- that play where Nicole Kidman got naked
- Young Frankenstein....I left at intermission. I have never done that before.
- Starlight Express
- It wasn''t on Broadway, it was in London when I lived there as a teen.\
The play was so boring and I was so exhausted after walking around all day, I actually fell asleep about 15 minutes into the play. \
My friend woke me up after the play ended. He told me I didn''t miss much. \
The play had ''die'' in the title. "They Saw Him Die" or "Who Saw Him Die?" I don''t remember.
- I saw David Henry Hwang''s "Face Value" in its out of town tryout. There were about 100 people in the audience. It was sad. There were a couple of troupers in it, Mark Linn Baker and Jane Krakowski, for two. It limped on to Broadway and never officially opened after a week of previews.
- Applause back in 73 - the London production, by then Bacall was shreiking her lines and it was all so dumbed down - the worst version of a movie ever put on stage - no Addison, no Birdie, no Miss Casswell ... and the gay bar number was just excruciating !
- The Phantom of the Opera. Hands down.
- "Zorba!" with Anthony Quinn.
- SCREAMGIRLS. Overrated, over the top tripe with a one-note "actress" who knew only two styles of singing and acting: loud and louder.
- caroline or change. WTF.
- I would agree with Caroline or Change, horrible beyond belief but will add an old one, "Nick abd Nora" staring Joanna Gleason, who I love , and Barry Bostwick. Must have played a week.
- Jane Eyre
- Aspects of Love - a colossal bore.
- Scarlet Pimpernel #1 although I rather liked SP #2 with Rachel York and Rex Smith.%0D\
Twilight of the Golds (left at intermission)\
Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public (we may have stayed all the way through it)\
An awful revival of Uncle Vanya with James Fox at Circle in the Square.\
Also, that revival of Betrayal a few years ago with Liev Schrieber/Juliette Binoche was pretty awful.\
Off-Broadway, I once saw (half of) a Beckett Play where there was a sign on the auditorium door: spectators may not leave until intermission.
- "A Little Night Music"
- GREASE with Taylor Hicks.
- I''ll second quite a few of those already mentioned (Best Little...Goes Public was astonishingly bad) & add:\
Sex & Longing \
Jekyll & Hyde\
- out of the many horrid musicals I''ve seen, I would say:\
Shogun was the worst and Chu Chem a close second (there are a couple of exceptions, but generally Broadway musicals should stay the hell out of the far east!). \
r7, I agree that Applause is not a good show and is a poor adaptation of All About Eve. However, there is an Addison and a Birdie in the show. Both of whom are male in the musical, and Birdie is a gay male. On Broadway, the roles were played by Robert Mandan and Lee Roy Reams.
- Hands down PRYMATE. Somewhere around the moment where Victoria Newman from The Young & The Restless gave a handjob to a gorilla (played by Andre DeShields), you could just feel the audience crack apart into two segments: the amused and the offended.\
Second place goes to the first preview of DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES. So awful in oh so many ways. I actually had such a good/bad time, I got tickets for a friend and I to see it later in the run. Sadly, by then, they''d "fixed" it to the point where it was just dull.
- wow 17, A Little Night Music" is my favorite but I saw the original not the current version.
- Triumph Of Love, the musical. The set was magenta and neon green. Every time there was a blackout, you had to deal with an optical illusion.
- The Capeman
- "Gospel at Colonus" was awful!
- Charlotte. It was the sad moment of truth for the legend Ute Hagen had carefully crafted about herself. It closed on opening night, I believe. It should never have started previews. And if it was going to start previews, Miss Hagen should have learned her lines.%0D\
"Charlotte" was Hagen''s "Blonde in the Thunderbird" moment.%0D
- Obviously none of you ever saw the Joseph Brooks musical "In My Life". If you had seen it, then all of those titles mentioned above would look like winners compared to this dreadful musical.
- Yes, RENT! (The original Bway production.). Dishonest, smarmy, pandering, cheezy, packed with lies, homophobic, bland, and just embarrassing.\
And David Henry Hwang''s M. BUTTERFLY, also in it''s original Bway production, was wretchedly homophobic. I wanted to stand on the arms of my seat and boo at the curtain call.\
More recently, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was pretty awful. Though Norbert Leo Butz was sublime.
- The bf and I left the original Broadway production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at intermission because it was so dull, pretentious and unsexy. This is what happens sometimes when shows are so overrated.%0D\
Dance of the Vampires and Dracula (the musical) were easily two of the worst productions ever. Jaw-droppingly awful.%0D\
- That Edwin Drood thing.
- "Charlotte. It was the sad moment of truth for the legend Ute Hagen had carefully crafted about herself."%0D\
r28, I''ve studied with Uta Hagen and I have to say that I''ve never seen her give a good performance. Maybe it''s because I know her technique, but everytime I saw her perform, I knew what she was going to do before she did it. It was like she never actually became a living person.
- Worst for me: rent, a little night music, wicked, south pacific, les miz, mama mia \
Best for me: west side story, phantom, annie, cats, grease, jersey boys, a chorus line, fiddler on the roof, hairspray
- I guess you missed "Into the Light", R29.
- OH, CALCUTTA without a single doubt. I had a friend in the cast when it ran at the Edison Theater. It was excruciating!
- Play: A tie between "Taller Than a Dwarf" and "Speed-the-Plow"%0D\
- Worst play: Sex and Longing%0D\
Worst musical: Capeman
- High Fidelity. Is that what it''s called? The John Cusack movie made into a musical. %0D\
Thou Shalt Not, the musical written by Harry Connick Jr. and starring Craig Bierko.
- Off the top of my head I''d have to go with "Phantom of the Opera."
- r35, did Into the Light have as leading characters a musician with Tourette%E2%80%99s syndrome and a journalist with obsessive compulsive disorder?
- A tie: Taller than a Dwarf - Parker Posey was astoundingly awful, even for her,and The Green Bird - Julie Taymor''s first flop effort after Lion King.%0D\
I saw both of these on the same trip to NYC...
- Starlight Express (although perhaps the second Act was tremendous. I left at intermission). I still chuckle to myself when I remember how absurd and awful it was.
- r25, funny you should mention Triumph of Love. I''m one of those people who loved it, performances, set, music, and most of all, how funny it was, and couldn''t believe it was so badly received.
- That Joe Brooks musical with Jessica Boevers Bogart and Chris Hanke.. what was it called? In the Life? About all the dead angels.
- Oh God! I had forgotten THE CAPEMAN! Truly awful I didn''t think I''d ever get out of that theatre... I saw in over Thanksgiving when it was in previews. Truly bad and that little motorized bus LOL%0D\
Call me crazy but I rather liked THOU SHALT NOT%0D\
other than a slobbering stroke victim silent Debra Monk in Act Two. But yes, I did enjoy it.
- No, R41... but it did feature the Shroud of Turin, dancing priests and a laser show.
I could not stand it and would have left be I was taken by a friend as a "gift."
- Les Miserables - it was too long and very boring.
- Urban Cowboy. I use it and Lonnie as a Directing 101 exercise: your spouse of 20 years is dying, as was telegraphed by a not-too-subtle cough in the first scene. During a big power ballad between you and said spouse, he dies. Do you A) acknowledge the death...maybe by looking at the corpse on the stage, giving him a kiss goodbye, or even take a moment to stop singing and registering your loss, or B) do you move downstage center, leaving your dead spouse in your dust and modulate higher and belt louder.\
If you said B), congrats! You were directed by Lonnie Price!\
Worst play was Present Laughter at Roundabout due to Brooks Ashmanskas'' insufferably offensive performance.
- r7 again. I knew that in Applause Birdie is now Margo''s gay assistant, but he really had nothing to say or do apart from tell Lauren how fabulous she was. There were too many deletions and it all just sucked. I looked at it again the other day, the tv broadcast version - Ugh !
- The revival of STRANGE INTERLUDE starring Glenda Jackson was bizarre. It was dubbed STRANGE QUAALUDE.
- Oh yes! Everything with Glenda Jackson,, who turns out to be an Awful stage actress: STRANGE INTERLUDE, and also MACBETH with Jackson and Christopher Plummer, which was maybe the worst theater I''ve ever seen.\
Vanessa Redgrave is almost as bad onstage, by the way. ORPHEUS DESCENDING! The horror. The horror.
- Starlight Express is the only one I''ve walked out of.
- I said Caroline or Change. THREAD CLOSED.
- "Aida"-- loathesome. I left at intermission.\
"Urinetown"-- crap from beginning to end.\
And anything by Lloyd-Webber, except for "Sunset Blvd," which I kind of enjoyed.
- "Worst play was Present Laughter at Roundabout due to Brooks Ashmanskas'' insufferably offensive performance."\
That performance by Ashmanskas was the worst I have ever seen on any stage!
- Losing Louie
- Gospel at Colonus? I avoided it for years. Didn''t see it at BAM. Did not watch the TV broadcast. Did not see it in Paris when I was there.\
Then I ended up at the last performance on Broadway. One of the most moving things I have ever seen in the theater. Certainly the most moving thing I ever saw on Broadway.\
Maybe I should put this over in the BEST thread.
- Dance A Little Closer, which ws a musical version of Idiots Delight. Alan Jay Lerner no less.
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Didn''t understand one single word in the whole production and the music sucked.
- I saw a lot of out of town tryouts as a kid, and for me the 4.5 hour first preview of Timbucktu (!) takes the cake. Started at 8:30 and ended LATE. About 75 people out of 1500 or so (probably all comped like me) made it to the end. Melba Moore had a bad mike and it sounded like the Sweeney Todd factory whistle every time she sang. Nice clothes, though.\
Another was a musical called Spotlight starring Gene Barry. I real fiasco in every sense. \
I like the tryouts of Bakers Wife, Pacific Overtures and Carmelina. Thought all 3 would do better than they did. I was a teenager!\
Worst ON Broadway- Got Tu Go Disco. \
Recent Worst- Good Vibrations
- No mentions of Aspects of Love yet???
- My two weren''t on Broadway, but were out-of-town tryouts hoping for the Great White Way: Whistle Down the Wind in DC and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane: The Musical in Houston.%0D
- Over 60 replies and no mention of Cats?
- R62, I am so deeply jealous that you saw GOT TU GO DISCO!
- At the intermission of Whistle Down the Wind in DC I heard two little kids in the bathroom said "If they don''t stop playing the Jurrassic Park theme I''m gonna scream!!" Vaults of Heaven does sound just like it.\
Lloyd Webber dissed by 11 year olds who don''t even know they''re doing it!\
I liked Irene Molloy, though.
- I did not enjoy Stephen Sondheim''s ''Into the Woods''.
- Did anyone have the misfortune to see Mary Louise Parker (whom I normally love) as Hedda Gabler? OMG...talk about miscasting! Excruciating and lifeless.
- The revival of "West Side Story," which I saw in 2010. It was the worst. The inclusion of lines in Spanish didn''t work since they had the actors say lines in Spanish and then repeat the line in English. It came across as ridiculous.%0D\
They also had the actors put long, unnatural pauses between their lines, which was just bizarre. As a huge fan of "West Side Story" I was appalled.
- [quote] "Nick abd Nora" staring Joanna Gleason, who I love , and Barry Bostwick. Must have played a week.\
9 performances, to be exact (after 71 previews).\
Opened Dec 8, 1991 and closed on December 15, 1991.
- Parker could not have been worst than Kelly McGillis.
- Sorry, I spent the entirety of Act One of Aspects of Love trying to decide where I would get a pastrami sandwich after the show. Act two was spent ( from the front row of the mezzanine) wondering if I could hit cast members with a water balloon from my seat.
- Miss Saigon. Complete crap. The most emotionally engaging character was the helicopter.
- Tommy Tune in "Dr. Doolittle." I actually hoped most of the cast would drown when the ship broke apart. They survived.
- Saw Aspects in London. So wasn''t counting it for purposes of thread. Was horribly insulted by show - woman is so co-dependent that she will sleep with anyone with a pulse, even becoming a lesbian just because she finds herself in bed with her husband''s mistress? Her lovers are playing Goofy Gophers (she''d be better off with you, no I insist with you) while she''s standing there bleeding? Ugh. \
Frankenstein the musical is the worst off-broadway show I have seen and only one I''ve ever walked out on at intermission. When you''d rather work than see a show...
- 9 TO 5\
THE PIRATE QUEEN\
IMPRESIONNISM with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen was awful, but I guess no one here saw it.
- Does anyone remember Crazy He Calls Me with Polly Draper and Barry (Fame) Miller? %0D\
I didn''t think so. Was comped in on opening night....never a good sign. I don''t think it lasted a week.%0D\
- Via Galactica in 1972
- Once Upon a Mattress with Sarah Jessica Parker. %0D\
A little off-Broadway trifle turned into an over-inflated, over-directed and miscast tub of lard.
Mary Rodgers Guettel
- i wanted to walk out of that mess GRAND HOTEL, but was compelled by my theater-companion to stay until the end. It never got better.
- Patti Lupone in Gypsy.
- [quote]GREASE with Taylor Hicks%0D\
This made me laugh out loud. Really? Did someone lose a bet?
- [quote]This made me laugh out loud. Really? Did someone lose a bet?\
- Light in the Piazza -- laughably awful (though we''ve gotten years of laughs out of it, so maybe it was worth the price of admission)
- I think I have seen nearly every play/musical on the walls of Joe Allen''s, but "Prymate" has to be the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. It had no redeeming qualities. Even "In the Life" had dancing skeletons. I also saw "Moose Murders". I never understood how it moved from LA. It was both bad and offensive. The "Home Sweet Homer" with Yule Brynner and Joan Diener was pretty bad. I also agree with the person whi mentioned "Timbuktu" Oddly, some of the flops are looking pretty good to me compared to what I see on Broadway today. My memory of "King of Hearts" is that it was much better than most of the new stuff, but then what isn''t better than "Alice" and "Death takes a Holiday."
- Did anyone else see Charlie and Algernon, the musical version of Flowers for Algernon? It closed pretty quickly but I kinda liked it.
- R88, That is another musical that seems better in my memory than it probably was. The Little Prince and the Aviator however... And then there was Harold and Maude with Janet Gaynor. \
Did anyone see "The Freaking out of Stephanie Blake"?
Two hours of Baryshnikov on some monkey bars slowly turning into a bug, while people recite Kafka. No, scream Kafka.%0D\
I left that theater mentally damaged.
- Women on the Verge.%0D\
- Forgot about that one too R81. I saw it in previews. SJP just wasn''t funny.
- Oh, R75-- Dr. Dolittle that was awful! A friend who is a professional actor/director who has worked on both Broadway and in regional theatre went with me. Starlight Theatre which is outdoors. At intermission, we bolted it was that bad. Poor Dee Hoty! I hear she''s a nice gal but poor thing gets stuck in the biggest pieces of crap.
At least in the movie we get to look at Anthony Newley''s cute ass.
- The sad thing is that I saw the original Dr. Dolittle production in London long before it was ruined by Tommy Tune & company and I loved it.\
As a bonus we at least got the voice of Julie Andrews as Polynesia and Henson Creature Shop creations for the animals.
- Taller Than a Dwarf. We left before intermission. Unbelievable. Mathew Broderick was insufferable, but the play was the WORST!%0D\
Conversation with My Father. I thought I was in hell.
- What am I? Chopped liver?
Suzanne Somers, Mogul,
- Have to agree with r38 and others: worst play was "Sex and Longing." I ended my subscription to Lincoln Center Theater after that piece of garbage, feeling that the piece was produced mainly because they were all so cozy with Christopher Durang, and no one had the spine to tell him that the play was shit. \
Durang owes debts of Karma to Signourney Weaver, Dana Ivey and Boyd Gaines that can NEVER EVER be repaid in this lifetime.
- 9 to 5 was dreadful, even more so because what it could have been. \
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was awful too. I left at intermission. And I never do that.
- I left Rock of Ages during the first act. And I love that music but they ruined it.\
As already mentioned, The Capeman, Jane Eyre, and Urban Cowboy (left at intermission) were all horrible. Also, remember Street Corner Symphony? Horrible.\
Others: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The History Boys, Legally Blonde, and that Jackie Mason musical (can''t remember the name)
- MY family always went to shows when I was a kid and one was a play about a boxer called "Knockout" starring Danny Aiello. The claim to fame was they had a real boxing ring onstage. I was a kid and a FIT and I was like "what the fuck am I doing here when there is singing and dancing and chorus boys up and down this street". To this day I still have no idea why we weren''t seeing a musical.
Stone Phillips and his wife and friends sat in front of us and uncontrollably (but understandably) laughed through the most serious moments.
Donna Murphy''s blackheads
- r101, I wonder if you remember that the sexy young boxer in Knockout was Ed O''Neill?
- Not Broadway but LEGENDS with Mary Martin and Carol Channing was pretty bad. No wonder it didn''t go to Broadway although James Kirkwood''s bitchy book about the show is a fun read.
- [quote]Passion... Stone Phillips and his wife and friends sat in front of us and uncontrollably (but understandably) laughed through the most serious moments.by: Donna Murphy''s blackheads\
Ha, saw it right before it closed, and my friend and I were first upstairs and started talking to the Matrons and even they hated it. They couldn''t wait for it to close, and that meant they were out of work until a new show came in but they didn''t care.
- Yes PASSIONS was awful.
- "Deuce" with Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes. I fell asleep and was awoken when Angela screamed the line "Midge, SHE WAS A CUNT!"
- r6, thank you for reminding me of Hwang''s FACE VALUE, which I also saw in Boston. While I wouldn''t say it was the worst thing I''ve ever seen, it was pretty abysmal. It felt impossible to believe it was written by a respected playwright - the writing wasn''t even competent.
- Damn. I didn''t see "Passion" on Broadway but I saw the PBS broadcast. I really liked it. Maybe because I was familiar with the Italian movie it was based on....oh well.
- Would love to hear specific memories you have of MOOSE MURDERS, r87.
- Epic Proportions (with DL fav Kristin Chenoweth)\
In My Life\
The Blond in the Thunderbird\
Jay Johnson: The Two and Only
- The only good thing about PASSION on Broadway Marin Mazzie undraped and Jere Shea''s naked ass. You didn''t get that on PBS.
- Aspects of Love. Absolute chloroform.
- I saw LEGENDS with Martin & Channing at a sold out matinee in Boston with an audience of mostly older women.%0D\
The play was terrible, but every line the two stars said landed with the audience...not sure how often that happened, but it was wonderful to see and hear.%0D\
Kirkwood writes about that perforance in his book...it''s the one where Channing, annoyed with Martin, tries to get a ladies'' bus group to vote on Mary''s ''unprofessional'' behavior in breaking up at one point in the show & being unable to stop laughing.
- The Wedding Singer.\
Ugly, boring, tuneless and no fun. I was excited to see Amy Spanger but she was out, Laura Benanti had temporarily forgotten how to sing.
- Good Vibrations - And I love the Beach Boys. The songs just didn''t make sense where they put them.
- [quote]I''ve studied with Uta Hagen %0D\
You say that just because you read her book, right? Just like every other acting student?
- Dance of the Vampires which actually had a song that proclaimed that garlic makes you well hung!
- The Will Rogers Follies(just crap)\
Taller Than A Dwarf\
Joe Mantello''s revival of THE RITZ\
A Meeting By The River\
Into The Light (the shroud of Turin musical)\
The Kentucky Cycle\
The Herbal Bed\
- I also vote "Chu Chem". Wow, I''m so glad I was drunk when I saw it.
- Thank your lucky stars Rob Ashford''s flaming, campy, ludicrous version of "Streetcar" never made it here. The idiot Brits ate it up with a spoon, Rachel Weisz was embarrassingly awful.\
If it had made it to Broadway, it would have owned this thread.
- Mary Louise Parker as HEDDA GABLER probably gave the worst performance I''ve ever seen on Broadway.\
The pretentiousness of CAROLINE OR CHANGE was awful -- like a musical version of THE HELP... only the house-owners were Jews in Louisiana and the washing machine sings. That''s right, the washing machine actually was an actress standing on stage in the kitchen. And this by the creators of ANGELS IN AMERICA and VIOLET!\
As for play, I saw a dreadful play called THE APPLE DOEASN''T FALL -- a comedy about Alzheimer''s disease directed by that yuk-a-minute comedy expert Leonard Nimoy.
- Dracula, Vampire Lestat
- In NYC...%0D\
We Interrupt This Program%0D\
The Scarlett Pimpernel%0D\
Hamlet: The guy who was Horatio in the Mel Gibson version portrayed Shakespeare''s most famous protagonist. He got buck naked at one point and had a schlong as long as the play. Unfortunately, the schlong was the only thing interesting about the production.%0D\
Blood Brothers: The. Absolute. Worst.
- Maybe not the worst but it was up there. "The Night That Made America Famous". It was a musical revue about Harry Chapin. That should have clued me in. It was interesting because it made use of cameras and video screens but you couldn''t get away from Chapin''s horrible songs. It had three of the best voices I''ve ever heard on stage, Kelly Garrett, Delores Hall and Gilbert Price but even they couldn''t make his stuff sound bearable. Chapin had no charisma but his cute brother Tom did. He even had his father in the show.
- I love the fact that there are people who have been spared total crapfests have the luxury of a stellar musical like Caroline, Or Change being the worst thing they''ve ever seen on Broadway.
Of course, I saw it downtown while it was at the Public
- Cats. The usherettes at the back warbling the tunes added to general distress.
- Nefertiti in Chicago pre B''way tryout. The Queen Mother, the richest woman in the world came out in the second act with the same costume she wore in act 1!- cities were built, generations have come and gone and she is in the same purple dress. We screamed . And Andrea Marcovicci looked like Judy Collins without the guitar. Some good music though and a Grand staircase for the finale a la Carrie.%0D\
Another ancient musical Aida was pretty shitty too-turtlenecks in the desert??????
-  Saw Aspect of Love in London with the original cast and loved it. Saw it in New York and HATED it. The production values in NY were cheesy, cheap and sucked as did the talent. Can''t even call them actors.
The Woman In White\
Ring Of Fire\
Dance Of The Vampires\
The Pirate Queen\
But the winner is...Laughing Room Only with Jackie Mason
Gosh, you fellas have short memories.
- "You say that just because you read her book, right? Just like every other acting student?"%0D\
No, I actually went down to Bank Street every week and attended her class. %0D\
- Seeing shows all my life and I had never heard of JEANINE TESORI but in the documentary "ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway" they made her out to be some kind of legend but after hearing the awful tuneless music to "Caroline Or Change" and "Shrek, the Musical", I have no desire to hear any more. She''s a hack.
- "Over 60 replies and no mention of Cats?"\
[r65]... That''s exactly what I was thinking. Bloody awful
- CAROLINE OR CHANGE was a big musical turd. That poor bitch stuck on the moon....oofah.
- R131- Didn''t the original London cast of Aspects (Crumb, Ball, Colson, Rowe McAllen) do the show on Broadway for most of the less than a year run? \
The sets, costumes, lights were a reproduction as well. \
Who did you see? Sarah Brightman?
"and if you''re in the audience, then you''ll-sleep-too!"-Forbidden Broadway
- Yes, R139- same leads as London.I think the only new principal, not including the ensemble, was the girl Jenny played by Danielle duClos... whatever happened to her?
kcguy --Saw it in previews... didn''t hate the score.
- Caroline or Change. The unbearable pretense began with the title.
- anna karenina - the musical
- CATS - I knew a lot of people who loved it during its first few years, but I saw it on tour in an unsuitable venue and it was agonizing.\
STARLIGHT EXPRESS - It was CATS on wheels. \
LESTAT - If I hadn''t known someone in the cast, I wouldn''t have endured it twice (once during previews and once later to see if they''d managed to fix any of the many problems from the previews. They hadn''t. Actually, in some ways, they''d made it worse.) I felt bad for the entire cast, even people I didn''t know or like.
- I walked out of BABY at intermission....then walked out of STARLIGHT EXPRESS as well and, in a strange twist of fate, got offered a job working on the show in Las Vegas, took it, and worked on it for over 4 years. I know that sometime, somewhere, someone will offer me BABY in Paris and off I will go, tortured yet again....I never leave a show anymore, no matter how bad- and I cant believe that NO ONE has mentioned the recent production of THE THREEPENNY OPERA with Alan Cummings...sat thru the whole thing and 3/4 of the house left during the first act. I think Lady Bunny was in it..........
- Another vote for PRYMATE (totally wtf) and DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES (like a Diesel sample sale that exploded on stage).
- I really , really, really hated the musical by Edward Kleban, A CLASS ACT - something about his brain tumor or whatnot.
- God, I had forgotten about "We Interrupt This Program" - one of the worst shows in the history of theater.
- I can''t even remember the title, but it starred Denzel Washington, Paul Winfield, Ruby Dee and another actress. Godawful - I actually walked out BEFORE intermission.
- Wow. I''m getting PTSD remembering a lot of these shows. And I''ve suddenly recalled "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice," and "My Thing of Love," (poor Laurie Metcalf).
- Anyone curious about "Dance Of the Vampires", here is the first eight minutes, the lights take forever, the three girls song lovely and then it all goes to shit. That is Phantom''s Michael Crawford appearing at the end.
- R150, can''t get the link to work.
- I think it is worth noting that "Dance of the Vampires" is nothing like "Tanz de Vampire" I did not realize just what a train wreck it was backstage until I read the Wiki article. See below
- Sometimes it really does depend a lot on when during the run you see a show. I waited until the final months of the original Dreamgirls and La Cage and both were absolutely stinky. The actors in both shows didn''t seem to take anything very seriously. %0D\
OTOH I saw Caroline or Change in early previews at The Public not knowing a thing about the production and was very pleasantly surprised. A flawed show but an interesting failure from that early perspective. When I caught up with it again on Broadway, I was far less enchanted. %0D\
I know many of you will now flame me.
- "Urban Cowboy. I use it and Lonnie as a Directing 101 exercise: your spouse of 20 years is dying, as was telegraphed by a not-too-subtle cough in the first scene. During a big power ballad between you and said spouse, he dies. Do you A) acknowledge the death...maybe by looking at the corpse on the stage, giving him a kiss goodbye, or even take a moment to stop singing and registering your loss, or B) do you move downstage center, leaving your dead spouse in your dust and modulate higher and belt louder.\
If you said B), congrats! You were directed by Lonnie Price!"\
HA! Thank you, R50. Mind-boggling that this man has any sort of career as a director.
- Shows I hated:\
The Full Monty (I saw the national touring co. so maybe it was just a bad cast & production, as I know many loved it on B''way but I just hated it for the reasons someone above gave about Wedding Singer - ugly, tuneless, charmless, not funny, etc.)\
Strange Interlude (yes, that revival with Glenda Jackson; decades later, it makes me feel better I wasn''t the only one)
- "The revival of "West Side Story," which I saw in 2010. It was the worst. The inclusion of lines in Spanish didn''t work since they had the actors say lines in Spanish and then repeat the line in English. It came across as ridiculous.\
They also had the actors put long, unnatural pauses between their lines, which was just bizarre. As a huge fan of "West Side Story" I was appalled."\
So true. Arthur Laurents'' direction was truly appalling.
- this thread is tedious ... MHB nailed it with Caroline or Change. About 60 percent of you are just writing something you didn''t like which shows how self absorbed and illiterate you are. pay attention to the topic or go play somewhere else. you bore the rest of us.
The Red Shoes (in preview)
- May I just say that Uta Hagen is possibly the most overrated stage actor of all time, based on her egregiously show-iffy performance in MRS. KLEIN? Wow, she was indicating all over the place. She didn''t have a single real moment.\
And may I also say that Christopher Durang''s charm has always eluded me? I find him boring and obvious and sophomoric and unfunny. Ugh, that thing he wrote that was an alleged "parody" of Tennessee Williams, FOR WHOM THE SOUTHERN BELL TOLLS. . . no words can convey the horror. . .
- Wow, I meant "show-offy," not "-iffy," but now that I think about it, maybe I was conflating "show-offy" and "as-iffy," because she was both.
- My list has a lot of repeats from what has been previously posted. I''d like to add:\
Guys & Dolls (McAnuff Production)\
The Philanthropist \
All About Me\
Two hours of Baryshnikov on some monkey bars slowly turning into a bug, while people recite Kafka. No, scream Kafka."\
Played on the Paris stage by... Roman Polanski. An even bigger turd than the Baryshnikov version.
- Sorry here is the first eight minutes of "dance Of The Vampires".
- The bootleg tape of Dance of the Vampires is fun to watch.. cause I didn''t pay $125.00 plus renovation fees to see it.
- R150 Michael Crawford looked like the lucky charms cereal leprecaun... a lucky charms vampire that is.
- I sort of liked THE RED SHOES-- yes it was bad but being a fan of the movie, I had to see the musical. The Red Shoes ballet made it worth the effort. Just my opinion.
- Michael Crawford singing "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" with a bad Italian accent while the company literally turned around every time the words "turn around" were sung will forever remain one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. Book of Mormon has NOTHING on this moment.
- The Red Shoes would have been fine if they cut all of the songs and made it a play with music and dance, rather than a musical.
- The Red shoes--All of the songs were trunk songs. When I saw it, Victoria''s one solo had been cut. The music did not fit. I did like the one jazzy charlston production number.
- I was not a big fan of Into the Woods (OBC) but the Vanesa Wiliams revival really dumbed the show down even further and the casting was boring. Hard to believe that James Lapine directed and cast it.
- The Civil War was dreadful. Sondheim''s "play" Getting Away With Murder was really bad as well.
this thread is CLOSED
- Most of the awful shows I have seen have been mentioned. I would add that the Roundabout has a perfect record: Everything I have seen by them in the last 10 years has been terrible. \
Oh, nobody mentioned "Passing Strange," I thought it was excruciating.
- Original production of "Into the WOods" was terrific, the revival was not.
- You didn''t like PASSING STRANGE, R 173? But...but...but...the New York Times TOLD us to.
- I still have not recovered from Angela Lansbury''s revival of MAME in the early 80s. Made you wonder what all the fuss was about in the 60s. Some collective psychosis over an eye-popping, indicating, middle-aged gargoyle who was supposed to be oh-so-madcap and fancy free?%0D\
Ludicrous. I preferred Lucy''s fiasco to this abomination.
- Lestat. I can''t believe I went. At least it was free.
- The Gershwins'' Fascinating Rhythm.\
Terrible. Just horrible. I took out-of-town guests to it. We still laugh about it to this day.
- Brooklyn. \
I would have left at intermission, but it was one boring act.
- Speed the Plow (with Madonna)- The revival with Jeremy Piven was good but Madonna and Mamet were one deadly combo.%0D\
Rent - walked out, horrible, why did this run for years?%0D\
Fela - one of those shows where they make you dance, oh God. It didn''t help that I hated the Fela''s music.
- Something called "Forever Tango"...the only show I ever left at intermission. I thought it was a play and it was interpretations of different tangos but no dialogue. just awful...%0D\
Second worst was The Philanthropist a couple of years ago. I didn''t understand what the play was about.
- I''m so happy nobody mentioned my performance in "Carrie: The Musical"!
- I saw a production of The Chairs back in the 90''s that was so fucking awful and boring - absurdist theater is possibly the worst genre for me. Also, and off-broadway production of Happy Days with Lea Delaria is included in my worst-of theater experiences.
- "I still have not recovered from Angela Lansbury''s revival of MAME in the early 80s. Made you wonder what all the fuss was about in the 60s. Some collective psychosis over an eye-popping, indicating, middle-aged gargoyle who was supposed to be oh-so-madcap and fancy free? Ludicrous. I preferred Lucy''s fiasco to this abomination."\
If you weren''t allowed to post anonymously, you would never have written this. Your opinion is what''s "ludicrous."
To those who hate and deride The Light In The Piazza, Caroline or Change and Jeanine Tesori:%0D\
You are my sisters and I love you all for your impeccable taste and intelligence.
- Tango Masculino, at the dreaded Wings theater. (Okay, far from Broadway, but...)%0D\
A homoerotic tango play, with musical commentary provided by a couple of singers positioned at music stands at one side of the stage. He wore a tux, she looked like Elaine Benes without the bust to fill out her flashy red dress. The lyrics were things like "...dancing the TANGO...of MEEEEEEEEEEEN!" %0D\
- Let''s walk, r185.
- Ooh, I''d forgotten about Passing Strange... %0D\
Hated, hated, hated that show. Wanted to slap that fat fuck back to Berlin.
- "Taller Than a Dwarf"?!?!?!?\
Say it ain''t so!\
I loved it - because Matthew Broderick was in his underwear most of the time and I have a GREAT seat. ;)
- R184, that was the prevailing opinion about the revival which was a huge flop. Even Lansbury said that time had passed "Mame" by and she refused to do it as a made for TV movie, even though Herman begged her to do it. They did video the revival and it does look sad. Lansbury looked like she was ready to die from exhaustion midway through the second act. And WTF was Jane Connell doing in it again? When we saw she was pregnant, it was more Agnes of God than Agnes Gooch.
- Avenue Q looks tortuous. I don''t go to Bway because most of it sucks and is cornball!
- "Death Takes A Holiday," the musical, has to be high on the list!
- Jumpers and anything written by Stoppard
- [quote]Dance A Little Closer, which ws a musical version of Idiots Delight. Alan Jay Lerner no less.\
Nicknamed "Close a Little Faster."\
There was some godawful off-Broadway drek about Che Guevara a few years ago that I would have walked out of, except my friends bought the tickets.\
The worst performance I ever saw was of the umpteenth Yul Brynner revival of "The King and I" with Constance Towers. The staging of "Shall We Dance" was fuckingly idiotic with a huge settee front and center that they had to maneuver around, thus killing the moment. Plus Yul and Connie were in total goof-off mode that day, joking with each other and basically blowing the performance off. I know it was a Sunday matinee, but the customers'' money was still green and we sure as shit didn''t get what we paid for.
- Stew is a phenomenal songwriter, a fact that is clearly lost on some of you geriatric theatuh bitches.
- Stew''s only future is in a stage version of ''song of the south.
- As bad as IN MY LIFE was, at least I laughed. DRACULA was like watching a very slow screen saver. I couldn''t wait to get out at intermission and I wasn''t alone. Half of the cast was understudies.
- Stew''s songs suck and so did the musical.
- [quote]I saw a production of The Chairs back in the 90''s that was so fucking awful and boring - absurdist theater is possibly the worst genre for me. Also, and off-broadway production of Happy Days with Lea Delaria is included in my worst-of theater experiences.%0D\
Oh God. I saw BOTH of those. Happy Days at CSDC was where there was a sign on the door asking the patrons not to leave until intermission.
- I was in Caroline, or Change and can safely say that though it may not be your cup of tea, it is in fact a quite beautiful, and heartbreaking show. Perhaps it revealed its full soul to me over the course of the run. With most shows, familiarity breeds contempt. Not this one.
- Titanic was far and away the worst for me. And I''m a Titanic buff, so it should have been an easy sell. The set was great, but there was not one memorable song in the entire musical. And I got free tickets, so my expectations were very low.\
This one might not count, but I''m going to list Smokey Joe''s Cafe. I got dragged to it when my mother came to town. I had no idea what it was about, but I thought it would have some kind of storyline. Wrong! It was like watching the world''s most boring episode of Solid Gold. I blame it for kicking off the trend of these horrible nostalgia-based music revues.
- I am with R200. I also really enjoyed Caroline, or Change. But I admit frankly that I am bored by the traditional musical. I hated Wicked, Millie, and the Producers. Just the commercials for 42nd Street make me cringe. \
My taste runs more to the off-kilter/ Off-Broadway sort of thing. I enjoyed August: Osage County, Cromer''s Our Town, Sleep No More, and Dreamgirls.\
The worst show I saw on Broadway was surely The Blond in the Thunderbird. I was comped tickets, and still regret wasting two hours of my life.\
I look forward to a new version of "Annie" where all the children die.
- All of them.
- R203 summarizes this thread quite well.
- The Look of Love - awful, ugly and pointless
- I don''t go to a lot of theatre in NYC anymore because it is really not very good- I''m sure other plays than the two that come to mind below are worse:%0D\
Aida: could not believe how awful, only went and only stayed because I was a guest. Elton John''s worst professional effort, for being part of it.%0D\
Rent: Same terible male lead as above- a mess and not one original or non cliche bit in the play''s miserable bastardization of La Boheme. One decent tune is not enough to make up for what I though was one big rip off of muscial theatre. My guess is that most of those who like it had never seen Hair, or Chorus Line and had no idea how the story of La Boheme was turned into a trite emotional manipulation for teenage girls.
- RENT -- I kept looking around at other audience members, searching for people who might join me in attacking the stage and punishing the cast.
- I've seen some wonderful Bway productions, but I also have seen quite a it of dreck. Here's the ones that stand out most:%0D
Absolutely Worst Production of All Time:%0D
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?" ... if memory serves, this was Joe Montello's first shot at directing on Bway. It should have killed his career. Everything he has directed has been complete crap, but this was this was unbelievably painful. Its a "comedy" about a dead mother (Faith Prince) who comes back to haunt her family. Not at all funny and nothing was authentic (apparently neither Joe Montello nor writer David Marguiles ever met a Jewish persom from NY).%0D
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. I was in physical pain. The score was so horrific, it brought on an epileptic seizure. And I don't have epilepsy. This is no exaggeration ... Betty Buckley's "singing" voice brought on the worst migraine headache I've had in 45 years. I had to stay in bed in a pitch-black room for 3 or 4 days and considered going to the emergency room.%0D
ON THE WATERFRONT - Ron Eldard gave a *brilliant* performance in one of the worst Bway plays of all time. Everything else about this was a train wreck. Its a shame, in a better production he would have been guaranteed a Tony.%0D
FOOTLOOSE - All around awful, but one highlight was that while the actress was singing, "Let's Here it for the Boy" she was rolling her eyes with boredom and SCRATCHING HER ASS as she wandered around the stage belting off-key.%0D
BIG - The lead actor did not understand that he was playing a 13-year old boy trapped in a grown man's body. He played the kid as if he was severaly mentally retarded ... drool and everything.%0D
45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY - I couldn't walk out because my good friend was in it. This is point where they should have taken Neil Simon's typewriter away. It was about a group of extremeley boring people at the extremely boring Edison Cafe who talk about absolutely nothing and do absolutely nothing ... for about 18 hours, it seemed.%0D
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER - Sondheim should have been very embarased by this who-dunnit with a completely ridiculous plot. Someone is murdered and they all agree to not leave the room until they figure out who among them did it ... and yet, nobody thinks to call the cops???%0D
Worst Performance in Broadway History:%0D
Jerry Orbach in 42ND STREET. Yes, this was a matinee and I think this was performance #8,157 for him ... but it was the most unprofessional "walk through performance" I've ever seen. For a while I worried that he may have actually passed away during Act I and none of his costars noticed.%0D
- HOT FEET! Ouch! My feets are HOT!
- [quote]My taste runs more to the off-kilter/ Off-Broadway sort of thing. I enjoyed ... Dreamgirls.%0D\
Oh, Mary, take a pill.
- [quote] Avenue Q looks tortuous.\
- Tortuous is actually the correct word. %0D\
- [italic]Torturous[/italic] is the word you''re looking for. Oh, DEARIE-dear.
- Bengal Tiger in a Baghdad Zoo.%0D\
Pretensioua is the kindest thing to say about it..%0D\
The critics fELL all over themseles. The audience was bored out of their minds.%0D\
- tortuous: marked by repeated twists, bends or turns; marked by devious or indeirect tactic; circuitous, involved.
- All of them.\
by: Anonymous\\treply 203\\t\
Obviously this thread is only made interesting by people who have seen and appreciate theater, good and bad. The more obscure, the better.
- Grease. Many years ago I saw it when Rosie O''Donnell was Rizzo. Painful!
- STARLIGHT EXPRESS - the only reason I remember it at all is because it''s the worst show I''ve ever seen.%0D\
- r200 - I''m glad you have happy memories of doing the show, but it was a MESS.\
Singing washing machines? Singing busses? Really!\
Tonya Pinkins playing "angry" for 2 1/2 hours while she blows out her voice in previews and never recovers (see 1:56 of the attached TONY award clip where she is both flat AND cracks -- and I don''t mean with emotion). The most embarrassing performance I may have ever seen.\
Watch the documentary SHOW BUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY and you can see Jeannine Tessori and Tony Kushner plunking away on a piano, trying to GUESS what they should do to fix a song.\
- That SHOW BUSINESS doc is really interesting. Lots of behind the scenes development stuff on Taboo, Wicked, and Avenue Q.%0D\
Is that the film where Boy George says he''s going to punch Michael Riedl in the face? Loved that.
- Still Life starring Sarah Paulson. She was so shrewish and voice so shrill I had several drinks after. When I walk by that theater I still hear her voice. It was off-broadway.
- THE TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS. Ugh. And it was even gay themed!
- r 220: Has Pinkins done anything since? CAROLINE OR CHANGE pretty much destroyed her voice with that leaden cord-shredder "Lot''s Wife".%0D\
Her one-note "All Sullen, ALL THE TIME" performance got tiresome REAL fast. I wanted to scream, "Honey, do something nice for yourself. Go down to the drug-store and get a sundae or something!"
- Caroline or Change. Awful. Pretenious. Singing appliances. Bitch, please.
- Tonya Pinkins just finished a successful run as The Countess Rosillion in All''s Well That Ends Well and Mistress Overdone in Measure For Measure at the Delacorte in Central Park. She didn''t have to sing a note.
- Chess - boring piece of shit put me to sleep.%0D\
I can''t believe I''m the first person to nominate Is There Life After High School?%0D\
Blythe Danner''s Streetcar..
- Night Mother with Edie Falco and Brenda Blethyn was the most excruciating night I ever spent in the Broadway theater.
- Anthropomorphism is a well-used literary/imaginative device that seems to have you anti Caroline types up in arms. Relax, breathe, and consider that Kushner and Tesori are writers who understand their craft. Perhaps you didn''t care for it, but that does not mean Caroline is bad art.
- Just because something is a well-used literary/imaginative device does not mean it was well-used in CAROLINE. %0D\
Perhaps they should have interpolated "I''m a little teapot, short and stout".
And yes, it was bad art
- I''m with R1, the Blue Room with naked Nicole. Close second is Closer.
- Musicals: Jeckyll and Hyde (Applaud for my modulations NOW, tourists!!!)\
Dance of the Vampires (Laughably bad--actually enjoyed it)\
Mamma Mia (just....no. And please close, for the love of christ)\
Legally Blonde (excruciating--Laura Bell Bundy is void of any charm)\
Play: Invention of Love (cannot and will not see any other Stoppard plays because of this snooze-fest)
- If you think Invention of Love was bad you should try sitting through some of his plays WITHOUT gay characters: The Coast of Utopia (all 3 parts!), Rock and Roll, Arcadia, Jumpers, etc. %0D\
Boring and impenetrable!
- Tesori sux. You think she has craft? Puh-leeze.
Did you see Shrek?
Caroline is like aural AIDS.
Passing Strange is the worst thing ever.
Oops, I forgot about Addams Family.
- Pia Zadora in "Funny Girl" in Long Beach and, no, it's not Broadway and, no, I'm not kidding. Imagine what looks like a 12 year old drawfed in a mink standing before a mirror and saying "Hello, Gorgeous." And it gets worse from there.
Runner-up, also in L.A.: A touring company of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" with Glenda Jackson, John Lithgow, Cynthia Nixon and Brian Kerwin that played like a bad sitcom. I wanted to weep. Instead I just left after forty five minutes.
- R237, I was involved in a show in NY that was auditioning actresses, and one of them had been in the Zadora production of Funny Girl. We asked her about it, and she said "you mean....Girl?" We hired her.
- The People in the Picture. Absolutely no redeeming qualities. At least I laughed my ass off at In My Life!
- What, no mention of SPIDERMAN!?!
Thanks so much for that link to "Dance of the Vampires". I saw that in previews and thank God that ticket was free. What a hilarious mess.
That Alan Turing play at Circle in the Square. "Democracy", which put me to sleep even as we sat in the first row!
I saw the original "La Bete", which had its share of problems, but it wasn't the overrated, lifeless evening that the recent revival was.
I worked on "Dance A Little Closer" and the "Octette Bridge Club", as well as "Agnes of God"...which weren't good shows, either.
This thread alone is worth the $18 I paid.
SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME
- Bye Bye Birdie
- Too many to list... but here are some of the lowest low-lights from the many years I've been theater-going (admittedly, a few were off or pre-Broadway turkeys, or London bombs):
Breakfast at Tiffany's
A Broadway Musical
A Change in the Heir
Dance of the Vampires
The Fig Leaves are Falling
Here's Where I Belong
Home Sweet Homer
Into the Light
Lolita, My Love
Look to the Lilies
Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen
A Mother's Kisses
Nowhere To Go But Up
Prince of Central Park
Rachael Lily Rosenbloom
Say Hello To Harvey
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Welcome to the Club
Wild and Wonderful
- Wow, R243. You've seen some turkeys.
Was Bette Davis in "Miss Moffat" when you saw it?
- In a manner of speaking she was, R244; that is if one accepted her performance as a characterization, as opposed to a badly wrought [italic]star turn[/italic].
Had [italic]Forbidden Broadway[/italic] been around at the time, an even half-way decent impression of Davis' Moffat would have been its seasons sensation.
Unfortunately, Davis was so bad as Miss M, the sub-mediocre show didn't stand a chance with her. On the other hand, I guess it's fair to say [italic]Miss Moffat[/italic] would never have been mounted at all without her.
- Oh, I've seen some dillies.
1. BRING BACK BIRDIE. Saw it in previews and...well...there are no words. As we were leaving, some theatre queen behind me said "I can't believe Chita would put up with this shit."
2. LEGS DIAMOND. Saw the last performance evah. When Peter Allen had some line like "only critics can kill a show...", the audience erupted in applause and laughter. He broke the 4th wall, looked out in the house, shrugged, and smirked.
3. THE FIVE O'CLOCK GIRL. I think this was a transfer from Goodspeed. Oi vey. Remember that montage in FUNNY LADY when the show fell apart...and I mean physically fell apart as in scenery flying, etc.? That's exactly what happened. Things were falling out of the sky.
- [italic]Bring Back Birdie[/italic] was (aside from a woefully few classic Chita moments) awful, R246! Have you ever figured out how that Hari Krishna crappola was meant to fit in?
Am I the only person who found [italic]Legs Diamond[/italic] reasonably entertaining?
To this day I believe the lion's share of the poisonous word-of-mouth was an orchestrated scheme designed to slap the wrists of a few "faggot upstarts" for daring to try an "out-of towner" invasion of Broadway without lining the pockets of the usual suspects.
Keep in mind, [italic]Legs'[/italic] was the season of [italic]Canciones de mi Padre, Kenny Loggins on Broadway, Joan Jett and the Black Hearts on Broadway[/italic] and [italic]Barry Manilow at the Gershwin[/italic], not to mention far more ghastly book-shows such as [italic]Chu Chem, Welcome to the Club, & Starmites[/italic] and the, in my humble opinion, ludicrously over touted dreck, [italic]Jerome Robbins' Broadway[/italic].
- Murray Schisgal's "An American Millionaire" with Paul Sorvino.
- Meet Me in Saint Louis was pretty horrible as was the musical of Little Women with Sutton Foster. And I hated Phantom of the Opera. On the other hand, Caroline or Change is one of the best things I've seen. And I loved a Light in the Piazza.
- their is nothing bad on broadway, evryone is so nice and werks so Hard and I meat them all at the braodweigh cares flea markett and they let me tayke pIctuers of theM all
- Zoot Suit. And I knew someone in the cast and we went backstage and had to congratulate her and lie about how bad it wasn't.
- I agree with R20's list: Sex & Longing, Jekyll & Hyde, Mamma Mia!
There are so many I could add, but for now I'll limit myself to BABY, IT'S YOU. One of the worst ever.
Also, wait...I have to add IN MY LIFE, the craptastic musical flop by the despicable (and now deceased) Joe Brooks.
- "Next Fall" What a piece of pretentious shit, filled with loathsome characters that the "playwright" exploits for sub-soap-opera-level melodrama. If it had appeared on Broadway in 1965, it would have been groundbreaking
- And who could forget the numbing A Catered Affair?
- I'll add my vote to "Rent"...the oh-so-hipness of it turned me off, coupled with the trite characters. I couldn't wait for this to end.
I was also very disappointed in "Billy Elliot." Dancing dresses, big Margaret Thatcher puppets, endless police and military raids and attacks...this show had none of the warmth and sweetness of the film.
- What was wrong with "Women on the Verge"?
It sounded like a fun idea!
- Ya know, Women on the Verge was great...except for the forgettable score! Great sets, great script, great idea... it should have been a hit. The music was boring.
- The revival of THE RITZ. GOD AWFUL from beginning to end
Left both at intermission. Well, actually, Doctor Jazz had no intermission we just got up and left.
Oh I almost forgot... PASSION! I wanted to blow my brains out
- r243 is a liar!! No one is lucky enough to have seen all those great flops. NO ONE!
- Lola Falana was in Doctor Jazz. She should have done Velma in "Chicago." Actually, Joey Heatherton should have also done Roxie and then we would have had Lola Heatherton.
- In the 90s, nothing beat Betty's "Triumph of Love" and that ugly, green styrofoam green set that went with it.
Recently, "Wonderland" had to be the biggest piece of shit I've seen in a long, long, long time.
- Saw "The Pirate Queen" during pre-Broadway performances and walked out at the intermission. Hard to stay even that long. Boring, tuneless, pointless. And these guys wrote "Miss Saigon" and "Les Miz"?
- Jekyll and Hyde. The worst I've ever seen. The producers sent in previews around the country before it went to Broadway.
It was actually kind of fun, because first it was laughably awful, and second it starred Linda Eder. I had no idea who she was, but she was fabulous.
As I recall, Eder is singing a plaintive ballad in a white costume on a white bed. Then, wham! Mr. Hyde jumps in and stabs her to death. Lots of blood on all that white.
I called it The Little Mermaid Meets Richard Speck, and was shocked when it became a hit.
- My favorite moment in TRIUMPH OF LOVE was Ms. Buckley painfully shrieking out a high C sharp or something at the end of a song called (swear to God) "Serenity". Was there no one around to point out the irony?
- Swing! was community theater writ large.
Glad Laura Benanti found her footing after that.
- Tossup between The Scarlett Pimpernel and Jekyl & Hyde. I'll just say anything with music written by Frank Wildhorn and leave it at that.
- r264, Serenity is intended to be ironic!
Hesione is no longer feeling serene about her life of cloistered isolation and study having now fallen in love with Leonide disguised as Aspasie.
That point is quite clearly explored in the dramatic non-tranquil scoring of the song and in its congruous lyric. The last line of the song could not be plainer:
And suddenly, Serenity,
Is merely a word I heard somewhere.
- "Was there no one to point out the irony?"
There was no one who wasn't aware of it, except that you seemed to think you were the only one perceived it.
Obviously, you didn't perceive anything else about what was going on in terms of the plot, theme or action of the show or how that irony related to it.
- Triumph of Love opened the same week as Side Show.
The former was a work of art that would probably have been a huge hit off-Broadway.
The latter was a vulgar piece of crap.
- If those are the lyrics R267/R268/R269, then you're right; I missed the point. Or I couldn't hear the lyrics through BB's wildly out-of-tune braying or her queeny fans squealing through the whole song. Or maybe the set was so headache-inducing, I was made ill. I don't know. I just remember being horribly annoyed by the mini-spectacle of it all. Awful, awful, awful show. Sorry you felt compelled to defend it three times.
You're right about SIDE SHOW being bad. Though, I'd argue it should have been MORE vulgar. Or at least more...um...freaky.
- I would say (I go back to the 80's):
Oh, Calcutta (wasn't even dirty fun!)
Harrigan and Hart (5 perfs.; Mark Hamill trying to sing and dance; Harry Groener; Christine Ebersole (at one point, her character got her face slapped; I think I applauded! fucking cunt)
Sleight of Hand (play) again Harry Groener; one perf. which I didn't see, he accidentally stabbed costar the lovely and talented (joke!) Jennifer Grant (daughter of Cary) in the throat; she recovered but was replaced while in the hospital. Showbiz is cold, kids. At least show closed shortly.
And (can't remember name, aaaack!): the musical version of well-known film - satiric - bruce dern, annette o'toole, about a beauty pageant. Musical version by Marvin Hamlisch; a rare misfire. A friend worked the show so I had a free ticket but could barely stand to stay.
(But I never saw Moose Murders, alas!)
- I enjoyed Triumph of Love and I found Betty wonderfully amusing.
- Smile, R271
- The worst play I saw on Broadway was called "Stages.". At one point one of the actors turned to the lead and said, "You are so boring!" whereupon someone in the audience shouted "So is this play!"
The worst musical was "The News". We left before the intermission.
- R271, that was "Smile", a great, forgotten movie.
- Dance of the Vampires - it sucked!
Indescretions - left after the second act. Waited to see a nude Jude Law!
The Real Thing - should have been called The Real Bore
- You can tell that this is a gay thread...musicals, and contempt for "serious" theater. Mary, it takes a fairy.
- Triumph of Love was a show with a lot of potential when it opened in Baltimore. The songs didn't land as well as they could have and the supporting cast was terrible. But the book and the leads were terrific. So they trimmed the book, made the songs land and replaced everyone but Susan Egan and Chris Sieber. The new supporting cast was a big improvement but everything else was a big mistake. The biggest mistake was replacing the brilliant Mary Beth Piel with the unfunny Buckley.
- "Judy Garland at the Palace," 1967. The night I saw her, Judy had very little voice left. To be fair, I did see Garland once more before she died & had the opposite reaction.
- Great thread! Glad to see it return.
Does anyone remember off-Broadway's Below the Belt with Judd Hirsh and Robert Sean Leonard as some sort of futuristic office workers?
- Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land," with Jason Robards and Christopher Plummer, at the Roundabout, early '90s.
Superb cast, boring play. Torture to sit through it.
- I remember being unimpressed with the Scarlet Pimpernel but Mamma Mia was the worst. I actually love ABBA music but that show is so cheesy. My sister and I caught the giggles and were desperately trying to keep from laughing out loud at the wrong parts.
- r271, point well taken. I do love Triumph of Love, and I certainly did lay it on thick with my three posts. I also happen to like Buckley, and her braying - although I would love to have seen Michelle Pawk, who I understand was wonderful and I doubt brayed.
I agree with you that Side Show should have been more Todd Duncan style freaky. In fact I think it would have not been vulgar if it had not been concerned so much with avoiding bad taste and being a didactic, obvious call to examine just who are the freaks - the audience of the circus freaks. Still, Ripley and Skinner were wonderful.
- Drowning Crow.
My friend and I were two of a small population of people of color in the theater, and we had to get out of there at intermission.
All the white people around us looked at us like "wait, I'm supposed to think this is interesting. Why are THEY leaving?"
My friend made a comment about not paying the CP tax on this one and I could hear the people in our row asking "What's the CP tax?"
Awful night at the theater.
- Dreamgirls, in Chicago.
- Bobby Longbottom should never have been allowed to direct again after his miserable conceptualizations of Side Show and Scarlet Pimpernel II.
The cast of Bye, Bye Birdie
- "Woman of the Year" with Lauren Bacall.
- "Carrie" -- it was fabulously awful
- OK--some of you bitches have obviously named shows that got critical praise just to provoke those of us who may have liked them. And some of you just didn't like them.
But thanks for reminding me of true bombs like Crazy He Calls Me and Dance of the Vampires.
Here's one that hasn't come up: Zoya's Apartment at Circle in the Square Broadway. Nothing I have seen since has matched it.
- Triumph of Loathe - so bad the stage looked like it threw up.
Caroline or Change - as pretentious as the title. The Times has convinced Kushner that everything he writes is "IMPORTANT."
Urinetown - the only time I've ever walked out of an opening night (I did wait until intermission)
Dance of the Vampires - unbelievably bad and the star looked like an overstuffed thanksgiving turkey.
Amour - unfortunately it was in English.
- Fields of Ambrosia in London, starring Joel Higgins from SILVER SPOONS. At least it was unintentionally hilarious.
- This is a thread where DL's eldergays can really shine.
(That is a compliment.)
- Ah! The Fields of Ambrosia/Where ev'ryone knows ya. Classic. And let's please add METROPOLIS, WHICH WITCH, LEONARDO, NAPOLEON and a gazillion others to the list.
London has it all over Broadway when it comes to classic flops. Probably because the economics of the West End allows for more vanity productions ala Joe Brooks's IN MY LIFE.
And R283, you're right on the money about SIDE SHOW being vulgar BECAUSE it tried to avoid bad taste. That's it exactly. What a wasted opportunity.
- Longbottom's BYE BYE BIRDIE was awful. A leading lady who could not dance, a leading man who could not sing, a Bill Erwin whose acting choices (KEEEDS!) chewed up the scenery, the seats, the lobby, the street outside the Sondheim Theatre, an unappealing Kim MacAfee, underaged kids in the chorus and families that dressed in coordinating colors.. there goes the 'blue' family, say hi to the 'green' family.. hello, 'yellow' clan!
The appeal of BBB has always been chorus guys and gals playing YOUNGER, not the other way around. It was a GLEE inspired mess.
But Noland Gerald Funk (Birdie) did fill out his pants nicely.
Let's cut the Shriner's ballet while we are at.. it's degrading!
-  When I saw Aspects of Love in NY, the cast was mostly American, the "sets" were most drapes, and, I'm not sure if the sound system was bad, but the sound was tinny and the singers were very nasally. It was like the orchestra had been greatly scaled down. Really annoying.
- WEHT Nolan Gerard Funk?
dramedy... I am fat
Natasha Richardson's Streetcar
These are the only two productions I ever walked out of at intermission.
- ON A CLEAR DAY with Harry. Just awful.
bumpin this thread.
- Anything with Sarah Paulson in it.
- Rent and Aida- had the same male star too.
Would have walked out of Aida if I could- but I was someones guest. Rent at least was laughable- so silly, so much a copy of Chorus Line and Hair, built around a Disneyfied version of La Boheme with that horrible male lead rasping out overbaked ballad, voice fading as the night went on. Awful. Aida was so bad as to be a bit funny in places.
- I just reread this thread, and am inspired by the truly AWFUL shows I have seen among the many nominees!
The worst shows often are the ones you actually expect to like based on other people's reviews, or their general popularity, so I will get to those first-
Rent - OHMYGAWD what crap! Inauthentic, loud and hateful. I can never wrap my head around its popularity!
Miss Saigon- boring as shit
Phantom of the Opera- same
Les Miz- same
Passion- I still can't believe its pure derivative awfulness. Beyond laughable. before the NY Times told everyone it was a hit, they fled the theater in droves. Unbearable.
Then there are the plain old flops that should never have been mounted-
Starlight Express- the loudest show I have ever sat through.
Roza (Don't get me started, don't even get me started!)
Nick & Nora
Chess (I thought I'd never get out alive!)
My Thing of Love- Poor Laurie Metcalfe indeed!
What's Wrong With This Picture?- An accidental incest comedy! So cringe worthy, I wanted to claw my eyes and ears out! I cannot believe Joe Mantello has ever directed again. there was another accidental incest comedy off Broadway starring Elizabeth Ashley and Jeff Whitty (author of Avenue Q- he used to act), it was so painful I had to flee after, rather than congratulate my friend in it.
Hurlyburly- The worst case of "The Emperor's New Clothes" I have ever seen. Irredeemably bad and boring. See "A Lie of the Mind"" for first runner up!
Wicked- So boring and shitty, I am in awe of its ability to not start riots. Pure dreck. Amazing!
Other Desert Cities- Mantello again directing a lousy play with huge hammy senseless performances and getting away with it. What gives?
Young Frankenstein- the dullest show I have ever seen. Runner up, Mary Poppins. Ugh!
Thoroughly Modern Millie- way too long and super boring.
Falsettos- Ugh! Pure Jewish-kitsch. So embarrassing for all involved. I hate this treacly kind of emotional crap.
Just to end on a scary note, Neil Simon's "Jake's Women" still haunts me for its amateurish, hideous, awfulness. I can't believe the patrons didn't throw rocks, and broken bottles at the stage.
The final "before the grave" revivals of My Fair Lady and The King and I with original stars. So moribund, and deadly, I felt half dead myself after seeing them. Same season weren't they?
I too loved Caroline or Change. I wanted to hate it, (singing washing machine), but it won me over. I found it daring and so moving, and loved the music. Go figure! I also loved the 1983 revival of Mame with Lansbury. Fresh, well directed and lots of fun. I never understood how it failed.
- Amid fierce competition I would have to give the edge to The Look of Love;
scathingly bad, pointless, clueless, wasteful and fugly.
- Loving the pretentious and obvious Caroline or Change while loathing far more entertaining shows?
- Legally Blonde
An hour and a half of screeching sorority girls.
- Maaaaaaaaaaaaartin Gueeeeeeeerre.
In the West End - did this pile of poo ever make it to Broadway, or did it originate there?
Whatever - you have my sympathies...
The Lion King
The Color Purple
- To Be Or Not to Be at MTC was one of the worst shows I've ever seen. Was maybe two or three years ago.
Also, Good Vibrations was pretty awful as well.
I'm sure it's being done to get a rise out of people (or to prove that you are just so OVER everything) but saying that Rent is the worst show you've ever seen is a bit much. It's one of the most successful and critically acclaimed works of the past 25 years. You may not have liked it, you may have been turned off by the hype, you may have had objections to some of it's politics, but the worst musical?
C'mon people. Be real.
- I've been very lucky with my NYC theatergoing experiences. The worst show I saw was "Cuba and His Teddy Bear," and the show itself I found all right, just Robert De Niro hamming it up deprived it of any emotional power it might have had.
- Aspects of Love. I saw it with the drapes set. God-awful.
- More info about "Legs Diamond" please. I have a copy of the Original Cast Recording.
I also want to hear more about Blythe as Blanche. She sure got to take a stab at a lot of iconic roles on stage. Did she really suck?
- Benefactors 1986 starred Glenn Close and Sam Waterston. Boring.
- Company revival with Raul.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a sondheimite but every chice in this revival was wrong.
- Nine, although I really saw only about six before walking out.
- Relatively Speaking OWNS this thread.
- I thought THE GOAT or WHO IS SYLVIA? was sheer twaddle and occasionally unintentionally hilarious. I am convinced that others only pretended to like it in order to appear hip and enlightened. I imagine Albee laughing up his sleeve every time they bestowed another award on that piffling hoax of a play.
- Saw Billy Elliott yesterday and it comes close to winning the title for me. How in a season of Billy, Next to Normal, Shrek and Title of Show could they have given out best musical or best score awards? Worst musical and worst score of the decade might have been a real race for those four shows that season.
- Actually, the show I will site was utterly awful, but since it is in all probability unknown to 99.99995% of all DLers, I apologize for its (deserved) obscurity.
The musical adaptation of James Baldwin's AMEN CORNER.
A gray, boring, tedious, miserable hunk of theatrical offal, and to top it off, opening night, in winter, the heating system had failed, and the temperature in the seats probably sat around 50 degrees.
- Lysistrata Jones..... awful on Broadway. However off-B'way where it should still be playing, it could be a fun show.
- Theater queens always claim to have seen the opening/closing night of "Moose Murders" (previews, maybe).
The capacity of that theater must have quadrupled or more that night to accommodate everyone who claims to have seen it.
- Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, hands down!
I was offered comp tickets and the show had gotten strong reviews, so I went. It turned out to be nightmarishly bad -- I think the critics must have been on the take or on drugs. It was supposed to be comic but was hideously, painfully unfunny; the shrill, formulaic Broadway rock score was utter crap; and the actors were unpleasantly mugging all over the place, which made an already dismal situation worse. The show also had pretensions to Say Something about America but, annoyingly, got some basic history wrong.
Worst of all, there was no intermission, and thus no convenient point at which I could make a hasty, and grateful, exit.
I still resent the minutes of my life I lost to that show.
- THE ROAST. Unbearable!
- CATS! Now and Forever!
- [quote]Worst of all, there was no intermission, and thus no convenient point at which I could make a hasty, and grateful, exit.
Don't hesitate to flee a show that is motivating you toward the exit. Simply wait until there is a burst of applause. Be ready. Bolt off your seat and say excuse me, excuse me until you reach the aisle. Head up it and never look back. No one will know or care whether you had an urgent phone call or diarrhea or are quitting from boredom. It's your life, cease it.
- Cats owns this thread. Excruciating from start to finish.
Rent is a close second.
- I hated Rent soooooooooooooooooo much.
Flames. FLAMES. Flames. From the sides of my head.
- "The songs (of Triumph of Love) didn't land as well as they could have"
That's because they're thoroughly dreary, dearie.
- "Jimmy Shine" with Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sullivan, Cleavon Little and Rue McClanahan. The most interesting part was when some woman with a seat in front row, center, got back late from intermission and had people bobbing up and down as she worked her way back to her seat.
- In the '80's: "Oh, Calcutta" - not sexy in the least, not shocking; hideously bad actors.
"Sleight of Hand" - flop with Jeffrey DeMunn, Harry Groener, and Cecilia Peck, daughter of Gregory.
"Harrigan & Hart" - flop musical with, again Harry Groener (who HAS been in hits: "Cats"; took over in "Sunday in the Park with George", some Gershwin musical, etc.) and Mark Hamill - all singing! all dancing! all FLAMING (yes, he's been married for 30+ years; I don't care!)
And doubtless more...
- [quote]It's your life, cease it.
- Other Desert Cities
It was about a family with a lot of dysfunction and secrets, and it starred Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Rachel Griffiths, and Judith Light.
The New York Times gave it a great review. Based on this review I bought a ticket to see it back in December.
Strong performances from a very talented cast. But, for the first time, I left a Broadway play at intermission. It just didn't sustain my interest.
Lotsa unnecessary swearing.
- The absolute worst were:
Will Rogers Follies
Left at intermission for all three
- BBAJ was fun, if not for everyone it was in no way badly done. Probably should have stayed somewhere downtown instead of venturing Broadway. And what history, oh DL resident expert historians, did it get wrong?
A lot of these choices do not reach the depths of Crazy He Calls Me or Zoya's Apartment, truly the worst I've seen on Broadway. (I didn't see Moose Murders.)
- "Amour" starring the boring and devoid of energy Malcolm Gets tied with "Urinetown," left at intermission opening night and I NEVER do that
- Triumph of Loathe
- "The Pillowman" with Goldblum, Crudup, and Ivanek
- Another vote for 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.' Twee, hipster nails on a chalkboard.
- R283, in you comment about SIDE SHOW, I'm sure you meant to refer to the film director Tod Browning -- not to Todd Duncan, who starred in the original productions of PORGY AND BESS and LOST IN THE STARS ;-)
R284, according to reports, DROWNING CROW deservedly had droves of walk-outs by audience members of every race. I certainly didn't stay for Act II. Truly one of the worst ever.
- "The Weir." Acclaim after acclaim after acclaim in an era when any irish playwright could throw a moldy potato at the stage and have it hailed as a masterpiece.
Buncha Irish people sit around a bar and tell ghost stories on a rainy night until one of them doesn't. The end.
Natasha Richardson's Streetcar
These are the only two productions I ever walked out of at intermission.
- A friend of mine from Germany got tickets to "Oh Calcutta" when he visited back in the 80's. Lord, what a fucking bore that show was!
- "Bring Back Birdie"...GODAWFUL!!!
- I've walked out of two Broadway musicals. The Civil War and Shogun.
But I think those two pale in comparison to the fiasco which is Memphis, which I got through 20 minutes of on netflix.
I've never walked out of a play.
- Bye bye birdie
Left at intermission
- I saw the RAGTIME revival, which was decent and nicely staged in parts. But I'll never get the love for this show: it kinda sucks.
- Question to several of the posters that wrote "I've never walked out of a play" or "this was the one and only time I've walked out during intermission" etc.
No matter how much you spend on a ticket, if it sucks it sucks. Why sit and put up with it? If I don't like a show, I certainly leave during intermission. The money is already spent, I'm not getting it back. Why sit and fidget? I don't feel like I owe the performers or producers anything! It's not like I'm in front row and walking out right in the middle of a speech, possibly distracting the actor or the audience. I leave the same time everyone else leaves to take a wee or get a snack. I just don't come back!
- Not sure if the "Mourning Becomes Electra" revival with Lili Taylor counts as an official Broadway play but oh man... the audience was so visibly bored and restless by the end of that show.
- Moose Murders.
- Bernadette Peters in GYPSY.
- "Carrie: The Musical" with Buckley and Linzi Hateley
- I saw Marilyn.
But Starlight Express is the only show I've walked out on. There were about 7 of us and no one wanted to stay.
- Into The Woods.
The trees are not woods and I didn't give a fuck.
- "A Matter of Gravity". Forgotten piece of '70's junk that apparently got produced because Katharine Hepburn agreed to star in it. Pointless, meandering and just dull.
"Thieves". Saw this in New Haven back in 1974. There were obviously problems with it and the producers' solution was to replace Valerie Harper with Marlo Thomas. Valerie was not the problem but she was lucky to be rid of it.
"Judy and Me". Misconceived coming of age/coming out schlock which casts Judy Garland as the faggot Jiminy Cricket.
- r348, I agree with you. And you probably weren't referring to my post. But in case you misunderstood me, I wrote I never walked out of a "play," not because I wouldn't walk out of a play, but because the only times I've felt like leaving before a show was over were for musicals, rather than non-musicals.
- [quote] and Linzi Hateley
Who the fuck named their child Linzi? Can we find them and slap them? Open palm?
- I have never walked out of a show after more than 50 years of theater going. In restrospect I should have walked out of ALW's "Woman in White."
Truly I have never seen anything else that I disliked enough to leave.
- In The Summer House
This played at Lincoln Center, and from beginning to end it was indulgent and boring.
"Yes Mah mah?"
"Are you in the SUMMER HOUSE??"
"Yes Mah mah!"
- Censored Scenes from King Kong with Carrie Fisher and Peter Reigert.
- Meet Me in St. Louis
(Others have mentioned Caroline or Change, Passion, and Urinetown, all of which I love--although with Passion it was the score after I'd seen it . .)
- [quote] In restrospect I should have walked out of ALW's "Woman in White."
In retrospect, no human being should have ever walked IN. Not on this dreadful show and not into the partial birth abortion that was "Love Never Dies."
- Speed the Plow
- Cats. Ridiculous,pointless FLAPDOODLE. Boring, too.
- Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo..
The dumbest and most pretentious play I've ever seen...
- Other Desert Cities
What was The NYTimes critic drinking when he raved about that vacuous play?
- The Sondheim musical about Presidential assassins.
- Clearly I'm the only one here who had to suffer through Miss Katherine Hepburn in "The West Side Waltz". Slept through the entire Second Act. There was no possible way to get out of that one - we were guests of the playwright, Ernest Thompson (he was a Guest Lecturer at my school who invited some of us to see his new Broadway play). A couple of months later when he won the Oscar for "On Golden Pond" I remember thinking, "Whatever..."
Would love to hear more about "The Capeman" - one of my mentors, Derek Walcott, co-wrote the book and lyrics and he never talks about it. All I know is he does not ever want to hear the name Paul Simon mentioned in his presence.
It was just TOO much with the forcing audience to dance, yadda, yadda.
- I also hated Rent (left at intermission). Relatively Speaking was terrible but I had free tickes so that helped. If I'd paid money to see it I'd really be pissed.
- SPOFFORD, starring Melvyn Douglas. (Ugh) One of the characters was actually named "Pussy Beausigneur."
- "Next Fall" Dishonest, manipulative SHIT!
- You haven't lived until you've seen Jennifer Tilly as Crystal Allen in "The Women". Her choice to play the character with some sort of gun moll affect really should have been left at the door.
Cynthia "Mary Haines" Nixon
- What R355 said. I saw A MATTER OF GRAVITY too. Dull, dull , dull.
Dance of the Vampires
Triumph of Love
- The only Broadway Show I've ever walked out on at intermission was Fosse. That wasn't a musical, it was a dance recital.
- I didn't care for FOSSE either. It was DANCIN' all over again. I wanted to slap Valerie Pettiford. Could not stand her in this.
- Re R374, Cynthia, you were pretty lousy as Mary in THE WOMEN revival, too.
How is it you've gained such a stellar rep as a stage actress? You're not that good.
- The second US tour of "Starlight Express," the one with the 3D videos that replaced the racing sequences. Horrible experience and I walked out at the intermission.
- Other Desert Cities and The Book of Mormon. I saw them both in the same weekend, too.
- I was lucky I saw 'Starlight Express' when I was 4. Apparently, I was too young to realize the shitiness that was occurring on stage.
It's funny that so many people are mentioning 'Titanic' and 'The Capeman.' Interestingly, I met up with my Aunt and Cousin last week for a showing of 'The Best Man' (great show, btw). And somehow, the subject of both those productions came up. I didn't see either of them, but my relatives did. All they did was rant about how horrible they were. When they caught a matinee of 'Titanic,' they moved to the front row after intermission because half of the audience slipped out. And when they saw a preview of 'The Capeman,' they couldn't help but giggle at the sight of the motorized bus. It looked worse than a high school production.
R256/R257 -- I also don't think 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' was given its due credit. A stellar cast like that rarely comes together on one stage (Patti Lupone, Laura Benanti, Sherie Rene Scott, Brian Stokes Mitchell). The songs weren't memorable, but the staging was impressively well-choreographed. But maybe I'm too biased because I'm such a sucker for Pedro Almodovar.
But speaking of Sherie Rene Scott, I saw her one woman show last year and it was no picnic. It was at the American Airlines Theater and the only reason why it ran was because they aborted a revival of 'Lips Together, Teeth Apart' (starring Megan Mullally). This satirical review pretty much sums up the what an incoherent mess it was.
Could not wait until intermission.
- Bombay Dreams
- Triumph of Love and Urinetown. Left in the middle of the first act for both shows. Avoid any show with Betty Buckley and/or Nancy Opel.
Marie Christine by LaChiusa was pretty awful too as was Parade by Jason Robert Brown. And Lippa's Wild Party stank to high heaven. These guys can't write a hummable tune to save their lives.
Book of Mormon despite what Sister Brantley writes about it. Smart-ass varsity show. It was a piece of shit.
- Rent pretty much wins hands down. I walked out during intermission when Nick lachey's brother was one of the leads. Saw it again without the brother and lasted until the end because I was stoned.
- Senator Joe, the musical about Senator Joe McCarthy back in the 1950s red-baiting season. It had dancing white and red blood cells (I'm not making this up) because Senator Joe was an alcoholic. There is ONE HILARIOUSLY BAD tune from it on youtube.com, with a bunch of gay guys cackling in joy over it as if it had been hand delivered by God.
It closed in previews.
- Least enjoyable: Miss Saigon
Cheesiest: Blood Brothers (with Shawn and David Cassidy doing British accents!)
- Nine. Except that I only saw about six before walking out. Yeston's music was dull, but his lyrics are appalling. "Be Italian, you rapscallion."
"Kimberly Akimbo" was off-Broadway, wasn't it? But it was so vile that it deserves special mention.
- "Cats" (in Washington, DC-first national tour) was by far the worst thing I've seen.
Maybe we'll soon have a new addition to this list, as "Scandalous," with book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford, opens shortly.
- [quote]There is ONE HILARIOUSLY BAD tune from it on youtube.com, with a bunch of gay guys cackling in joy over it as if it had been hand delivered by God.
- Caroline or Change. Made worse by its self important pretentiousness.
- Urinetown. I left at intermission opening night. Have never done that before or since.
- Other Desert Cities -- I walked out at intermission. It was not entertaining.
Phantom of the Opera -- made it all the way to the end, but could hardly wait for it to be over. There was not one single character any thinking person could identify with or care about. And I thought the synthesizer music was cheesy.
Dracula, The Musical -- yes, it was a shitty show with forgettable music, and it closed in less than six months, but the stagecraft was pretty entertaining.
- This wonderful thread makes me wish I had discovered DL long before this past September!
Having seen way too much crapola, I'd love to hear more about those who witnessed "Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public", cause I have the OCR, and I like the score a lot. I've no idea what the story is (Does Miss Mona run for President?), but the music has some real life to it. And didn't Dee Hoty get a Tony nod for Best Actress for that show?
Also, how bad was Madonna in "Speed-the-Plow"? I recently saw a clip on television, and my jaw dropped as I heard Madonna do Mamet, and not because I was surprisingly impressed.
Those who list the Broadway production of "Rent" (which I saw in previews, and loved) obviously missed the recent Off-Broadway revival of "Rent", which was disgustingly crass and pathetic. And "Caroline or Change" might have had moments of pretension, but Tonya Pinkins was amazing in it the night I saw the show, none of which was in evidence during her disastrous performance at the Tony Awards.
A friend called me during the intermission of "Dance with the Vampires" during previews, saying I was missing an all-time stinker, and I've regretted ever since not running down to the theater. Also wish I'd seen "Prymate"!
I saw "Legs Diamond" on my first trip to NYC, and it was not at all a great show, but the sets were fun and now that I've seen so much more theater, I know it does not deserve to be listed along with this dirty dozen (in no particular order):
1. "Story of My Life": No story, no life. Closed after five performances. I sat during the last preview performance and wondered why this show even existed. Starred Will Chase and Malcolm Gets, the latter more irritating than the former.
2. "In My Life": Glad I did not miss this one, cause it was jaw-droppingly bad. A giant lemon literally dropped down near the end of the show.
3. "Cats": Yep. First national tour.
4. "Jekyll & Hyde": Worst show I've ever seen. I hated this one from moment one and could not leave because it was a company outing, which made me incredibly bitter that the company had not bothered to actually buy tickets to something worth seeing. Incredibly, a national tour of this crap is about to land on Broadway again, in April. I remember sitting through each scene saying, "Just wait... A musical number will come in a minute and rescue this dribble." Then when the singing would start, and I'd tell myself that "In a minute, the story will move forward." Then I gave up. As a result, I can't list the many Frank Wildhorn debacles ("Wonderland", "The Civil War", "Bonnie & Clyde", "Dracula") since, cause I outright refuse to see them, with the exception of "The Scarlet Pimpernel", which was actually okay.
5. "Blood Brothers": In London. Stinkerama. The brothers didn't spill blood till far too late.
6. The recent Off-Broadway revival of "Rent": Shame!
7. "Fela": I tried twice. At first preview, Bill T. Jones had to stand up in the audience and direct the actors on how to exit, as they'd clearly never gotten to the finale before. You can imagine what the curtain call was like. To be fair, I went again after the Tony nominations came out. Left at intermission.
8. "Sex and Longing": First preview. Must say... As wrong as this show was, I loved Dana Ivey in it. But why oh why did Lincoln Center ever produce this merde?
9. Tony Kusher Off-Broadway double bill: Kushner's one of American's finest playwrights, but I still had to flee "A Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds" at the Public at intermission, and I wish I'd fled "The Illusion" as well. Fancy talky talky shutthefuckup. "Intelligent Homosexual's Guide..." at the Public was hardly better, but not worthy of this list given its cast and ambitions and the few moments that worked.
10. "Glory Days": Saw this one during previews. It closed on its opening night, deservedly.
11. "Hedda Gabler" with Mary-Louise Parker. Craptacular in every way.
12. "Taller Than A Dwarf": Almost impossible to describe. Parker Posey was either high and/or stoned and/or drunk and/or tranquilized, and I do not blame her.
- Broadway's "Tango Argentina". Pure crap!
- Glory Days was pretty terrible. Scandalous isn't terrible it's just earnest and boring. Don't get the hate for Other Desert Cities, if nothing else it was well acted. Cats the musical is much better than some of ALW's other shows but the bloated, leaden Nunn/Lynne/Napier production was truly awful but every Nunn musical production is usually just as bad.
- [quote]5. "Blood Brothers": In London. Stinkerama. The brothers didn't spill blood till far too late.
My Brit friends could not believe that I did not love that show. I reallllly did not love it.
- Really, R390? Of all shows, you pick KIMBERLY AKIMBO as one of the worst? I thought it was very well written, acted, and produced. Really loved it.
- "brooklyn" and "side show" for the pointless belting.
"crowns" by regina taylor.
- It's not a Broadway show but it is absolutely the worst show I have ever seen.
A friend begged me to go with her to a show at her niece's performing arts high school. Foolishly, I said yes.
It was "Wuthering Heights" in mime.
Stunningly bad. Exquisitely awful. I kept thinking of Monty Python and trying not to laugh.
- I hated Cats
- [quote] as was Parade by Jason Robert Brown.
Aw, I LOVED "Parade".
- Marie Christine was just utterly disappointing on SO many levels. We struggled with leaving during intermission but muddled through. I was exhausted by the end. It's the show that taught me its okay to just bail...
The revival of NINE was exhilaratingly bad, poorly paced, poorly sung...and all that water...or was it water? Maybe I'm wrong as I slept through most of the second act, as I also did in Les Mis, which is the "mega-hit" I just. don't. get. With Phantom and RENT being close seconds.
I saw Triumph of Love during its last days. Buckley made an impassioned speech at the curtain call, for the audience to help them save the show as it was being unfairly maligned or ignored or something or other...I remember thinking, um, no, it's just bad. (Though I am a fan of the song "Serenity"...go figure).
Thanks for a great thread!
- walked out of rent
- " I'd love to hear more about those who witnessed "Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public", cause I have the OCR, and I like the score a lot. I've no idea what the story is"
As a survivor/audience member, I can say it was no more comprehensible on stage than on the recording.
"A friend called me during the intermission of "Dance with the Vampires" during previews, saying I was missing an all-time stinker,"
Your friend was right--truly one of the "you had to be there" shows.
"The Pirate Queen" was up there--not too many shows feature musical numbers in which the lead character gives birth to a child in the middle of a sword fight
- I walked out in the middle of the most recent Jesus Christ Superstar - ridiculous dreck.
- Up until a few weeks ago, I would've thought long and hard on this question. However, now I can say without reflection that "Scandalous" is the winner of the worst show I've seen on B'way. I must add that I laughed often and hard, but for all the wrong reasons,so that's why I didn't walk out.
"Love Never Dies" still stands as the all-time worst, but that was in London.
- I've walked out on three: Mamma Mia, Civil War and Aida.
- Jo Anne Worley in the Prince of Central Park.
Dr. Jazz --Cyma Rubin blew a big wad on the production, but the show was just awful. However, beautiful sets and costumes by the legendary Raoul Pene du Bois.
The Civil War
Copenhagen -- Blair Brown's line coming out of a huddle: "Plutonium!"
Miss Buckley in The Triumph of Love --two friends and I were so vocal about how much we hated this show (and her) as we left at intermission that we almost got assaulted by Betty's show queen fans. They were truly enraptured and having multiple orgasms.
The Knife at the Public with Mandy Patinkin -- Mandy at the end in a pleated skirt and blouse and size 16 flats. What a gal!
Legally Blond -- who wants to see a musical about applying to law school? And it had Orfeh in the cast. She's the first B'way performer I ever saw with a tatt on her ankle and that was in the Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm. Ever since, she has repulsed me.
An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin -- their rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was execrable! Patti sang it in some little girl's voice and made the whole song seem like a duet between a pedophile and a big-busted 12-year old. And weren't Patti and Mandy rolling around the stage on office chairs at some point?
The Book of Mormon -- saw it surrounded by a large Mormon family (not the Romneys) who were convulsed with laughter at seeing themselves parodied. Sister Brantley labelled it THE musical for the 21st Century. It's no better than a varsity show. A true piece of shit.
- I rarely walk out of a show, but on occasion I have. I think the first Bway show I walked out of was "Twilight of the Golds" because I found it awful and offensive.
There was an "Uncle Vanya" at Circle in the Square that was so bad, my friend and I looked at each other, and without a word, got up and walked out (and to the nearest bar) at intermission.
A production of "Godot" by the Abbey Theater, no less, was just so mind-numbing (this was at the Skirball Center at NYU) that my poor wife, who said: you NEVER leave at intermission, was proved wrong.
And another Beckett (Happy Days, I think) at CSC with David Greenspan and Lea DeLaria (where there was a SIGN ON THE DOOR going in that said: you may not leave until intermission).
Sometimes, if an off-off show is terrible, I WANT to leave, but those houses are so small, that the cast would probably start to cry.
- But Dr. Jazz had Lola Falana in it.
I forgot about Copenhagen --- MAJOR snoozefest!
- The revival of Sweeney Todd a few years back. I'm all for scaled-down productions, but spending Broadway bucks to watch Patti LuPone hurriedly waddle across the stage every five minutes to pick up a tuba felt like kind of a cheat, especially since it was my first exposure to the material.
Also, The Wedding Singer. I was never one to drink the Laura Benanti kool-aid. She came off as shrill and boring to me.
- Will Rogers Follies. It was like a multi-million dollar version of a tourist show in Frontierland. The score really sucked too.
- Walked out of Something's Afoot, Doctor Jazz, Celebration, but If I can be more contemporary - Chaplin is one of the worst messes I have seen in years. Those connected with it who thought they knew how to write and direct a musical were seriously delusional. It truly is abysmal. But really - everything written in this century on the musical front is shit - or close to it.Even those that were overly praised. Book of Mormon? Producers? Contact? Really now.
- Jackie Mason's musical Laughing Room Only... It was the one time I was jealous of the deaf, dumb & blind
- [quote] Don't get the hate for Other Desert Cities, if nothing else it was well acted.
Wha!? Really? "Well acted"? Hilarious. I thought ODC had perhaps the largest collection of "worst in their career" lousy, hammy, unforgivable performances ever in the same play. Rachel Griffiths who played the daughter gave perhaps THE WORST performance I have ever seen on Broadway. I wanted to throw rotten vegetables at her!
Nobody for "What's Wrong With This Picture", the unintentional incest "comedy" marking the startling directorial debut of the horrifying Joe Mantello? Wicked was also TORTURE to me.
- Shrek was dreadful. All the citing of other musicals just made me want to be at a different show.
Tesori seems unable to write a basic melody with a hook to it 80% of the time. It worked for Caroline or Change because the material didn't demand a Jerry Herman-style way of putting over the story. But Shrek's score was just dull.
- R335, Crazy He Calls Me. Wasn't that with thirty something's Polly Draper? That was a while ago.
I thought Proof was completely unengaging. Grey Gardens was pretty weak. But the worst was when Robert Altman directed Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues for Kevin Spacey's Old Vic Theatre with Matthew Modine, Neve Campbell, DL fav Jane Adams and Maximillian Schell. It was notoriously dreadful. Instead of completing the run, the day after I saw it (part of it, anyway), Jane Adams got in a cab, drove to Heathrow and fled the country rather than complete the run. Just terrible. Like watching a sinking ship.
- Bengali Tiger at Zoo...or whatever it was called. So pretentious....
- R421 - At the Old Vic - a venue which shatters the nerves of even the most professional actors - (god knows why - it isn't even a comfortable theatre)
- Has anyone seen "Seminar" ?
The author, Theresa Rebeck, keeps getting produced. Why?
- So now let's discuss the shows we liked.
- [quote]as was Parade by Jason Robert Brown.
[quote]Aw, I LOVED "Parade".
One of the local musical theaters is doing "Parade" next year, supposedly on the 100th anniversary of when the actual events transpired. I've never seen it, and have only heard a few songs from the score. I'm tempted to check it out.
The problem with this subject is that a lot of the truly execrable shows may have closed after a very few performances, so not that many people actually saw them. For example, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Richard Chamberlain and MTM.
- Rose. Olympia Dukakis. Didn't return from Intermission.
- "Theresa Rebeck, keeps getting produced. Why?"
Rebeck's a woman.
- In the old days bad musicals could be fun. I saw Prettybelle and Lolita My Love in Boston tryouts and Dude, Via Galactica and Rockabye Hamlet in their short Broadway runs and all were so bad they were interesting learning experiences.
Now bad musicals are just bad. And boring.
- ANNA KARENINA: The Musical. What? Why? Ann Crumb, Melissa Errico and Gregg Edelman -- each worse than the other, but none as bad as the score!
- The Capeman (in previews) Had no idea what was going on, the damn thing seemed to go on for days.. when a toy bus crossing the stage at the Marquis Theatre is truly the only interesting thing in the show.. it's time to leave.
- I gave away my ticket for Dance of the Vampires to a bell hop at my hotel. That being said, the video bootleg is pretty entertaining.
Michael Crawford as a Lucky Charms vampire and Max Von Essen's ass.
- Dustin Hoffman in "Jimmy Shine."
- Wonderful, R50 … that's right, you go, girl, get down there and belt! A fun read this. A history of theater. Hooray for ElderGays who still have memory! I'm fine with some of the turkeys I've heard of, but question some tastes. Dismissing LIASIONS and A CLASS ACT, PROOF and RAGTIME, maybe it's a case of some queens aren't good enough for the show.
- The Phantom of the Opera
- Into the Woods
bored me to death
- [quote]bored me to death
And you rose again on the third day?
- I've seen many bad Broadway shows, but they were enjoyable in a bad way (IN MY LIFE, BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE GOES PUBLIC), but there are shows whose success just makes me scratch my head, and although I wouldn't call it WORST, it certainly was the most miserable, and that would be MAMMA MIA!
But people who hated shows like RENT and OTHER DESERT CITIES, I would like to hear what their favorite musical is. Because it's not inconceivable to say that shows I liked to be the worst show you've ever seen, but it makes me curious as to what kind of shows you do like.
For me, my favorite musical is SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE for serious one and PROMISES, PROMISES for a frothy one.
- Roundabout's The Threepenny Opera with Alan Cumming as Mac the Knife. Great in theory, horrid in practice, worse on stage.
- I didn't read the entire thread and don't know if this was referenced: DREAM (I believe that was the title), starring Lesley Ann Warren (this is going back to the late 90s). Boring. CATS was far worse: absolute torture!
- To R12 & R71, my lover and I were the other two people in the audience for Nick & Nora, too bad, loved the actors, hated the show.
But, I must say, I liked Aspects of Love.
- I wish someone would post a thread for the best show currently playing.
- Closer. I don't know if it was over my head but I do know I was bored....
- How about this, R442? The official trailer for Capeman - The Movie!
- Jeckyl & Hyde!!! It was horrendous. I'd have said Legends with Joan Collins & Linda Evans but I don't think that shit made it to Broadway.
- [R438] great point, and question, considering how subjective so much of this can be, right?
Regarding RENT, I just think its loud and hollow and false, even though there are some beautiful melodies. And usually I can get why others love a show I hate but not in the case of RENT, for some reason. It feels dumb to me, and juvenile, like a kid dressing up in Mommy's clothes. Believe me, I've gotten my share of mean looks and long debates about my hating it lol (I'd add The Producers to that list, too; saw the original cast and still thought it wasn't all that wonderful a production. It felt like pandering to me, and phony, but everyone I know seems to have loved it!)
As for shows I liked? Most controversially, probably the Sam Mendes Gypsy and the 2001 Follies revival. Many of my friends hated them. Same with the Sweeney Todd revival with Lupone and Cerveris. I know people who walked out. Me? Though I think the director's schtick limits it, I found it really entertaining and appropriately dark. (But don't call me a Sondheim apologist yet: I thought the Lapine/Vanessa Williams Into the Woods revival was absolute dreck!)
On the other hand, I don't get how people disliked the original Ragtime--to me one of the best productions I've ever seen. Or The Full Monty, which I adored!
Of course I could go on and on, but those are just a few examples.
- How could I have forgotten RENT??? Whatta snoozefest! I must have blocked the experience from my memory.
- Maybe it doesn't exactly qualify, but my ex was forced to sit through STOMP three times (work and family obligations), after hating the first experience.
- by far the 2 worst shows or plays, wasnt broadway though was Urinetown and The allergists wife. total horrible boring bullshit
- Too many to count
- Everything from CATS to the present.
- I despised Spiderman with a passion.
- more stories please
- Dame CC here...
I can usually find SOMETHING in any production to keep me entertained....sets, an actor, hating a bad actor, seat mate...something...and I've been seeing theatah here for a quarter C...
But I saw Dracula and it was unbelievably bad and expensive...all the hip dreck at the Wooster Group even when Willem Dafoe is in it...there are so many horrid productions that seem to be created by committee ...
Like the previous queen I loved that Follies...I'm not a Sondheim apologist I'm a devotee...and that Gypsy was fantastic too...The Lupone Sweeney? Amazing...Company by the same director with that bisex guy...horrendous ...
I saw Company at the Kennedy Center with Hamburger Dick John Barrowman and he was wonderful...
- I'll Eat You Last.
- Wicked. I would gladly have switched lives with Helen Keller by the time that fucker was over.
- Love Valour Compassion. A bunch of pretentious posers, I felt no connection to any of the characters. Plus that horrible Mario Cantone was in the cast.
- Three Tall Women by Edward Albee. I fell asleep, but didn't stay asleep long enough.
- "Mourning Becomes Elektra" with Jena Malone and Lili Taylor. Five hours long, endless and dull.
The theater was stifling by midnight, you could sense how restless the audience was and when it finally ended, it was a relief.
I saw it in previews and the reviews cut the run short by six weeks.
- The Old Vic production of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues in London directed by Robert Altman with Jane Adams, Matthew Modine, Maximillian Schell and, erm, Neve Campbell. It was so terrible in every way, so completely inert. I'm pretty sure we left at the interval, if not before. The theatre was pretty empty.
The next day I read in the paper that Jane Adams went out to Heathrow and LEFT THE COUNTRY, even though she had a few weeks left of the run. She just couldn't take it.
- Little Me with Martin Short and Faith Prince.
- Which recording is most self-indulgent in recent memory: Patti singing Rose's Turn or Raul's Being Alive?
- I've seen many of these shows. Most were pretty thin gruel.
I thought Charles Busch's "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" was delightfully wise and entertaining. I found it a very good play.