September 2009 Archives

When I saw it, they played "I'm a Believer" at the curtain call.

Not by the Orchestra, mind you. By the audio system. Using the pre-recorded version.


So show of hands, who is going back this SHREKTEMBER just to watch poor Sutton Foster force a smile as she sings a Monkees song?
Ever see a play or musical that you particularly disliked and thought you were in an "Emperor's New Clothes" situation? E.g. some felt that the Coast of Utopia was this sort of thing--everyone but you believes that it's genius, that it's a fantastic piece of work. I didn't feel that way about Utopia (although in pieces here and there I did), but I found it pretty gratifying that Ben Brantley actually did agree with me about another recent production:
But by that time, you’ve started thinking that Mr. Sellars has written his own play about love and war, and that Shakespeare’s words mostly just get in the way.
Have you ever sat through an "Emperor's New Clothes" situation in theater? Did only you find it to be you who thought so, or did the general public or critics eventually agree with you, like Brantley did with me on this Othello?

Othello: Abridged

In case you were wondering whether you were missing out on the sold-out "off-broadway" production of the Philip Seymour Hoffman Othello....


(Click to read Othello Abridged)

broadwayforbrokepeople.com

In case you haven't seen it yet, I thought this was pretty clever.

Hope it gets updated fairly often, and I'd love to see an RSS feed of some sort on this!

Bakunin's Journal

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Our first marathon. This is the greatest house I have ever performed
in front of. People have flown in from all over the world. They are
ready. If I look up right now, I'll get a laugh. Watch:

See.
- Ethan Hawke, writing in Bakunin's Journal during The Coast Of Utopia.

Musical sequels we NEED

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As I originally commented on Spotlight Show And Stay:

MISS SAIGON 2: Kim and Chris’s son grows up and tries to find out about his parentage while getting caught up in a Second Vietnam War, discovering the truth about his penchant for expensive helicopters and a little lesson on how tasteful it is to perform in yellowface.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 2: The Jews of Anatevka move to Orange County, CA. Will Tevye win the surfboarding competition? Which of his remaining daughters will become movie stars? And what will Yente do for a living now? Also works as a television sitcom with added laugh track.

RENT 2: Everybody grows the hell up and gets a damn job.

I'm quite aware that this isn't new news. But I found this quote particularly interesting:
But Mr. Seller noted that, in postperformance conversations with friends and audience members, he was surprised by how many people had never seen “West Side Story,” with music by Leonard Bernstein, onstage or its film version and lacked a strong grasp of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which was the basis for the plot.“It means we have to work a little bit harder in making sure people understand the show better,” Mr. Seller said.
So let's get this straight. When deciding to do two full songs in Spanish, what you weighed was not the emotional impact or how well it would register or whether the audience would be bored to tears during these moments, effectively pulling them out of the world of the musical.
What you based the decision on was that everybody had already seen West Side Story and that it didn't matter if they understood the entire musical because everybody had seen it already. You're admitting that according to your logic, why not do the scene at the Gym in complete darkness? Or have every word said by the Lieutenant done in sign language only?

It's not like it matters whether people miss key plot points, because you only have to "work a little bit harder in making sure people understand the show better" if people don't come in already knowing the story.

See? Good storytelling isn't presenting a coherent story to an audience, it's just choosing material that the audience already knows! Good job, Señors.

RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Hey cast. Now you have to sing a Monkees song
SHREK THE MUSICAL ADDS THE HIT “I’M A BELIEVER” TO THE BROADWAY PRODUCTIONWhen I saw it, they played "I'm a…
Ben Brantley didn't like Othello either
Ever see a play or musical that you particularly disliked and thought you were in an "Emperor's New Clothes" situation?…
Othello: Abridged
THE PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN OTHELLO: ABRIDGED OR THE... PHILIP... SEYMOUR... HOFFMAN... OTH...ELL... ... O... From the "Broadway Abridged" Shorts…
Othello: Abridged
In case you were wondering whether you were missing out on the sold-out "off-broadway" production of the Philip Seymour Hoffman…

ITBA

RECENT COMMENTS

BROADWAY ABRIDGED LIVE! (THE CD)


Volume 1: Even More Musicals comedy album available for sale on iTunes/Amazon.