Dan Perry, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

In fact, the soundtrack of HATI was THE best album of 2001.

EdwardO, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I saw the movie of Hedwig, and just thought it was very dull, the filming and visuals were good, but the story was just boring, I didn't care at all about Hedwig, and it still had that cheesyness. Also, now that i think about it I have seen one absolutely amazing play (it's not really a musical but it did have some great drumming in it.) Tadashi Suzuki's Electra, and I'm sure any of his others would be just as amazing.

A Nairn, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG!?$%^&

Steve.n., Friday, 5 July 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
REVIVE bwahahahaha....
(who am I kidding no one cares about musicals)

Why do musical always have a better counterpart in film versions?

While that's certainly true in some cases, I've always been partial to the original cast recording of Hair. The movie, however......if it's not Milos Foreman's worst film I don't know what is. All of the film's versions of the songs are inferior to the OCR and they even left off a couple of really great tunes.

AaronHz (AaronHz), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 22:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Actually, I'd say that that statement is almost always false; I can't think of a single musical that's been both a stage play and a movie where there hasn't been at least one production that kicks the movie's ass.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 22:50 (eighteen years ago) link

(Note to self: scroll up on a thread so that you don't repeat shit)

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 22:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Think of it as a necessary reemphasis.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 22:52 (eighteen years ago) link

hey, you posted that 2 years ago, don't be so hard on yourself.

AaronHz (AaronHz), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 23:01 (eighteen years ago) link

I saw the Hedwig during it's original run before the celebrities came in to play Hedwig. It was much better then the movie. It was really just a rock band, on stage playing, with all these great monologues.

I just saw All That Jazz, which was wonderful and has me thinking about how brilliant and odd Bob Fosse was. That has to be the most self-indulgent movie of all time. Hello, I'm a drug-addicted workaholic womanizing genius who is going to make a completel over-the-top self-indulgent musical about a drug-addicted workaholic womanizing genius who is clearly me and how it kills him early, and I'm going to do this a few years before I die.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 23:31 (eighteen years ago) link

All That Jazz is unbelievably good. Fosse is rightly canonized - he's miles ahead of all that other Broadway crap, he's not even in the same galaxy. Sweet Charity, All That Jazz, Cabaret, the Lenny Bruce movie, his stuff was always eye-popping.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 1 June 2004 23:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Search: Li'l Abner. I mean it!

briania (briania), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 23:58 (eighteen years ago) link

After reading A Fosse biography, All That Jazz seems even more fucked up and brilliant.

tokyo rosemary (rosemary), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 01:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Let's face it, the whole concept of a musical is kind of silly - people don't often break into big production numbers in the middle of conversations

that's a common argument, and it makes absolutely no sense. people don't often band together to save earth from an invading alien attack force, and people don't often narrate their own lives after they've died, and yet no one complains that the whole concept of films or novels is silly.

search, in addition to many of those already mentioned: "damn yankees." insightful, hilarious and often risque songwriting, and damn near every melody is catchy as hell. and the story is about selling one's soul for the sole purpose of beating the new york yankees, which people in the real world should be doing as often as possible.

destroy like bad milk: "rent."

fact checking cuz (fcc), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 04:38 (eighteen years ago) link

otm, that is the stupidest argument ever

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 04:51 (eighteen years ago) link

See Meet Me in St. Louis!! It is totally insanely infectiously cheerful and insane, with Judy Garland's acting and the most blazing costumes and color filming I have seen anywhere. It has the "Clang clang clang went the trolley" song. Also, check this rumor from allmovie:

This is the film for which the director (Minnelli) resorted to telling a child actress (Margaret O'Brien) that her dog had been run over and killed, in order to get her to cry properly in the next scene to be shot.

Queen Electric Butt Prober BZZT!! BZZZZZT!! (Queen Electric Butt Prober BZZ), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 05:05 (eighteen years ago) link

I have a soft spot for On the Town, especially the tribal part in the museum of natural history.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 05:20 (eighteen years ago) link

I have a soft spot for musicals because they remind me of my childhood, when I was captivated by such things as the West Side Story soundtrack and Sound Of Music. There are many very well-written songs for musicals, and I've always respected that. I've often wished I knew more about musicals than I do, at least to the point that I could hear something and identify which production it came from.

Bimble (bimble), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 05:57 (eighteen years ago) link

I derive a squirmy kind of enjoyment from my "West Side Story" film soundtrack when I play it, maybe once a year. And I get a kick out of Norman Jewison's Jesus Christ Superstar,, just because the film's so nutty. (All those gleefully obvious anachronisms!) Mary Magdalene's and Judas Iscariot's songs are my favourites. Caiaphas' and the Pharisees' headgear has to be seen to be believed. The choreography's so silly and dated that it's irresistable. And, on occasion, it even rocks!

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Wednesday, 2 June 2004 06:58 (eighteen years ago) link

six years pass...

I decided 2011's New Yrz Rez is to watch musicals. One a week is what I am thinking would be a reasonable amount.

Stop Non-Erotic Cabaret (Abbbottt), Tuesday, 30 November 2010 23:40 (twelve years ago) link

I own/watch more musicals than any other film genre. (49 reasons my wife thinks I'm gay...) They're my go-to cinematic comfort food.

Knock yourself out!

http://www.musicals101.com/chronology.htm

The animal magnetism of Tim Pawlenty (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 1 December 2010 16:19 (eleven years ago) link

the sincerity of this scares me and threw me off what I thought It would be like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEh1EXSlwHY

owenf, Wednesday, 1 December 2010 17:24 (eleven years ago) link


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